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May 10 2016

School Crime Stats – The Good News and The Bad News

Category: School SecurityLori @ 3:17 pm Comments (2)

In several of my past articles I’ve quoted some statistics on school crime from the National Center for Education Statistics.  This organization has just published an updated report for Indicators of School Crime and Safety through 2015.  The good news is that according to Campus Safety Magazine, the report shows an overall decrease in crime in schools:

There were significant decreases in instances of bullying, harassment because of sexual orientation and violent crime at all levels of education, although some cautioned the apparent progress isn’t enough.” 

The change could be due to increased security measures such as surveillance cameras, or school administrators’ more proactive approach to school security.  Table 20.1 (partial table shown below) illustrates the rise in controlled access to buildings (74.6% in 1999-2000, 93.3% in 2013-14), although the report does not include in-depth information about security measures.NCES Table


NCESThe bad news is that the findings of the report are still quite sobering with regard to the incidence of crime in schools.  There are many more statistics packed into the report’s 234 pages, but some of the key findings include:

  • Preliminary data show that there were 53 school-associated violent deaths from July 1, 2012, through June 30, 2013. In 2014, among students ages 12–18, there were about 850,100 nonfatal victimizations at school, which included 363,700 theft victimizations and 486,400 violent victimizations (simple assault and serious violent victimizations).
  • During the 2013–14 school year, there were 1.3 million reported discipline incidents in the United States for reasons related to alcohol, drugs, violence, or weapons possession that resulted in a student being removed from the education setting for at least an entire school day.
  • Of the 781 total hate crimes reported on college campuses in 2013, the most common type of hate crime reported by institutions was destruction, damage, and vandalism (364 incidents), followed by intimidation (295 incidents) and simple assault (89 incidents).

We still have a long way to go in order to make sure students and staff are as safe as possible at school.  You can download the full report by visiting the website of the National Center for Education Statistics.

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2 Responses to “School Crime Stats – The Good News and The Bad News”

  1. Nathan says:


    Where is the infographic? No one reads anything anymore!

    Am I reading and doing my math correctly: They found 53 deaths and 850,000 non-fatal victims in a one year period. Considering there are about 75 million students in Pre-K through College each year in the US… that is about a 1% chance of being a victim of any kind (without controlling for repeat victims or know offender conditions) and a 0.00007% (0% statistically) chance of the death.

    When you say ‘we have a long way to go’, what percentage risk is an acceptable goal in your opinion?


    • Lori says:

      I agree – an infographic would be good. You’re right…if you look at the percentages, it seems like a low risk. On the other hand, I just saw a statistic that 1751 guns, knives, and other weapons have been confiscated in NYC schools this school year. Again…probably a small percentage compared to the number of students, but unacceptable in my opinion. We need to find the right balance of security and life safety, and there is more that can be done. The security measures put in place so far have helped to reduce crime in schools, but this focus needs to continue. And we have to make sure that what is done in the name of security doesn’t create other problems.

      – Lori

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