How Violent Are American Schools? An Analysis of the 2000 School Survey on Crime and Safety

Amanda Miller, American Institutes for Research
Michael Planty, American Institutes for Research

Schools are entrusted with the safety of students and staff, as well as providing an environment in which students can learn. Previous research suggests that most American schools experience some form of violence or crime during the school year (Heaviside et al., 1998). However, measuring the prevalence of violence does not indicate whether some schools are experiencing more incidents than others. The 2000 School Survey on Crime and Safety collects information from elementary and secondary school principals about incidents of violence and crime occurring at school during the 1999-2000 school year. This report will focus on the distribution of incidents of violence and crime across all schools. The characteristics of the schools that account for a disproportionate amount of crime and violence also will be explored. These characteristics include items related to the school demographics, student population, school practices, and school climate. The analysis will help to provide a picture of the types of schools that are struggling with problems ov violence and crime.

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Updated 05/20/2006