Safety >> Carrying weapons at school

Carrying weapons at school

Across regions grades and most demographic groups, male students were more likely to report carrying a weapon at school than female students.

In a survey of Washington public school students, 8th, 10th, and 12th graders were asked about whether they had carried a weapon such as a gun, knife, or club on school property in the past week. For 2014 and 2016 combined, 5% of students in King County reported carrying a weapon at school.

  • Gender: Male students (6%) were more likely than female students (3%) to carry a weapon at school. This pattern was consistent across grade level, sexual orientation, region, and most racial/ethnic groups.
  • Grade level: Students in higher grades were more likely to carry a weapon at school, increasing from 4% of 8th graders to 6% of 12th graders.
  • Sexual orientation: Students who identified as lesbian, gay or bisexual (10%) or who were not sure of their sexual orientation (7%) were more likely than students in King County overall to carry a weapon at school.
  • Race and ethnicity: American Indian/Alaska Native students (9%) and students who identified as Other Race (7%) were more likely to carry a weapon at school than students in King County overall. Students of Asian descent (3%) and White students (4%) were less likely to carry a weapon than the county average.
  • Place: At 6%, students in South King County were most likely to carry a weapon at school, while only 3% of students in East King County reported carrying a weapon.
  •  Trends: Overall, there has been a welcome but small decline in the percent of students who reported carrying a weapon to school, from 7% in 2006 to 5% in 2016. While some groups slightly increased before decreasing, or remained consistent for parts of this time, students all regions and race and ethnicity groups were less likely to report carrying a weapon in 2016 than in 2006.

 Source: Healthy Youth Survey 

Carrying Weapons at School: Notes & Sources