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School Security Measure Adoption and Crime Statistics Comparing 2000 to 2010

Virtual Surveillance has installed surveillance and access control systems in numerous educational facilities, so we take a direct interest in school security statistics on a national level. As such, we have been analyzing the 2012 “Indicators of School Crime and Safety” study released in mid 2013 by the National Center for Education Statistics and the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

The study is a comprehensive publication focused on compiling, comparing, and analyzing reliable indicators of school crime and safety. June 2013 was its 15th year.

Lets take a look at some of the security measures and how they have changed over the last decade, which we have visualized in an easy-to-read school security measure infographic. We will also go over some of the core crime and victimization statistics, below the infographic.

School Security Measure Adoption Growth

In general, adoption of important security measures has increased significantly from the 1999/2000 school year to the 2009/2010 school year, as analyzed by the study.

School security measure infographic

School Security Measure Adoption

Now let’s recap the infographic with some growth numbers. Talk about school security camera system adoption!

Adoption of specific security measures

  • The number of schools using security cameras rose 221% (19% to 61%).
  • Use of access control on school grounds rose 35% (34% to 46%).
  • 152% more schools are now requiring faculty to wear badges or picture IDs (25% to 63%).
  • Phones are now 64% more likely to be provided in the classroom (45% to 74%)

Other security measures being used today

  • 43% of schools have a part time security staff member.
  • Full time security staff are only employed by 29% of schools.
  • To further protect students from getting themselves into trouble or being contacted while at school by malicious classmates or outsiders, 93% of schools limit social network access, and 91% of schools explicitly prohibit text messaging at school.

Crime and Victimization Statistics

We are happy to report that, in general, school crime and victimization has decreased due to the security measures adopted above. Lets take a look at some of the study’s numbers.

Gang activity

Public school gang activity went down 20% from the ’07/’08 to ’09/’10 school year (20% to 16%)

“The percentages of public schools that reported gang activity at all at their schools during the school year decreased from 20 percent in 2007–08 to 16 percent in 2009–10.” – NCES / BJS Study

Teacher disrespect

Student’s disrespect for teachers was lower in the ’09/’10 year than ’07/’08.
“Nine percent of schools reported that student acts of disrespect for teachers other than verbal abuse occurred at least once a week in 2009–10, lower than the 11 percent in 2007–08” – NCES / BJS Study

Illegal drugs

Between ’95 and ’11, the selling, gifting, or offering of illegal drugs went down 18.75% (32% to 26%).
“The percentage of students in grades 9–12 who reported that illegal drugs were offered, sold, or given to them decreased from 32 percent in 1995 to 26 percent in 2011.” – NCES / BJS Study

Hate speech & graffiti

Verbal hate decreased 25% (12% to 9%) from ’01 to ’11, and hate-related graffiti went down 22% from ’99 to ’11 (36% to 28%).
“The percentage of students who reported being the target of hate-related words decreased from 12 percent in 2001 to 9 percent in 2011, and the percentage of students who reported seeing hate-related graffiti at school during the school year decreased from 36 percent in 1999 to 28 percent in 2011” – NCES / BJS Study

Fear of attack and harm

Perhaps one of the largest indicators of school safety, students are 66.67% less afraid of being harmed or attached from ’95 to ’11 (12% to 4%).
“Between 1995 and 2011, the percentage of students who reported being afraid of attack or harm at school decreased from 12 to 4 percent.” – NCES / BJS Study


Male and female victimization at school has decreased by more than 50% from ’95 to ’11 (male: 60%, female: 66.67%). When you look at private versus public schools, you also see more than a 50% decrease in victimization (public: 60%, private: 71.4%).
“… the percentage of male students who reported being victimized at school decreased by more than half, from 10 percent in 1995 to 4 percent in 2011. Among female students, the percentage who reported being victimized at school also decreased by more than half, from 9 percent in 1995 to 3 percent in 2011. For students attending both public and private schools, the percentages of students who reported victimization decreased. Ten percent of public school students reported being victimized at school in 1995, compared with 4 percent of public school students in 2011. Similarly, about 7 percent of private school students reported being victimized in 1995, compared with 2 percent in 2011.” – NCES / BJS Study

The Right Direction

While all of these numbers leave room for improvement, things are going in the right direction. Statistically, our schools are safer today than they were in the late 20th century, and we are proud to be part of the industry that has bolstered these numbers and helped provide the single largest increased adoption measure – security cameras and surveillance systems.

Interested in more data? Download the Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2012 NCES / BJS Study PDF. Also, if you are interested in more security industry news, take a look at Security Info Watch, where we first found the study.

Brian Merritt

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