School Safety Mapping


Numerous studies have demonstrated the negative and significant effects violence exposure (including both experienced and witnessed incidents) has on the psychological well-being and behavior of children and adolescents. Exposure to violence has also been associated with depression and anxiety, symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and increases in aggression. And, although few studies exist examining the impact of violence on academic achievement, there is data that suggests a link between violence exposure, more days absent, decreased IQ and reading ability, and lower grades. This evidence makes clear the critical need to address safety concerns within a school community.


What is the Student Safety Mapping Survey?

With the aims of understanding student perceptions of safety in their school and communities, and of using student data to inform action, a web-based Geographic Information System mapping survey has been developed. The survey consists of questions regarding students’ travel to and from school as well as their experiences while on campus. Using interactive maps students can precisely indicate problem areas and incidents of violence. The visual representation provided by the maps effectively convey students concerns and provide an additional means by which decision makers can assess the safety of a given community, and action steps born out of information provided by the students can help improve safety conditions.


Why is Student Safety Mapping important?

Effective practices for easing violence should include both a system for assessing conditions that contribute to violence and unrest and the implementation of data-driven strategies. Although data is often collected regarding suspensions, expulsions and school and community police action, these measures alone are inadequate in that they include only reported incidents. Violent and threatening incidents such as bullying, intimidation and nonfatal injuries that have tremendous impact on campus and community life too often go unreported. Therefore, an accurate assessment of a school community’s safety conditions must also include student perceptions and experiences.


What does a school need to administer the Student Safety Mapping Survey?

The Student Safety Mapping Survey is administered entirely on-line. You should make arrangements to survey a representative sample of 150 students at least. This can be accomplished by choosing 6 classes of 30 students or more, representing a mix of grades and subjects comprised of typical students. If possible it is best to avoid the use of atypical courses such as ROTC, AVID and elective courses. A PC lab with computers running Windows 2000 or later and Internet Explorer 5.5 or later installed will also be needed.


Who do I contact if I am interested in the Student Safety Mapping Survey?

If you are an administrator of a Senior High school and would be interested in administering the Student Safety Mapping Survey to your students or if you would like more information about the Survey contact Sonya Oakley at 213-241-4152 or


Local District Superintendent Letter
 School Safety Mapping
2005-2006 Community Safety Mapping Findings
Sample Campus Safety Mapping Finding
Student Mapping Survey Screen Shots
2008-2009 Community Safety Mapping Findings
2007-2008 Community Safety Mapping Findings