Backpack, books... and guns
One in 20 public junior high and high school students in California reported carrying a gun to school in the past year, according to data available only on kidsdata.org.
Of the 7th-, 9th-, 11th-grade and non-traditional students surveyed between 2011-2013, 2% reported carrying a gun to school once in the past year, 1% reported carrying a gun two to three times, and 2% reported carrying a gun to school four or more times. The numbers were substantially higher for students at non-traditional schools: 14% reported carrying a gun to school in the past year, or one out of seven students.
The numbers match similar statistics available for the nation. Across the country, 5.4% of high school students reported carrying a weapon (gun, knife, or club) to school during the month preceding the survey, according to a 2012 survey by the Centers for Disease Control (PDF).
School safety is a major public health concern. When students are exposed to violence or feel unsafe at school, it can negatively affect their health and well-being as well as their academic performance.
According to the federal government, efforts to improve school safety should include creating positive school climates, strengthening mental health services, improving school discipline policies, preparing schools for emergencies, and supporting evidence-based family and community violence prevention programs. Strategies to improve school safety also should address bullying and harassment, as it is a pervasive problem affecting the safety of millions of U.S. students. Finally, parents and community leaders should take steps to prevent minors from accessing firearms at home.
And many more topics.
About School Violence, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
California Safe and Supportive Schools, WestEd
National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments, U.S. Department of Education, Office of Safe and Healthy Students
Working to Keep Schools and Communities Safe, U.S. Department of Education
Cyberbullying Fact Sheet: Identification, Prevention, and Response, 2014, Cyberbullying Research Center, Hinduja, S. & Patchin, J. W.
The 2013 National School Climate Survey: The Experiences of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Youth in Our Nation’s Schools, 2014, Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, Kosciw, J., et al.
Understanding School Violence: Fact Sheet (PDF), 2015, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2013, National Center for Education Statistics, Bureau for Justice Statistics, Robers, S., et al.
National Center for Education Statistics: Data Tools, U.S. Dept. of Education, Institute of Education Sciences
Missed our July 8 webinar? Watch it here: Vaccination and Vaccine-Preventable Childhood Diseases: Data and Trends.
Number of Times Students Reported Carrying a Gun to School in Past Year
Grade Levels: 7, 9, 11, and Non-Traditional