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Table 15.  Number and percentage distribution of students in public schools involved in the use or possession of a firearm or explosive device at school receiving various disciplinary actions, by selected school characteristics: School year 2007–08

  Disciplinary actions taken for students involved in the use or
possession of a firearm or explosive device1 at school
  Removals with no continuing services for at least the remainder of the school year   Transfers to specialized schools2   Out-of-school suspen-
sions lasting 5 or more days
but less than the remain-
der of the school year
  Other disciplinary action3
School characteristic Number of students   Percent of students     Number of students   Percent of students     Number of students   Percent of students     Number of students   Percent of students  
All public schools  940   7 !   1,490   11 !   2,730   21     7,990 ! 61  
                                       
Level4                                       
Primary                8 !     89  
Middle  210 ! 8 !   700 ! 26     940   35       31 !
High school  490   13 !   640   16 !   1,270 ! 33 !      
Combined    85     #   #           #   #  
                                       
Enrollment size                                       
Less than 300                59 !      
300–499  130 !                    
500–999  400 !     630 !     1,040 ! 13 !     73  
1,000 or more  390       620   17 !   1,210 ! 33 !      
                                       
Urbanicity                                       
City  280 !     730 ! 14 !   790 ! 15 !     66  
Suburb  170 !     400       1,370 !       70  
Town        200 ! 43 !   150 ! 31 !      
Rural  420 ! 41 !   160 ! 15 !   430 ! 41 !      
                                       
Crime level where students live5                                       
High  40 !                    
Moderate  240       460 !     770   28 !      
Low  520 !     540 !     1,220 ! 24       55  
Mixed  150 !     380 !             74 !
                                       
Percent of combined Black/African
    American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian,
    Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific
    Islander, and American Indian/
    Alaska Native students
                                     
Less than 5 percent                    #   #  
5 to less than 20 percent  100 !     140 !       59 !      
20 to less than 50 percent  230 !     700 ! 16 !   880 ! 20 !   2,690 ! 60  
50 percent or more  540       590       790 ! 12 !     72  
                                       
Percent of students eligible for
   free or reduced-price lunch
                                     
0–20 percent  80 !     140 !              
21–50 percent  380   8 !   640   13 !   1,260 ! 25     2,810 ! 55  
More than 50 percent  480 !     710 !     950 ! 13 !     71  
                                       
Percent of students below
   15th percentile on
   standardized tests
                                     
0–5 percent  190 !     360 ! 25     360 ! 25 !     37 !
6–15 percent  350 !     490 !     1,450 ! 17 !     73  
More than 15 percent  400 !     640   20 !            
                                       
Percent of students likely
   to attend college
                                     
0–35 percent  400 !     420 !     700 ! 25 !      
36–60 percent  220 !     480 !     670 !        
More than 60 percent  330       590 !     1,360 ! 23     3,550 ! 61  
                                       
Percent of students who
   consider academic
   achievement important
                                     
0–25 percent        90 !     170 !        
26–50 percent  180 !     260 !     360 !        
51–75 percent  400 !     560 !     790 !        
More than 75 percent  330       580 ! 9 !   1,410 ! 23     3,870 ! 63  
                                       
Percent male enrollment                                       
0–44 percent  70       100 !              
45–55 percent  860       1,230   12 !   2,580   25 !     55 !
More than 55 percent                       
                                       
Student-to-FTE ratio6                                       
Less than 12 students  330 !     620 ! 15 !   1,180 ! 28 !   2,090 ! 50  
12–16 students  460 !     600 !     1,200 ! 15 !     71  
More than 16 students  150 ! 14 !   270   24 !   360 ! 32       30 !
                                       
Number of classroom changes7                                       
0–3 changes                7 !     90  
4–6 changes  590   15 !   620   16 !   960 ! 25       44 !
More than 6 changes  270 !     760   23     1,360 ! 41     910 ! 28  
                                       
Regular use of law enforcement8                                      
Regular use  850   13 !   1,320   21     1,470   23     2,650 ! 42  
No regular use        170 !     1,260 ! 18 !     78  
                                       
Number of serious
   discipline problems9 
                                     
No problems  520 !     790       1,430 ! 19 !     63 !
1 problem  90 !     230       810 !       59 !
2 problems  170 ! 43     90 ! 24 !     19 !      
3 or more problems  160 !     380 !     420 ! 17       62  
                                       
Transfers as a percentage
   of enrollment10 
                                     
Less than 6 percent  90 !     70 !       29       58  
6 to less than 11 percent  320 !     230 ! 9 !   590 ! 22 !     57 !
11 to less than 21 percent  280       590 !     900 ! 22 !     57 !
21 percent or more  260 !     610 !     920 !       66 !
                                       
Prevalence of schoolwide
   disruptions11 
                                     
No disruptions  850   9 !   1,230   14 !   2,190   24     4,770 ! 53  
Any disruptions  90 !                   78 !
                                       
Percent of students
   absent on a daily basis 
                                     
0–2 percent                    #   #  
3–5 percent  390 !     350       1,150 ! 29       52 !
6–10 percent  330       700       1,260   16 !     71  
More than 10 percent  180 !     380 ! 29       23 !     35 !
                                       
Prevalence of violent incidents12                                       
No violent incidents    100     #   #     #   #     #   #  
Any violent incidents  920   7 !   1,490   11 !   2,730   21     7,990 ! 61  
#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 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."
2 Specialized school was defined for respondents as "a school that is specifically for students who were referred for disciplinary reasons, although the school may also have students who were referred for other reasons. The school may be at the same location as your school."
3 Other disciplinary actions include suspension less than 5 days, detention, etc.
4 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.
5 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."
6 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.
7 Respondents were asked, "How many classroom changes do most students make in a typical day?" Responses exclude morning arrival and afternoon departure.
8 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?"
9 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.
10 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.
11 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.
12 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. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding. The number of incidents, students, or disciplinary actions reported for a specified offense will not always be equal. This may be because a single incident could involve multiple students or because no disciplinary action is taken for an incident. 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