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National Crime Victims' Rights Week: April 18-24, 2004 banner

School Crime and Victimization

An average of 703,800 violent crimes happened against 12-17 year-olds on school grounds each year between 1994 and 1999. (Bureau of Justice Statistics. 2003. Weapon Use and Violent Crime. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.)

Each day, approximately 160,000 students between kindergarten and 12th grade don’t attend school because they are afraid of bullying. (Rowlette, Ronna and K. Wilson. Rowlette Research Associates, Inc. 2003. Youth Development and Violence Prevention in K-12 Schools: The Who, What, Why, and What Next.)

In a national study, 46 percent of students said they were hit, kicked, shoved, or tripped at least once in the previous month, and 18 percent had experienced this 5 or more times. One in 12 students - 8 percent - were forced to do sexual things at least once in the prior month; 3 percent were forced 5 or more times. (Ibid.)

Each year, one in ten students is threatened or injured with a weapon at school. (Partners Against Hate. 2002. Peer Leadership: Helping Youth Become Change Agents in their Schools and Communities. Washington, DC: Partners Against Hate.)

One in fourteen students carries a weapon to school one or more days each month. (Ibid.)

Between 1994 and 1999, 172 homicides occurred on school grounds. A firearm was used in 69 percent of these homicides. (Anderson, et. al. 2001. School Associated Violent Deaths in the United States, 1994-1999. JAMA 2001; 286:2695-2702.)

The Center for Disease Control’s 2001Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS), conducted nationally among students in 9th through 12th grade, found that 4.9 percent students had consumed one or more alcoholic drinks on school property in the month preceding the survey, 5.4 percent had used marijuana on school property during this same time period, and 28.5 percent had been offered, sold, or given an illegal drug on school property in the last year. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Surveillance Summaries, June 28, 2002. MMWR 2002:51(No. SS-4).)

In 2001, 12.5 percent of students had been in a physical fight one or more times on school property. (Ibid.)

During the 2001 survey year, 19.0 percent of students seriously considered attempting suicide, 14.8 percent had made a specific plan to attempt suicide, and 8.8 percent had attempted suicide one or more times. (Ibid.)

A 2003 study of sexual harassment in secondary schools found that 27 percent of sexual harassment of students was conducted by adult school employees. Teachers comprised 81 percent of the offending group. (Timmerman, G. 2003. “Sexual Harassment of Adolescents Perpetrated by Teachers and by Peers: An Exploration of the Dynamics of Power, Culture, and Gender in Secondary Schools.” Sex Roles: A Journal of Research, 48(5/6), 231-244.)

Teachers are also at risk of school violence. A survey of the 1997-1998 school-year revealed that 21 percent were threatened, and 3 percent were physically attacked. (Gottfredson, Gary, et. al. National Institute of Justice. 2000. National Study of Delinquency Prevention in Schools. Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice.)

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National Crime Victims' Rights Week: Victims' Rights: America's Values April 18–24, 2004
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