Student Victimization in U.S. Schools: Results from the 2009 School Crime Supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey

Student Victimization in U.S. Schools: Results from the 2009 School Crime Supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey

Student Victimization in U.S. Schools: Results from the 2009 School Crime Supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey

Student Victimization in U.S. Schools: Results from the 2009 School Crime Supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey

Excerpt

Student victimization in schools is a major concern of educators, policymakers, administrators, parents, and students. Understanding the scope of the criminal victimization of students, as well as the factors associated with it, is an essential step in developing solutions to address the issues of school crime and violence.

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) collects data on student criminal victimization through its sponsorship of the School Crime Supplement (SCS) to the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), administered by the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). The SCS survey is designed to assist policymakers, researchers, and practitioners in making informed decisions concerning crime in schools. The purpose of this report is to provide data on student criminal victimization and the characteristics of crime victims and nonvictims from the 2009 SCS data collection.

Data Source

This report uses data from the 2009 NCVS Basic Screen Questionnaire (NCVS-1), NCVS Crime Incident Report (NCVS-2), and SCS. The NCVS is the nation’s primary source of information on criminal victimization and the victims of crime. The NCVS-2 collects data on criminal victimizations that occur at school and in locations other than at school. The SCS collects additional national-level information about the school and student characteristics that may be related to school crime by asking students questions about their experiences with and perceptions of crime and violence occurring inside their school, on school grounds, on the school bus, and going to or from school. The SCS contains questions not included in the NCVS, such as student reports of traditional bullying at school and cyber-bullying anywhere; the presence of weapons, gangs, hate-related words, and graffiti in school, as well as the availability of drugs and alcohol in school; and students’ attitudes relating to fear of victimization and avoidance behavior at school.

Created as a supplement to the NCVS and codesigned by NCES and BJS, the SCS has been conducted in 1989, 1995, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, and 2011.

Each month, the U.S. Census Bureau selects households for the NCVS using a rotating panel design (see appendix A for additional information on sample design and data collection). Households within the United States are selected into the sample using a stratified, multistage cluster design, and all age-eligible individuals in the households become part of the panel. Once in the panel, respondents are administered the NCVS every 6 months over 3 years to determine whether they have been victimized during the 6 months preceding the interview. The SCS questionnaire is completed after the NCVS by persons in the sample household ages 12 through 18 who are currently enrolled in a primary or secondary education program leading to a high

The SCS data are available for download from the Student Surveys link at the NCES Crime and Safety Surveys portal, located at http://nces.ed.gov/programs/crime.

The NCVS collects data on criminal victimization during the 6 months preceding the interview whereas, since 2007, the SCS has asked students about school characteristics “during this school year.” This change in the SCS was made largely based on feedback obtained from students ages 12 through 18 who reviewed the items during cognitive laboratory evaluations conducted by the Census Bureau. These respondents revealed they were not being strict in their interpretation of the 6-month reference period and were responding based on their experiences during the entire school year.

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