The U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs released their annual report on school crime and safety in June 2014. They worked diligently to gather accurate information regarding school safety and crime in order to better understand the status quo and to establish reliable indicators — stating,
This report is the sixteenth in a series of annual publications produced jointly by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Institute of Education Sciences (IES), in the U.S. Department of Education, and the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) in the U.S. Department of Justice. This report presents the most recent data available on school crime and student safety. The indicators in this report are based on information drawn from a variety of data sources, including national surveys of students, teachers, principals, and postsecondary institutions. Sources include results from the School-Associated Violent Deaths Study, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, the Department of Justice, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; the National Crime Victimization Survey and School Crime Supplement to that survey, sponsored by BJS and NCES, respectively; the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; the Schools and Staffing Survey and School Survey on Crime and Safety, both sponsored by NCES; and the Campus Safety and Security Survey, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education.
Their report covers topics including victimization, teacher injury, bullying, cyber-bullying, school conditions, fights, weapons, availability, student use of drugs and alcohol, student perceptions of personal safety at school, and criminal incidents at post-secondary institutions.
Here are some of the key findings that were drawn from their Indicators of School Crime and Safety Report.
In 2012, students ages 12-18 were victims of about 1,364,900 nonfatal victimizations at school, including 615,600 thefts and 749,200 violent victimizations, 89,000 of which were serious violent victimizations.
Sixteen percent of public schools reported that gang activities had occurred during the 2009-10 school year, and 2 percent reported that cult or extremist activities had occurred during this period.
In 2012, a greater number of students ages 12-18 experienced victimizations (theft and violent crime) at school than away from school. That year, 52 victimizations per 1,000 students occurred at school, and 38 victimizations per 1,000 students occurred away from school.
Seven percent of students in grades 9-12 reported being threatened or injured with a weapon, such as a gun, knife, or club, on school property 11 in 2011. Specifically, 3 percent of students were threatened or injured with a weapon 1 time, 2 percent were threatened or injured with a weapon 2 or 3 times, 1 percent were threatened or injured with a weapon 4 to 11 times, and 1 percent were threatened or injured with a weapon 12 or more times.