About School Violence

group of teenagers at school

School violence is a subset of youth violence. Acts of violence can disrupt the learning process and have a negative effect on students, the school itself, and the broader community.

Examples of violent behavior include:
  • Bullying
  • Fighting (e.g., punching, slapping, kicking)
  • Weapon use
  • Cyberbullying
  • Gang violence
Where school violence occurs:
  • On school property
  • On the way to or from school
  • During a school-sponsored event
  • On the way to or from a school-sponsored event

Data & Statistics

The first step in preventing school violence is to understand the extent and nature of the problem. CDC, the U.S. Department of Education, and the U.S. Department of Justice gather and analyze data from a variety of sources to gain a more complete understanding of school violence.

According to CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS):

  • 8.5% of high school students had been in a physical fight on school property one or more times during the 12 months before the survey.
  • Nationwide, about 7% of students had not gone to school at least 1 day during the 30 days before the survey because they felt they would be unsafe at school or on their way to or from school.

See Youth Violence Resources for articles, publications, data sources, and prevention resources for school violence.

Page last reviewed: April 8, 2019