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Table 10.  Percentage of public schools reporting selected types of disciplinary problems occurring at school daily or at least once a week, or at all, by selected school characteristics: School year 2007–08

  Happens daily or at least once a week      Happens at all 
School characteristic Student racial/ethnic tensions   Student bullying   Student sexual harassment of other students1   Student verbal abuse of teachers   Widespread disorder in classrooms   Student acts of disrespect for teachers other than verbal abuse2     Gang activities3   Cult or extremist group activities4  
All public schools  4 25 3 6 4 11 20 3
 
Level5 
Primary  3 21 1 ! 4 3 8 10 1 !
Middle  6 44 7 10 7 18 35 3
High school  5 22 6 12 5 17 43 8
Combined  4 ! 25 3 ! 5 4 ! 14 6 !
 
Enrollment size 
Less than 300  3 ! 19 3 ! 5 ! 3 ! 6 ! 10 1 !
300–499  1 ! 21 2 ! 3 3 ! 8 13 1 !
500–999  5 31 3 6 5 12 22 3
1,000 or more  6 33 6 15 6 22 52 9
 
Urbanicity 
City  5 28 4 12 8 18 34 3
Suburb  3 25 3 5 3 9 19 3
Town  3 ! 30 3 ! 5 3 11 17 3 !
Rural  3 22 2 ! 3 2 5 11 2
 
Crime level where students live6 
High  7 ! 34 7 ! 20 14 26 44 6 !
Moderate  8 33 4 11 7 18 31 4
Low  2 21 2 2 2 5 10 1
Mixed  4 26 4 7 2 14 32 4
 
Percent of combined Black/African
    American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian,
    Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific
    Islander, and American Indian/
    Alaska Native students
Less than 5 percent  1 ! 26 3 ! 3 ! 2 ! 6 4
5 to less than 20 percent  3 25 3 3 2 6 10 2 !
20 to less than 50 percent  3 22 2 6 2 ! 12 21 3
50 percent or more  6 28 4 11 8 16 34 4
 
Percent of students eligible for
   free or reduced-price lunch
0–20 percent  2 21 2 2 2 ! 5 10 1
21–50 percent  3 24 3 4 2 8 18 3
More than 50 percent  5 28 3 10 7 15 27 3
 
Percent of students below
   15th percentile on
   standardized tests
0–5 percent  1 ! 20 2 3 2 ! 5 13 1
6–15 percent  3 25 3 5 3 10 18 3
More than 15 percent  8 33 5 12 9 19 33 5
 
Percent of students likely
   to attend college
0–35 percent  7 33 5 10 7 16 32 4
36–60 percent  3 25 2 6 4 12 20 3
More than 60 percent  3 22 3 4 3 7 13 2
 
Percent of students who
   consider academic
   achievement important
0–25 percent  8 ! 32 7 ! 14 8 19 36 7 !
26–50 percent  6 37 5 9 6 17 31 4
51–75 percent  4 28 2 7 4 11 19 3
More than 75 percent  2 19 2 3 3 7 14 2
 
Percent male enrollment 
0–44 percent  2 ! 15 3 ! 7 6 ! 8 14 2
45–55 percent  4 27 3 6 4 11 21 3
More than 55 percent  25 8 6 10 17 3 !
 
Student-to-FTE ratio7 
Less than 12 students  3 23 2 6 4 10 15 2
12–16 students  3 27 4 6 3 10 22 3
More than 16 students  7 ! 29 4 ! 8 5 14 31 5
 
Number of classroom changes8 
0–3 changes  4 19 4 ! 4 5 13 1 !
4–6 changes  3 23 3 6 4 13 20 3
More than 6 changes  4 33 5 8 5 12 26 4
 
Regular use of law enforcement9 
Regular use  5 32 5 10 7 16 31 4
No regular use  3 20 2 ! 2 2 6 10 1 !
 
Number of serious
   discipline problems10 
No problems  # # # # # # 12 1
1 problem  2 79 # 2 3 ! 13 27 3 !
2 problems  18 80 14 22 9 ! 54 39 3 !
3 or more problems  39 84 37 71 48 78 68 16
 
Transfers as a percentage
   of enrollment11 
Less than 6 percent  3 20 2 3 2 ! 5 11 3 !
6 to less than 11 percent  2 24 3 5 4 9 18 2
11 to less than 21 percent  5 26 3 7 4 12 19 2
21 percent or more  5 30 4 9 5 15 30 4
 
Prevalence of schoolwide
   disruptions12 
No disruptions  4 24 3 5 3 10 18 2
Any disruptions  4 ! 35 6 16 11 22 38 6
 
Percent of students
   absent on a daily basis 
0–2 percent  4 ! 23 3 ! 9 ! 14 3 !
3–5 percent  3 25 3 3 2 8 15 2
6–10 percent  4 28 3 8 6 13 26 3
More than 10 percent  7 23 6 ! 21 14 23 37 6 !
 
Prevalence of violent incidents13 
No violent incidents  10 1 ! 2 ! 3 !
Any violent incidents  5 30 4 8 5 13 25 3
#Rounds to zero.
!Interpret data with caution. The standard error for this estimate is from 30 percent to 50 percent of the estimate’s value.
Reporting standards not met. The standard error for this estimate is equal to 50 percent or more of the estimate's value.
1 Sexual harassment was defined for respondents as "unsolicited, offensive behavior that inappropriately asserts sexuality over another person. This behavior may be verbal or nonverbal."
2 The wording of this item has changed between the 2006 and 2008 collections. In 2008, the phrase "other than verbal abuse" was added to this item. Caution should be exercised when making direct comparisons to prior School Survey on Crime and Safety collections.
3 Gang was defined for respondents as "an ongoing loosely organized association of three or more persons, whether formal or informal, that has a common name, signs, symbols, or colors, whose members engage, either individually or collectively, in violent or other forms of illegal behavior."
4 Cult or extremist group was defined for respondents as "a group that espouses radical beliefs and practices, which may include a religious component, that are widely seen as threatening the basic values and cultural norms of society at large."
5 Primary schools are defined as schools in which the lowest grade is not higher than grade 3 and the highest grade is not higher than grade 8. Middle schools are defined as schools in which the lowest grade is not lower than grade 4 and the highest grade is not higher than grade 9. High schools are defined as schools in which the lowest grade is not lower than grade 9 and the highest grade is not higher than grade 12. Combined schools include all other combinations of grades, including K–12 schools.
6 Respondents were asked, "How would you describe the crime level in the area(s) in which your students live?" Response options included "high level of crime," "moderate level of crime," "low level of crime," and "students come from areas with very different levels of crime."
7 Student-to-FTE ratio was calculated by dividing the total number of students enrolled in the school by the total number of full-time-equivalent teachers and aides. The total number of full-time-equivalent teachers and aides is a combination of the full-time and part-time teachers and aides, including special education teachers and aides, with an adjustment to compensate for the part-time status.
8 Respondents were asked, "How many classroom changes do most students make in a typical day?" Responses exclude morning arrival and afternoon departure.
9 Respondents were asked, "During the 2007–08 school year, did you have any security guards, security personnel, or sworn law enforcement officers present at your school at least once a week?"
10 Serious discipline problems include student racial/ethnic tensions, student bullying, student sexual harassment of other students, student verbal abuse of teachers, widespread disorder in classrooms, student acts of disrespect for teachers other than verbal abuse, gang activities, and cult or extremist group activities. If a respondent reported that any of these problems occurred daily or weekly in their school, each was counted once in the total number of serious discipline problems.
11 Transfers as a percentage of enrollment combines the number of students who were transferred to a school and the number of students who were transferred from a school divided by the total number of students enrolled in the school.
12 Schoolwide disruptions include actions that disrupted school activities such as death threats, bomb threats, and chemical, biological, or radiological threats. Respondents were instructed to exclude all fire alarms, including false alarms.
13 Violent incidents include rape or attempted rape, sexual battery other than rape, physical attack or fight with or without a weapon, threat of physical attack with or without a weapon, and robbery with or without a weapon.
NOTE: "At school" was defined for respondents to include activities that happen in school buildings, on school grounds, on school buses, and at places that hold school-sponsored events or activities. Responses were provided by the principal or the person most knowledgeable about crime and safety issues at the school.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), 2007–08 School Survey on Crime and Safety (SSOCS), 2008.


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