Submitted By peteraporo
6. Student and School Data
Data collected from and about students, including school-level data, are an important part of the assessment. These data are useful in the identification of the proportion of youth in the community who claim gang membership or who are at high risk for gang membership. School-level data and information from school staff are vital to rounding out the picture of gang activity in the community. This chapter provides guidance on collecting data on the following: Student characteristics and disciplinary actions School-aged youths’ perceptions of gangs and gang activity (student survey) School staff perspectives on gang activity on campus
Prevalence of Gangs in Schools In the mid-1990s, 28 percent of the national sample of students reported that gangs were present in their schools (Chandler, Chapman, Rand, and Taylor, 1998). This number dropped to 17 percent in 1999 and then increased to 24 percent in 2005, almost the level reported a decade earlier (Dinkes, Cataldi, Kena et al., 2006). Thus respondents to the national survey of students reported a decrease in gang activity in the late 1990s and an increase in the opening years of this century. Impact of Gangs in Schools Where they have a substantial community presence, youth gangs are linked with serious delinquency problems in elementary and secondary schools across the United States (Chandler, Chapman, Rand, and Taylor, 1998). This study of data gathered in the School Crime Supplement to the 1995 National Crime Victim Survey documented several examples. First, there is a strong correlation between gang presence in schools and between both guns and availability of drugs in school. Second, higher percentages of students report knowing a student who brought a gun to school when students report gang presence (25 percent) than when gangs are not present (8 percent). In addition, gang presence…...