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Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2005

Indicator 19:
Serious Disciplinary Actions Taken by Public Schools

Table 19.1. Percentage and number of public schools that took a serious disciplinary action, number of actions taken, and percentage distribution of actions according to type, by type of offense: 1998–2000
Type of offense Schools using a serious disciplinary action Number of serious disciplinary actions Percentage distribution of serious disciplinary actions
Suspensions lasting 5 days or more Removals with no services (i.e., expulsions) Transfers to specialized schools1 Number of schools Percent of schools
  Total 44,300 54.0 1,162,600 82.5 10.9 6.5
Physical attacks or fights2 29,000 35.4 332,500 85.1 9.0 5.9
Insubordination3 15,000 18.3 253,500 81.6 15.0 3.4
Threat or intimidation4 17,700 21.6 130,800 88.7 7.6 3.7
Possession or use of alcohol or illegal drugs 16,800 20.5 95,500 74.4 9.3 16.3
Distribution of illegal drugs 8,500 10.3 26,300 61.3 16.8 21.9
Possession of a weapon other than a firearm 15,900 19.3 41,700 66.8 12.5 20.7
Use of a weapon other than a firearm 3,800 4.6 8,000 52.9 23.7 23.4
Possession of a firearm/explosive device 3,400 4.1 6,600 61.7 18.9 19.4
Use of a firearm/explosive device5 1,300 1.6 5,800 78.5 11.0 10.5
Other nonacademic infractions 11,100 13.5 262,000 86.2 10.3 3.5
1 A specialized school was defined for respondents as "a school that is specifically for students who were referred for disciplinary reasons. The school may also have students who were referred for other reasons. The school may be at the same location as respondent's school."
2 Physical attacks or fights were defined for respondents as "an actual and intentional touching or striking of another person against his or her will, or the intentional causing of bodily harm to an individual."
3 Insubordination was defined for respondents as "a deliberate and inexcusable defiance of or refusal to obey a school rule, authority, or a reasonable order." It includes but is not limited to "direct defiance of school authority, failure to attend assigned detention or on-campus supervision, failure to respond to a call slip, and physical or verbal intimidation/abuse."
4 Intimidation was defined for respondents as "to frighten, compel, or deter by actual or implied threats." It includes bullying and sexual harassment.
5 A firearm or explosive device was defined for respondents as "any weapon that is designed to (or may readily be converted to) expel a projectile by the action of an explosive. This includes guns, bombs, grenades, mines, rockets, missiles, pipe bombs, or similar devices designed to explode and capable of causing bodily harm or property damage."
NOTE: Either school principals or the person most knowledgeable about discipline issues at school completed the SSOCS questionnaire. Serious disciplinary action includes suspensions lasting 5 days or more, removals with no services (i.e., expulsions), and transfers to specialized schools. Population size is 82,000 public schools. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding. Number of schools and number of actions are rounded to the nearest 100.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, School Survey on Crime and Safety (SSOCS), 2000.

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