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Nearly four out of 10 sophomores at Sedona Red Rock High School do not feel safe at school, according to a survey of Arizona high school students.

Just 62.5 percent of SRRHS 10th-graders said they feel safe when they go to school, compared to 77.4 percent of sophomores throughout Arizona. On the other hand, among SRRHS seniors, 85.2 percent feel safe at school, compared to 77.3 percent of seniors in the state.


The 2016 Arizona Youth Survey was conducted by the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission in collaboration with Arizona State University’s Morrison Institute for Public Policy and NORC at the University of Chicago.

The biannual survey assesses health-risk behavior and measures the prevalence of substance use and other behaviors such as bullying, violence and gambling among Arizona’s eighth-, 10th- and 12th-graders. More than 57,000 students from all 15 counties in the state took part in the study.

Sedona Red Rock eighth-graders did not participate because the school did not house them when the survey was conducted in spring 2016.

The Arizona Criminal Justice Commission published the study in December and offers state- and county-level reports on its website. The ACJC does not provide school-specific reports; it is up to individual schools to release their reports. Larson Newspapers requested reports from each of the three area high schools — Sedona Red Rock, Mingus Union and Camp Verde — but the latter two have yet to provide their reports.

The report provided by SRRHS Principal Darrin Karuzas is 195 pages, most of which is the overall survey.

“The Arizona Youth Survey is an invaluable tool for those of us who work in the field of prevention,” said Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk, who is also vice chairwoman of the ACJC. “It helps us identify factors that put our youth at their most vulnerable and assists in designing programs to help every child succeed. I am delighted to see the steady progress we have made across the state in declining youth use rates of alcohol. It concerns me that we haven’t seen a similar decline in kids using marijuana.”

Among “problem behaviors,” 39.3 percent of 10th-grade students at SRRHS used alcohol in the 30 days prior to completing the survey. Statewide for those students, it was 23.4 percent, a “meaningful difference” statistically, according to the survey.

Among SRRHS 12-graders, an identical 39.3 percent reported alcohol use in the previous 30 days, according to the survey.

Sixty percent of SRRHS sophomores said they had used alcohol in their lifetime. Among seniors, it was 69.6 percent.

Lifetime use of e-cigarettes for 10th-graders was at 41.9 percent and cigarettes was 27.4 percent.

Among seniors, it was 28.3 percent and 33.3 percent, respectively.

The survey did not list 30-day use for either.

As for marijuana use, 18.8 percent of SRRHS 10th-graders said they had used it in the last 30 days. Lifetime use was 31.7 percent.

Among seniors, 23.2 percent said they’d used marijuana in the last 30 days, while 47.5 percent admitted using it in their lifetime.

Except where noted, none of the above percentages for SRRHS had a meaningful difference, statistically speaking, from the corresponding statewide rates, according to the survey.

Among sophomores who admitted substance use in the prior 30 days, the top three reasons they did it were to have fun, deal with stress and it was new and exciting.

The survey did not list the reasons given by seniors.

Among sophomores and seniors who said they did not use any substances the prior 30 days, the top three reasons were that they had no interest, their parents would be disappointed and it is harmful.

Other than substance use, additional risky behaviors include:

  • Bullying — 39.1 percent of sophomores say they have been bullied, while 25 percent say they have bullied someone. Seniors answered 18 percent for both.
  • Gang involvement — 26.6 percent of sophomores think it would be cool to belong to a gang, but only 7.8 percent actually have. Thirteen percent of seniors think it would be cool.
  • Adverse childhood experiences — 31.6 percent of sophomores say they have lived with an alcoholic and 65.2 percent say they lived with someone who insulted or put them down. For seniors, it was 28.6 percent and 51.2 percent, respectively.
SRRHS Seniors See Bright Future
A remarkable percentage of Sedona Red Rock High School seniors say they are confident  about setting and achieving goals, and are optimistic about their future, according to the 2016 Arizona Youth Survey.
SRRHS seniors significantly exceeded their statewide cohorts in six of eight questions in the section titled “future orientation.” They easily exceeded in the other two questions, but not to a statistically meaningful degree.
Ninety-five percent of SRRHS seniors said the statement “I have goals in my life” is “somewhat,” “a lot” or “exactly like me.” Statewide, 85.6 percent said so.
In regard to the statement, “If I set goals, I take action to reach them,” 95 percent of SRRHS seniors agreed, while the percentage across the state was 82.2 percent.
Meanwhile, 91.9 percent said they are “excited about my future.” Statewide, it was 80.9 percent.
The 2016 Arizona Youth Survey was conducted by the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission in collaboration with Arizona State University’s Morrison Institute for Public Policy and NORC at the University of Chicago.
The survey is primarily intended to assess health-risk behavior and measure the prevalence of substance use and other behaviors such as bullying, violence and gambling among Arizona’s eighth-, 10th- and 12th-graders. More than 57,000 students from all 15 counties in the state took part in the study.
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