The current ED102 form asks schools to report by sex and by racial/ethnic breakdowns the number of pupils who received corporal punishment and the number who were suspended. The question on corporal punishment may have diminished in relevancy during the last few years, however, as more states are passing legislation prohibiting schools from physically disciplining students. OCR does not have up-to-date information by racial/ethnic breakdowns on the number of students receiving in-school suspensions or the number expelled.
To determine whether the addition and/or deletion of items on certain disciplinary actions from ED 102 would be appropriate, the FRSS survey asked districts whether they administer corporal punishment, in-school suspensions, out-of-school suspensions, and expulsions (Table 2 and Table 2 Continued). Almost all districts administer out-of-school suspensions (95 percent),2 in-school suspensions (91 percent), and expulsions (90 percent; Figure 1). In contrast, less than one-third of districts administer corporal punishment (30 percent).3 Nearly half of the districts administer other actions. Frequently cited among other disciplinary actions were detention and Saturday school.
The likelihood of administering corporal punishment varied by the type of district (Figure 2). The largest frequency was in the Southeast, where 68 percent of districts indicated they administer corporal punishment. The smallest frequency was found in the Northeast, where only 4 percent4 of districts reported allowing students to be physically disciplined. In the West, 38 percent* of districts administer corporal punishment, and in the Central region, 27 percent do so.
Large districts (36 percent) and medium districts (38 percent) were more likely to discipline students physically than were small districts (28 percent). Rural districts (35 percent) were more likely to do so than were suburban districts (22 percent). *
Region was a significant factor in the percentage of districts administering expulsions. Southeastern districts (99 percent) were more likely to allow schools to expel students than were Central districts (89 percent) and Northeastern districts (80 percent).
For each disciplinary action administered, districts were asked whether they could readily provide information by various student classifications. The classifications included student name or individual identifier, race/ethnicity. sex, disability (handicap), category, and limited English proficiency (LEP) status (Table 2 and Table 2 Continued). For each disciplinary action, more districts indicated that they were able to provide information by student identifier than by any other classification (Figure 3). Ninety-five percent of districts said they can provide information on expulsions by student identifier, for example, compared to 88 percent by sex, 80 percent by race/ethnicity, 80 percent by disability category, and 76 percent by LEP status.
With the exception of corporal punishment (where the difference was not statistically significant), more districts were able to provide disciplinary information by sex than by race/ethnicity, disability category, or LEP status.5 In-school suspensions information by sex, for instance, could be provided by 84 percent of districts, versus 75 percent by race/ethnicity, 75 percent by disability, and 71 percent by LEP status.
In general, smaller districts found it easier to provide disciplinary information by student identifier, disability category, and LEP status. Rural districts and Southeastern districts were more able to provide disciplinary information by race/ethnicity than were districts in other metropolitan locales and other regions.
The FRSS survey asked districts how easy or difficult it would be to report the number of times each disciplinary action was taken (Table 3 and Table 3 Continued). More than 8 out of 10 districts (83 percent) said it would be easy or very easy for them to report the frequency of disciplinary actions resulting in expulsion (Figure 4). This was a larger percentage than indicated it would be easy or very easy to report the frequency for out-of-school suspensions (75 percent), in-school suspensions (71 percent), or corporal punishment (66 percent).
Enrollment size was related to the ease with which districts could report the frequency that various disciplinary actions were taken, with small districts more likely than large districts to indicate that they could report frequencies. For example, three-fourths of small districts found it very easy to report the frequency of in-school suspensions, compared to half of large districts.
Districts were also asked how easy or difficult it would be to provide unduplicated counts of students disciplined for each action administered. With the exception of corporal punishment (where the difference was not statistically significant), districts indicated it would be easier to report frequency of students disciplined than unduplicated counts of students disciplined (Table 3 and Table 3 Continued). Seventy-four percent of districts said it would be easy or very easy for them to report unduplicated counts of students expelled (Figure 5). This was a larger percentage than indicated it would be easy or very easy to report unduplicated counts for out-of-school suspensions (66 percent), in-school suspensions (60 percent), or corporal punishment (49 percent).
Size was again a factor in the ease with which districts could report unduplicated counts of students disciplined. Small districts indicated that they would have less difficulty in reporting unduplicated counts than was indicated by medium and large districts. For example, 63 percent of small districts found it easy or very easy to report unduplicated counts of students given in-school suspensions, compared to 40 percent of large districts.
1The following legislation prohibits discrimination in programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance: Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (34CFR Part 100DB). Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (34CFR Part 104) Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (34CFR Part 106) and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975.
2Because the estimates are based on a statistical sample, there may be differences between the responses of the sample and those that result from a survey of the entire population. Standard errors, provided for all estimates, are explained in detail in the Survey Methodology and Data Reliability section (page 17).
3Some of the respondents noted that, although their district permits corporal punishment, it has not been used as a disciplinary measure in several years. The percentage of districts actually practicing corporal punishment may be less than 30 percent.
4Standard error is greater than 10 percent of the estimate. In some cases, estimates of standard errors are relatively large because statistics are based on a small number of cases. Throughout the remainder of this report, an asterisk (*) is used to indicate estimates that have large standard errors and, thus, should not be considered as highly precise. The standard errors for estimates with asterisks are greater than 10 percent of the estimate.
*Standard error is greater than 10 percent of the estimate.
5Some respondents indicated that their district does not have limited English proficiency (LEP) students, and thus did not answer this item.