Carrying a Gun at School, by Level of Connectedness to School
(change)

Download & Other Tools
Location: (hide)

Loading...

Year(s): (edit)

Loading...

Data Type: (edit)

Loading...

Loading... (edit)

Loading...

Select All Counties
Alameda County
School Districts
Select All Districts
Alpine County
School Districts
Select All Districts
Amador County
School Districts
Select All Districts
Butte County
School Districts
Select All Districts
Calaveras County
School Districts
Select All Districts
Colusa County
School Districts
Select All Districts
Contra Costa County
School Districts
Select All Districts
Del Norte County
School Districts
Select All Districts
El Dorado County
School Districts
Select All Districts
Fresno County
School Districts
Select All Districts
Glenn County
School Districts
Select All Districts
Humboldt County
School Districts
Select All Districts
Imperial County
School Districts
Select All Districts
Inyo County
School Districts
Select All Districts
Kern County
School Districts
Select All Districts
Kings County
School Districts
Select All Districts
Lake County
School Districts
Select All Districts
Lassen County
School Districts
Select All Districts
Los Angeles County
School Districts
Select All Districts
Madera County
School Districts
Select All Districts
Marin County
School Districts
Select All Districts
Mariposa County
School Districts
Select All Districts
Mendocino County
School Districts
Select All Districts
Merced County
School Districts
Select All Districts
Modoc County
School Districts
Select All Districts
Mono County
School Districts
Select All Districts
Monterey County
School Districts
Select All Districts
Napa County
School Districts
Select All Districts
Nevada County
School Districts
Select All Districts
Orange County
School Districts
Select All Districts
Placer County
School Districts
Select All Districts
Plumas County
School Districts
Select All Districts
Riverside County
School Districts
Select All Districts
Sacramento County
School Districts
Select All Districts
San Benito County
School Districts
Select All Districts
San Bernardino County
School Districts
Select All Districts
San Diego County
School Districts
Select All Districts
San Francisco County
School Districts
Select All Districts
San Joaquin County
School Districts
Select All Districts
San Luis Obispo County
School Districts
Select All Districts
San Mateo County
School Districts
Select All Districts
Santa Barbara County
School Districts
Select All Districts
Santa Clara County
School Districts
Select All Districts
Santa Cruz County
School Districts
Select All Districts
Shasta County
School Districts
Select All Districts
Sierra County
School Districts
Select All Districts
Siskiyou County
School Districts
Select All Districts
Solano County
School Districts
Select All Districts
Sonoma County
School Districts
Select All Districts
Stanislaus County
School Districts
Select All Districts
Sutter County
School Districts
Select All Districts
Tehama County
School Districts
Select All Districts
Trinity County
School Districts
Select All Districts
Tulare County
School Districts
Select All Districts
Tuolumne County
School Districts
Select All Districts
Ventura County
School Districts
Select All Districts
Yolo County
School Districts
Select All Districts
Yuba County
School Districts
Select All Districts
Loading…

Learn More About School Safety

Measures of School Safety on Kidsdata.org
On kidsdata.org, most measures of school safety come from the California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS) through a partnership with the California Department of Education and WestEd, which developed and administers the CHKS. Indicators include student reports of school safety, fear of being beaten up at school, physical fighting at school, carrying at gun at school, and carrying a knife or other weapon at school.

These data are available by grade level (7th, 9th, 11th, and non-traditional students), gender, race/ethnicity, and level of connectedness to school. School connectedness is a summary measure based on student reports of being treated fairly, feeling close to people, feeling happy, feeling part of school, and feeling safe at school. Non-traditional students are those enrolled in Community Day Schools or Continuation Education. According to EdSource, more than 10% of public school students in California are enrolled in these programs. 

School Safety
Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs
Bullying and Harassment at School
Child Abuse and Neglect
Community Connectedness
Dating and Domestic Violence
Disconnected Youth
High School Graduation
Math Proficiency
Gang Involvement
Pupil Support Service Personnel
Juvenile Arrests
Reading Proficiency
School Connectedness
Truancy, Suspensions & Expulsions
Why This Topic Is Important

The safety and supportiveness of a child’s school environment can play a crucial role in his or her development and academic success. Safe school settings foster the intellectual and social interactions that academic achievement requires (1). Violence and fear of violence hinder students’ development, concentration, and ability to learn (1). Bullying and harassment also interfere with students’ education and healthy development. In addition to the risk of physical injury, victims of bullying have higher rates of depression, suicidal ideation, and suicide attempts than youth who are not bullied (2).

For more information on school safety, see kidsdata.org’s Research & Links section. Also see kidsdata.org’s topics on Bullying and Harassment at School and School Connectedness.

Sources for this narrative:

  1. WestEd. (2010). California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS): California School District Secondary School Survey Results Fall 2009/Spring 2010, Core Module A. Retrieved from “Core Narrative” at http://chks.wested.org/reports
  2. Klomek, A. B., et al. (2007). Bullying, depression, and suicidality in adolescents. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 46(1), 40-49.
How Children Are Faring
More than half of California students in 7th, 9th, and 11th grades reported feeling safe or very safe at school in 2008-10; 9% of 7th graders, 8% of 9th graders, and 7% of 11th graders reported they felt unsafe or very unsafe. Higher percentages of white students reported feeling safe or very safe (69% in 2008-10) at school than students of other racial/ethnic backgrounds. These figures generally have been stable since the 2004-06 period.

In 2008-10, more than 1 in 4 California 7th graders reported that they had been afraid of being beaten up at school at least once in the past year. While the vast majority (about 90%) of students in 7th, 9th, and 11th grades said they had not carried a knife or other weapon to school in the past year, 9-11% said they had done so at least once, and 4-6% said that they had carried a gun to school in the past year.

Measures of school safety vary by students' levels of "school connectedness" (which refers to students being treated fairly, feeling close to people, feeling happy, feeling part of school, and feeling safe at school). For example, in 2008-10, youth with higher levels of school connectedness reported being in fewer physical fights at school than those with lower levels.

Although 7th, 9th, and 11th grade public school students and non-traditional students (those enrolled in Community Day Schools or continuation programs) did not report markedly different perceptions of school safety or fear of being beaten up at school, non-traditional students reported more physical fighting at school and that they had carried weapons to school more often than other students.
Policy Implications
A key aspect of school safety is effectively addressing bullying at school. Bullying and harassment have taken on new forms in recent years with the advent of digital technologies (1), and the issue has come under closer scrutiny by schools and policymakers (2). The majority of curriculum-based, anti-bullying programs have not been proven effective, but some whole-school, systemic interventions (focusing on bullies, victims, and bystanders) have been shown to have positive effects (3). Many schools have adopted “zero tolerance” discipline policies to address a wide range of misbehavior, including forms of bullying. At schools that employ these policies, students actually may feel less safe than students at schools with more moderate discipline policies, and these “zero tolerance” approaches may deter reporting of misbehavior (4, 5). Although any student could be a victim, students who are gay, lesbian, or bisexual, or who are perceived to be so, are at particularly high risk of being bullied or harassed (6).

According to research and subject experts, policy options that could improve school safety and prevent bullying and harassment include:
  • Supporting well-implemented, age-specific, whole-school approaches to bullying prevention that involve multiple systems and methods, the entire school community, and long-term involvement by staff (3, 5)
  • Instituting discipline policies that respond effectively to aggressors, victims, and bystanders, while avoiding unintended consequences of “zero tolerance” policies (4, 5)
  • Crafting anti-bullying policies that increase the likelihood that victims will report bullying, rather than those that may inadvertently create a school culture that deters it (5, 7)
  • Implementing a multi-pronged strategy of staff training, student support, information sharing, and public statements of policy to reduce harassment of gay, lesbian, and bisexual students (6)
For more policy ideas and information, see the federal government’s StopBullying.gov, the California Department of Education, and the writings and presentations of Dan Olweus and Barbara Coloroso. Also see Policy Implications on kidsdata.org under School Connectedness, Pupil Support Services Personnel, and Truancy, Suspensions & Expulsions.

Sources for this narrative:
  1. Hertz, M. F., & David-Ferdon, C. (2008). Electronic media and youth violence: A CDC issue brief for educators and caregivers. US Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved from: http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/EA-brief-a.pdf
  2. New York Times. (n.d.). Times topics: Bullies. Retrieved from: http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/b/bullies/index.html
  3. Vreeman, R. C., & Carroll, A. E. (2007). A systematic review of school-based interventions to prevent bullying. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 161(1), 78-88. Retrieved from: http://archpedi.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/161/1/78
  4. McNeeley, C. A., Nonnemaker, J. M., & Blum, R. W. (2002). Promoting school connectedness: Evidence from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Journal of School Health, 72(4), 138-146. Retrieved from: http://www2.gsu.edu/~wwwche/Promoting%20School%20Connectedness%20Evidence%20from%20the%20Natl%20Longitudinal%20Study%20of%20Adolescent%20Health.pdf
  5. Sampson, R. (2009). Bullying in schools. U.S. Department of Justice, Community Oriented Policing Services. Retrieved from: http://www.cops.usdoj.gov/files/RIC/Publications/e07063414-guide.pdf
  6. O’Shaughnessy, M., et al. (2004). Safe place to learn: Consequences of harassment based on actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender non-conformity and steps for making schools safer. California Safe Schools Coalition and 4-H Center for Youth Development. Retrieved from: http://www.casafeschools.org/SafePlacetoLearnLow.pdf
  7. Petrosino, A., et al. (2010). Issues & answers No. 092: What characteristics of bullying, bullying victims, and schools are associated with increased reporting of bullying to school officials? Regional Educational Laboratory for WestEd. Retrieved from: http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs/regions/northeast/pdf/REL_2010092.pdf
Websites with Related Information
Key Reports
County/Regional Reports