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Safety in Numbers: Collecting and Using Crime, Violence, and Discipline Incident Data to Make a Difference in Schools
Home/Introduction
Chapter 1
  Using Data to Make a Difference
Chapter 2
    Meeting the Challenges of Data Collection
Chapter 3
    Reporting Incident Data
Chapter 4
    Collecting Data
Conclusions
Endnotes
References
Appendices
PDF File (491 KB)

Contact:
Ghedam Bairu

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Chapter 4: Collecting Data


4.1  Incident Data and Codes 4.2  Perpetrator Information
  Incident Identifier   Perpetrator
  School Number   Perpetrator ID
  Incident Date   Perpetrator Injury
  Time 4.3 Victim Information
  Location (Where)   Victim
  Facilities Code   Victim ID
  Cost   Victim Injury
  Reporter 4.4 Discipline Information
  Reporter ID   Disciplinary Action
  Weapon Type   Start Date of Disciplinary Action
  Injury   End Date of Disciplinary Action
  Reported to Law Enforcement   Duration of Disciplinary Action
  Related Elements   Related to Special Education Manifestation Hearing
      Alcohol-Related   Related to Zero Tolerance Policy
      Drug-Related   Full Year Expulsion
      Gang-Related   Shortened Expulsion
      Hate-Related    
      Weapon-Related    
  Incident Codes    

Facilities Code. This variable is intended for school-specific codes that capture precise information on the location where the incident occurred. For example, a school might record class number, hall number, or school bus number. This information will be most useful if schools plot incident locations, but the data may not be necessary for all schools. The codes for this variable are to be user-defined.9

Cost. If the incident resulted in a quantifiable monetary loss for any entity involved, identify and record the value of that loss. Cost may be reported by specific dollar amount or range. For example, if vandalism of a school facility results in having repairs made, the value of those repairs should be reported. In addition, the value of personnel resources used for repairs (e.g., time spent painting over graffiti) or consumed by the incident (e.g., time involved in evacuating during a false fire alarm) should be recorded here. Also record the value of stolen items here.10

Reporter. This variable is used to identify the individual who reported the incident. The codes given below permit very specific coding of the individual reporting the incident. Again, individual schools and districts may find that capturing such detailed information is not useful. If that is the case, use code 100 to record that a student reported the incident, rather than codes 110 or 120 to describe exactly what type of student reported the incident. Thus, to be comparable, two locales need not both use the specific codes since all "100s" represent students.

100 Student The incident was reported by an individual who was enrolled in an instructional program in a school at the time the incident occurred.
     110  Regular Student enrolled in the school where the incident occurred The incident was reported by a regularly enrolled student in the school where the incident was reported at the time the incident occurred.
  120 Student enrolled in another school The incident was reported by a student who, at the time the incident occurred, was enrolled in a school other than the one where the incident was reported.
  130 Suspended or expelled student The incident was reported by a student who was suspended or expelled from regular classes in the school at the time the incident occurred.
  197 Other student The type of reporter cannot be captured by one of the above codes, but the incident was reported by a student.
200 Professional Staff The incident was reported by a member of the professional staff at the school at the time the incident occurred.
  210 Teacher The incident was reported by a teacher in the school at the time the incident occurred.
  220 Substitute The incident was reported by a substitute teacher in the school at the time the incident occurred.
  230 Media specialist/
Librarian
The incident was reported by a media specialist or librarian in the school at the time the incident occurred.
  240 Counselor The incident was reported by a school counselor (e.g., guidance counselor) in the school at the time the incident occurred.
  250 Social worker/School psychologist The incident was reported by a social worker or school psychologist in the school at the time the incident occurred.
  260 Medical staff The incident was reported by a member of the medical staff in the school at the time the incident occurred.
  297 Other professional staff The type of reporter cannot be captured by one of the above codes, but the incident was reported by a professional staff member.
300 Administrator The incident was reported by an administrator in the school (or school district) at the time the incident occurred.
  310 Principal/Head of school The incident was reported by the principal or head of the school at the time the incident occurred.
  320 Assistant principal/ Vice principal The incident was reported by an assistant principal or vice-principal in the school at the time the incident occurred.
  330 Dean The incident was reported by a dean in the school at the time the incident occurred.
  340 District level administrator The incident was reported by a district level administrator in the school district at the time the incident occurred.
  350 School board member The incident was reported by a school board member in the school district at the time the incident occurred.
  397 Other administrator The type of reporter cannot be captured by one of the above codes, but the incident was reported by an administrator.
400 Other School Staff The incident was reported by another school staff member (e.g., school support personnel, maintenance personnel) in the school at the time the incident occurred.
  410 Bus driver/ Transportation staff The incident was reported by a bus driver or member of the transportation staff in the school at the time the incident occurred.
  420 Clerical staff The incident was reported by a member of the clerical staff in the school at the time the incident occurred.
  430 Custodial staff The incident was reported by a member of the custodial staff in the school at the time the incident occurred.
  440 Food service staff The incident was reported by a member of the food service staff in the school at the time the incident occurred.
  450 Paraprofessional, aide, assistant The incident was reported by a paraprofessional, aide, or assistant in the school at the time the incident occurred.
  460 Security personnel The incident was reported by a security officer (for law enforcement officers see code 500) in the school at the time the incident occurred.
  497 Other staff The type of reporter cannot be captured by one of the above codes, but the incident was reported by a school staff member.
500 Law Enforcement Officer The incident was reported by a law enforcement officer at the time the incident occurred.
     510 Municipal law enforcement officer assigned to the school The incident was reported by a municipal law enforcement officer (e.g., town, city, county police officer, school resource officer, or sheriff) assigned to the school.
  520 Municipal law enforcement officer not assigned to the school The incident was reported by a municipal law enforcement officer (e.g., town, city, county police officer, school resource officer, or sheriff) not assigned to the school.
  530 School district police officer assigned to the school The incident was reported by a school district police officer (i.e., directly employed by the school district) assigned to the school for some or all of the school day at the time the incident occurred.
  540 School district police officer not assigned to the school The incident was reported by a school district police officer (i.e., directly employed by the school district) not assigned to the school for some or all of the school day at the time the incident occurred.
  597  Other law enforcement officer The type of reporter cannot be captured by one of the above codes, but the incident was reported by a law enforcement officer.
600 Nonschool Personnel The incident was reported by an individual who did not attend or work for the school (e.g., parent, community member).
  610 Parent/guardian The incident was reported by a parent or guardian of a student.
  620 Representative of visiting school The incident was reported by a representative of a visiting school (e.g., teacher, coach).
  630 Other adult The incident was reported by another adult in the community.
  640 Nonstudent youth The incident was reported by a nonstudent youth (e.g., dropout).
  697 Other nonschool personnel The type of reporter cannot be captured by one of the above codes, but the incident was reported by nonschool personnel.
999 Unknown Use this code for incidents that were anonymously reported.

Reporter ID. This variable allows users to record pre-existing school or district staff and student identifiers, when the individual who reported the incident is a student or staff member. This allows descriptive information about the individual to be linked to the incident via the student or staff database.11

Weapon Type. This variable is used to identify the type of weapon used during an incident. The Federal Gun-Free Schools Act requires states to report the number of students expelled for bringing firearms to school12 by type of firearm. The following codes permit detailed coding of the type of weapon used in the incident.

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10 Firearm Select from specific codes below. A firearm is any weapon which will, is designed to, or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; the frame or receiver of any such weapon; any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; or any machine gun.
     11 Handgun The weapon involved was a handgun or pistol.
  12 Shotgun/rifle The weapon involved was a shotgun or rifle.
  13 Other type of firearm (e.g., bombs, grenades, or starter pistols) The weapon involved was another type of firearm not named above, including zip guns, starter guns, and flare guns. As defined by the Gun-Free Schools Act, other firearms include:
  • Any weapon (including a starter gun) which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of any explosive;
  • The frame or receiver of any weapon described above;
  • Any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; and
  • Any destructive device, which includes:
    • Any explosive, incendiary (e.g., bomb, grenade), or poison gas;
    • Any weapon which will, or which may be readily converted to, expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or other propellant, and which has any barrel with a bore of more than one-half inch in diameter; and
    • Any combination of parts either designed or intended for use in converting any device into any destructive device described in the two immediately preceding examples, and from which a destructive device may be readily assembled.
20  Knife The weapon involved was a knife.
  21 Knife with blade length less than 2.5 inches The weapon involved was a knife with a blade less than 2.5 inches in length.13
  22 Knife with blade length at least 2.5 inches,
but less than 3 inches
The weapon involved was a knife with a blade at least 2.5 inches in length, but less than 3 inches in length.
  23 Knife with blade length greater than or equal to 3 inches
The weapon involved was a knife with a blade 3 inches or greater in length.14
  29 Other knife The weapon involved was another type of knife.
30 Other Sharp Objects The weapon involved was another type of sharp object, (e.g., razor blade, ice pick, dirk, Chinese star, other pointed instrument [used as a weapon]).
40 Other Object The weapon involved was another known object (e.g., chain, nunchakus, brass knuckle, billy club, electrical weapon or device [stun gun], BB or pellet gun).
50 Substance Used as Weapon The weapon involved was a substance (e.g., mace, tear gas) that was used as a weapon.
97 Other The incident involved a weapon other than those described above.
98 No Weapon No weapon was used in the incident.
99 Unknown Weapon A weapon was used in the incident, but the type is unknown.

Injury. Record whether or not any participants were physically injured, and if so, identify whether the injury was major or minor.

10 Minor injury At least one participant received a minor physical injury as a result of the incident. A minor injury is one that does not require professional medical attention such as a scrape on the body, knee or elbow; and/or minor bruising. Medical attention from the school nurse qualifies the injury as minor unless further medical attention is required.
20  Major injury At least one participant received a major physical injury as a result of the incident. A major injury is one that requires professional medical attention which may include, but is not limited to, a bullet wound, a stab or puncture wound, fractured or broken bones, concussions, cuts requiring stitches, and any other injury with profuse or excessive bleeding.
96 No injury No one was physically injured during the course of the incident.

Reported to Law Enforcement. The incident should be coded as reported to law enforcement if the school resource officer or any other law enforcement official was notified about the incident, regardless of whether official action was taken.

1 = Yes
2 = No

Related Elements. Related elements capture supplemental information about incidents. Use these codes when the primary offense is more serious in nature than alcohol or drug, etc. offenses, but includes one of the elements described below.

This information will be useful in expanding the understanding of the scope of these specific types of problems. These elements should be used to describe whether an incident was related to alcohol, drugs, or gang activity, hate-motivated, or weapon-related. For example, if a student committed vandalism while under the influence of alcohol, alcohol was not the primary offense, but the incident was alcohol-related. When it is unknown whether an incident was related to any of these elements, code the incident as not related. For the purpose of determining the scope of "alcohol" problems, for example, being uncertain whether or not the incident was alcohol-related or knowing that it was not alcohol-related are effectively the same thing.

Alcohol-Related. The incident is alcohol-related if those involved in the incident were under the influence of alcohol at the time of the incident or if there is evidence that they had been drinking, based on testing or investigation of a police officer at the scene, or if the incident is somehow related to possession, use, or sale of alcohol. Do not report "Yes" here if the main offense during the incident was possession, use, or sale of alcohol. In that case, report this as an alcohol offense (code 1000).

1 = Yes
2 = No

Drug-Related. The incident is drug-related if those involved in the incident were under the influence of drugs at the time of the incident, based on testing or investigation done by police as a result of the incident, or if the incident is somehow related to possession, use, or sale of drugs.15 Do not report "Yes" here if the main offense during the incident was possession, use, or sale of drugs. In that case, report this as a drug offense (code 1600).

1 = Yes
2 = No

Gang-Related. The incident is gang-related if it is gang-motivated or if gang membership caused the incident or contributed to actions that occurred during the incident. For example, an incident of vandalism or robbery might be part of an initiation into a gang, or a fight might be caused by gang rivalry. Report an incident as gang-related only if certain that gang membership contributed to the incident. A gang is an organized group characterized by turf concerns, symbols, special dress, and/or colors that engages in delinquent or illegal activity.

1 = Yes
2 = No

Hate-Related. The incident is hate-related if it is motivated by hate due to some characteristics or perceived characteristics of the victim including race, gender, religion, color, sexual orientation, ethnicity, ancestry, national origin, political beliefs, marital status, age, social and family background, linguistic preference, or disability. Any act, or attempted act, is hate-related if it is designed to cause physical injury, emotional suffering, or property damage through intimidation, harassment, racial/ethnic slurs and bigoted epithets, vandalism, force, or the threat of force, motivated all or in part by hostility to some real or perceived characteristic of the victim. It may be helpful to distinguish between hate motivated incidents that are related to the victim's race, for example, and hate motivated incidents that are related to the victim's religion with additional user-defined codes if a school, district, or state has a special concern about one or more of these characteristics.

1 = Yes
2 = No

Weapon-Related. This includes incidents where any of those involved in the incident possessed or used a weapon during the incident or the incident was somehow related to possession, use, or sale of weapons. Do not report "Yes" here if the main offense during the incident is possession, use, or sale of weapons. In that case code this as weapons possession (code 3700).

1 = Yes
2 = No

Also code the type of weapon used under "Weapon Type" (see variable 1090).


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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education