Some Numbers to Think About

This following sampling of safe school climate statistics paints an interesting picture of what violence in our schools really looks like.

What does this information tell you?

How can you apply it to your everyday life as a teacher?

  • 628,200 students ages 12-18 were victims of violent crime at school in 2005.  (CDC 2008)
  • 90% of teachers surveyed felt it was their job to intervene when they witnessed bullying. (NEA 2010)
  • 76% of Americans say they have trust and confidence in public school teachers. (PDK/Gallup 2010)
  • 55% of  students said schools needed to increase teachers’ trustworthiness to improve student-teacher relationships. (NYCSS 2004)

  • 39 % of middle schools reported student bullying occurred at school daily or at least once a week compared to 20% for primary and high schools. (U.S. DOE 2011)

  • 160,000 students go home early on any given day for fear of being bullied. (CDC 2008)
  • 29% of students in 6th-12th grade said they had the social competence to plan and make decisions. (Search 2002)

  • 90% of the 7,261 middle and high school lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender students surveyed reported experiencing harassment at school in the past year. (GLSEN 2009)
  • < 2% of  homicides and suicides among 5-18 year-olds occurred at school. (NCES 2009)
  • 0% difference between the number of public and private school students ages 12-18 who reported being bullied at school. (NCES 2011)


Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN)

National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES)

National Education Association  Nationwide Study of Bullying (NEA)

New York Center for School Safety (NYCSS)

Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Annual Poll (PDK) of the Public’s Attitudes Toward Public Schools (PDK/Gallup)

Search Institute

US Department of Education (USDOE)

Posted on August 24, 2011, in Books, Ideas to try, Perspectives and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Very sobering and thought-provoking statistics. But you have done so much more than just raise awareness of this societal problem! In your latest book,The Violence Continuum: Creating a Safe School Climate, you provide excellent guidance for every educator who cares about creating a safe, productive educational environment for their students.

  2. Wow, 90% of the LGBT students experienced harassment? Very sad.

    • And this is happening in a period in history when we have made strides in safeguarding the civil rights of people who were once openly discriminated against. It is a social phenomenon that as groups of people gain rights there is a corresponding backlash that holds on tightly to the past. In the meantime young people are being traumatized – on our watch. Not acceptable.

  3. Thank you for your comments. I do hope I can raise awareness and spark action. It is such a basic issue of human relationships. When we bring it to that level we know what to do. The statistics are hopeful in some ways and also point out where to concentrate our efforts. With less than 2% of child and young adult homicides and suicides happening at school, it makes more sense to concentrate our efforts on the more insidious attitudes and behaviors that damage children emotionally and make it harder for them to learn. And when less than one third of 6-12th graders have confidence in their ability to make thoughtful decisions, we know we need to provide them with more opportunities to practice and hone these skills. And maybe most encouraging of all is that the vast majority of teachers feel they should intervene when they witness bullying. As we form a deeper understanding of bullying and relational aggression, scapegoating and harassment we can address all aspects of emotional and physical violence. I am optimistic.

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