Crime and Education

In 1996, students ages 12 through 18 were victims of about 255,000 incidents of nonfatal serious violent crime at school and about 671,000 incidents away from school. (National Center for Education Statistics. (1998, October). Indicators of School Crime and Safety 1998. Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice.)

In 1996, 5 percent of all 12th graders reported that they had been injured with a weapon such as a knife, gun, or club during the past 12 months while they were at school, that is inside or outside the school building or on a school bus, and 12 percent reported that they had been injured on purpose without a weapon while at school. (Ibid.)

Students were differentially affected by crime according to geographical location. In 1996, 12- through 18-year-old students living in urban areas were more vulnerable to serious violent crime than were students in suburban and rural areas both at and away from school. However, student vulnerability to theft in 1996 was similar in urban, suburban, and rural areas both at and away from school. (Ibid.)

In 1996-97, 10 percent of all public schools reported at least one serious violent crime to the police or law enforcement representative. Principals' reports of serious violent crimes included murder, rape or other type of sexual battery, suicide, physical attack or fight with a weapon, or robbery. Another 47 percent of public schools reported a less serious violent or non-violent crime. (Ibid.)

Over the 5-year period from 1992 to 1996, teachers were victims of 1,581,000 nonfatal crimes at school, including 962,000 thefts and 619,000 violent crimes (rape or sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated and simple assault). (Ibid.)

A study funded by the National Institute of Justice found that one in five inner-city high school students surveyed (one in three males) had been shot at, stabbed, or otherwise injured with a weapon at or in transit to or from school in the past few years. (National Institute of Justice. (1995). Weapon-related Victimization in Selected Inner-City High School Samples. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.)

The National Education Association reports that each day in America, 100,000 children carry guns to school, 160,000 children miss class because of the fear of being physically harmed, and 40 students are killed or injured by firearms. (National Education Association. (1993). School Violence. Washington, DC.)

On average, one out of three high school students is, or has been, in an abusive dating relationship, and only four out of ten of these relationships end when violence and abuse begins. (National Council of Jewish Women. (1993). Description of Teen Violence Intervention and Prevention Project.)

College administrators report they are seeing increased crime on their campuses. 1994 crime reports show that: 23 percent more arrests were made for producing, using or selling illegal drugs; forcible-sex offenses were up 12 percent; and murders on college campuses increased by 27 percent. Underage drinking and other alcohol-related offenses rose six percent. (USA Today, April 22, 1996.)

Note: OVC makes no representation concerning the accuracy of data from non-Department of Justice sources.

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