Skip Navigation
small NCES header image

Table 16.  Number of students in public high schools involved in the use or possession of a weapon other than a firearm at school, and the number and percentage of students receiving various disciplinary actions, by selected school characteristics: School year 2003–04


School characteristic     Disciplinary actions taken for students involved in the use or possession of a weapon other than a firearm at school
Total students
involved in
recorded offenses
  Removals without
continuing services
  Transfers to
specialized schools1
  Out-of-school
suspensions
lasting 5 or more days
  Other disciplinary action2
Number   Number Percent   Number Percent   Number Percent   Number Percent
All public schools  15,709   1,544 10   5,201 34   6,328 42   2,108 14
                           
Enrollment size                           
Less than 300  196   29 15   48 25   69 35   49 25
300–499  739   98 13   161 22   290 39   190 26
500–999  2,611   326 13   552 21   1,224 47   497 19
1,000 or more  12,163   1,090 9   4,440 38   4,745 41   1,371 12
                           
Urbanicity                           
City  5,717   484 9   2,186 40   2,125 38   732 13
Urban fringe  6,201   570 9   2,245 37   2,678 45   515 9
Town  1,809   217 13   352 20   707 41   448 26
Rural  1,982   273 14   418 22   819 43   412 21
                           
Crime level where students live3                           
High  2,297   127 6   828 36   1,019 44   323 14
Moderate  4,633   610 13   1,938 43   1,685 37   325 7
Low  5,776   534 10   1,550 28   2,307 41   1,182 21
Mixed  3,003   273 10   884 32   1,317 48   278 10
                           
Percent minority enrollment4                           
Less than 5 percent  1,290   113 9   107 8   571 45   479 38
5 to 20 percent  2,953   327 12   572 20   1,385 49   530 19
20 to 50 percent  3,914   562 15   1,138 31   1,585 43   444 12
50 percent or more  7,410   506 7   3,327 46   2,769 38   625 9
                           
Percent of students
eligible for free or
reduced-price lunch 
                         
0–20 percent  4,083   522 13   1,142 29   1,669 43   572 15
21–50 percent  6,478   604 10   2,183 35   2,643 43   788 13
More than 50 percent  5,148   418 8   1,876 37   2,016 40   747 15
                           
Percent of students below 15th
percentile on standardized tests 
                         
0–5 percent  2,980   334 12   788 28   1,398 50   283 10
6–15 percent  5,749   477 9   1,626 29   2,508 45   994 18
More than 15 percent  6,979   732 11   2,787 41   2,422 36   830 12
                           
Percent of students likely
to attend college 
                         
0–35 percent  4,196   457 11   1,207 29   1,896 46   552 13
36–60 percent  3,796   390 10   1,252 34   1,559 42   518 14
More than 60 percent  7,717   696 9   2,742 37   2,873 39   1,038 14
                           
Percent of students who consider
academic achievement important 
                         
0–25 percent  1,178   188 16   376 32   523 45   72 6
26–50 percent  3,203   356 11   965 31   1,305 42   487 16
51–75 percent  5,195   559 11   1,762 35   1,952 39   725 15
More than 75 percent  6,133   441 7   2,097 35   2,548 43   823 14
                           
Percent male enrollment                           
0–44 percent  1,075   169 17   323 33   326 33   166 17
45–55 percent  13,806   1,336 10   4,590 34   5,606 42   1,865 14
More than 55 percent  827   39 5   289 36   397 50   76 10
                           
Student-to-teacher ratio5                           
Less than 12 students  3,425   258 8   947 28   1,604 48   550 16
12–16 students  5,722   657 12   2,018 37   1,939 35   906 16
More than 16 students  6,562   629 10   2,235 35   2,785 44   651 10
                           
Number of classroom changes6                           
0–3 changes  523   87 17   207 40   167 32   55 11
4–6 changes  9,157   1,107 13   2,890 33   3,546 40   1,237 14
More than 6 changes  6,029   350 6   2,104 36   2,616 44   816 14
                           
Regular use of law enforcement7                           
Regular use  14,171   1,368 10   4,929 36   5,718 42   1,673 12
No regular use  1,538   175 12   272 18   610 41   435 29
                           
Number of serious
discipline problems8 
                         
No problems  7,519   649 9   2,623 36   2,847 39   1,108 15
1 problem  2,564   273 11   748 29   1,149 45   371 15
2 problems  2,022   225 11   538 27   985 50   233 12
3 or more problems  3,603   397 12   1,292 38   1,347 39   396 12
                           
Transfers as a percentage
of enrollment9 
                         
0 to 6 percent  2,735   239 9   681 26   1,303 49   412 16
6 to 11 percent  2,099   297 14   681 33   871 42   217 11
11 to 21 percent  5,370   464 9   2,017 39   1,905 37   806 16
21 percent or more  5,505   545 10   1,821 34   2,249 43   672 13
                           
Prevalence of schoolwide
disruptions10 
                         
No disruptions  11,867   1,192 10   3,740 33   5,045 44   1,507 13
Any disruptions  3,842   352 10   1,460 40   1,283 35   600 16
                           
Percent of students
absent on a daily basis 
                         
0–2 percent  457   56 12   207 45   116 25   78 17
3–5 percent  3,990   381 10   1,320 34   1,512 40   614 16
6–10 percent  8,512   881 11   2,674 33   3,357 41   1,271 16
More than 10 percent  2,749   226 8   1,000 37   1,343 49   144 5
                           
Prevalence of violent incidents11                           
No violent incidents  39   29 74   # #   # #   10 26
Any violent incidents  15,670   1,515 10   5,201 34   6,328 42   2,097 14
# Rounds to zero.
1 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 your school."
2 Other disciplinary actions include suspension less than 5 days, detention, etc.
3 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."
4 These estimates exclude data from Tennessee because schools in this state did not report estimates of student race.
5 Student-to-teacher 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.
6 Respondents were asked, "How many classroom changes do most students make in a typical day?" Responses exclude morning arrival and afternoon departure.
7 Respondents were asked, "During the 2003–2004 school year, did you have any sworn law enforcement officers, security guards, or security personnel present at your school on a regular basis?"
8 Serious discipline problems include student racial tensions, student bullying, student sexual harassment of other students, student verbal abuse of teachers, widespread disorder in classrooms, student acts of disrespect for teachers, 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.
9 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.
10 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.
11 Violent incidents include 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: The numbers of students involved in offenses were provided by the principal or the person most knowledgeable about discipline issues at the school. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding. 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, National Center for Education Statistics, School Survey on Crime and Safety (SSOCS), 2004.


Would you like to help us improve our products and website by taking a short survey?

YES, I would like to take the survey

or

No Thanks

The survey consists of a few short questions and takes less than one minute to complete.
National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education