Carrying weapons at school
2014-2016 school years
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.
Notes and Sources
Source: Healthy Youth Survey. 2014-2016.
Numerator: Students who reported carrying a weapon on school property in the last 30 days.
Denominator: All those who answered the question.
Every 2 years, Washington public school students in 6th, 8th, 10th, and 12th grades students answer questions about safety and violence, physical activity and diet, alcohol, tobacco and other drug use, and related risk and protective factors. To learn more about the survey, please go to: https://www.doh.wa.gov/DataandStatisticalReports/DataSystems/HealthyYouthSurvey.