May 17, 2022

Just Released: Preliminary 2017-2018 Data on Crime, Violence, Discipline, and Safety in U.S. Public Schools

From the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES):

Preliminary statistics show an estimated 962,300 violent incidents and 476,100 nonviolent incidents in U.S. public schools during the 2017–18 school year. Seventy-one percent of schools reported having at least one violent incident, and 65 percent reported having at least one nonviolent incident.

The National Center for Education Statistics First Look report, Crime, Violence, Discipline, and Safety in U.S. Public Schools: Findings From the School Survey on Crime and Safety: 2017–18,  examines a range of issues dealing with school crime and safety, including the frequency of school crime and violence, disciplinary actions, the presence and activities of school security staff, and school practices related to maintaining a safe school environment.

Additional key findings include:

  • Schools most commonly report having written plans for natural disasters (94 percent), active shooters (92 percent), and bomb threats or incidents (91 percent).
  • About 46 percent of traditional public schools had a School Resource Officer present at school at least once a week, compared with only 19 percent of charter schools. Conversely, a higher percentage of charter schools had a security guard or other security personnel present at least once a week (35 vs. 21 percent).
  • During the 2017–18 school year, there were an estimated 3,600 incidents nationwide involving the possession of a firearm or explosive device at school.
  • Lower percentages of schools located in towns (38 percent) and rural areas (34 percent) reported having a threat assessment team during the 2017–18 school year than did schools located in cities (50 percent) and suburbs (49 percent).
  • Public schools reported that 54,400 serious violent incidents occurred at school in 2017–18. The percentage of schools reporting a serious violent incident was higher in 2017–18 (21.3 percent) than in 2015–16 (15.5 percent).

Direct to Full Text Report
93 pages; PDF.

Direct to Supplemental Data Table

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.