The School Crime Victimization Survey, which is a supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), estimates the number of students victimized by crime at school, on school grounds, or on the way to and from school. The survey is designed to assist policymakers, researchers, and educational practitioners in making informed decisions regarding crime in schools.
The latest report contains data from 6,297 respondents ages 12 to18 who were enrolled in the sixth through the 12th grades in 2005. Four percent of these students reported that they had been victims of a crime during the reporting period: 3% were victims of theft and 1% were victims of violent crime (rape, robbery, assault). The survey discovered a positive correlation between the presence of gangs, drugs, and alcohol in schools and the likelihood that a student in that school would be the victim of a crime. Male and female students were equally likely to be victims, although males were twice as likely as females to be the victims of a violent crime at school. Students at public schools were three times as likely to be the victims of theft as students enrolled in private schools.
Students who have been victimized at school are more likely to fear attacks, avoid specific places at school, and refrain from participating in extracurricular activities than students who have not been attacked. Other major findings include the following:
- The percentage of sixth-grade and seventh-grade (2% and 3%, respectively) victims was higher than the percentage of 10th-grade (1%) victims.
- Students living in households with incomes of less than $34,999 were less likely to be the victims of school crimes than students from more affluent homes.
- A higher percentage of students receiving grades of “mostly” C’s were victims than were students who received “mostly” A’s or B’s.
Comparisons of data from the 1995, 1999, 2001, and 2005 NCVS Crime Incident Reports revealed an overall decrease in the percentage of students reporting at least one instance of criminal victimization at school in the six months prior to the survey.
The American public continues to be concerned about crime in the schools, safety of students, and the ways that victimization at school impedes academic success. Crime in the schools negatively affects not only those directly involved in the incident, but also other students, faculty, and staff, and creates an unfavorable academic environment. Findings in the School Crime Victimization Survey identify the scope of victimization and environmental conditions connected with it, and can help concerned parties develop policies that better address the issue of school crime and violence.
- Bauer, L., Guerino, P., Nolle, K. L., & Tang, S. (2008). Student victimization in U.S. schools: Results from the 2005 School Crime Supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCES 2009-306). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education.
- Dinkes, R., Cataldi, E. F., Kena, G., & Baum, K. (2006). Indicators of school crime and safety: 2006 (NCES 2007-003/NCJ 214262). U.S. Departments of Education and Justice. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.
- U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics. (2009). National Crime Victimization Survey, 2008 [Collection Year Record-Type Files] [Computer file]. ICPSR25461-v2. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2009-09-11. Doi: 10.3886/ICPSR25461