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National Crime Victimization Survey-School Crime Supplement


Co-designed by the Bureau of Justice Statistics and the National Center for Education Statistics, the SCS was created as a supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) to collect additional national level information about the school and student characteristics that may be related to school crime. It was designed to assist policy makers, as well as academic researchers and practitioners at federal, state and local levels, to make informed decisions concerning crime in schools.

The SCS contains questions not included in the core NCVS. The SCS asks students a variety of questions about their experiences with and perceptions of crime and behavior occurring inside the school building, on school property, on the school bus, or on the way to or from school.

Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics and Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics
Data Years Available: 
1995, biennial since 1999
Mode of Collection: 
Mixed Mode: Sample survey: In person interview for the first data collection point with an NCVS sampled household; Telephone interview (cell and land line) for the second through seventh interviews with NCVS sampled households.
Selected Content: 
Students’ experiences with and perceptions of crime and violence that occurred inside their school, on school grounds, on the school bus, or on the way to or from school; security measures used by the students’ schools; students’ participation in after-school activities; students’ perceptions of school rules, the presence of weapons and gangs in school, the availability of drugs and alcohol in school, and the presence of hate-related words and graffiti in school; students’ reports of bullying and of rejection at school; and attitudinal questions about fears of victimization and avoidance behaviors at school.
Population Covered: 
Youth ages 12-18 enrolled in grades 6-12 and who are not home schooled.

The methodology of the SCS is based on the methodology of NCVS. Eligible respondents were asked the supplemental questions in the SCS only after completing their entire NCVS. Eligible respondents for the 2011 SCS were household members who were ages 12-18, enrolled in grades 6-12, attended school sometime during the school year of the interview, and were not home schooled. SCS reports include data from the NCVS, which includes demographic information and some questions relevant to violent incidents occurring at school.

Response Rates and Sample Size: 

In 2011, the sample size of SCS was about 6,500. The 2011 NCVS household completion rate was 90%, the 2011 NCVS person level response rate was 88%, and the SCS student completion rate was 63%.

Interpretation Issues: 

The SCS survey has undergone minor changes across time:
a) In 2007, the questionnaire was changed so that otherwise eligible household members who had attended school sometime during the school year were included. Previously, household members needed to have attended school at any time during the 6 months preceding the interview.
b) In 2001, the definition of “at school” was formalized to include going to or coming from school in addition to meaning in the school building, on school property/grounds, and on a school bus.


Robers S., Kemp J., Rathbun A., and Morgan R.E. (2014). Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2013 (NCES 2014-042/NCJ 243299). National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, and Bureau of Justice Statistics, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Washington, DC.