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Digest of Education Statistics
2020 Tables and Figures All Years of Tables and Figures Most Recent Full Issue of the Digest


Table 230.10. Percentage of public schools reporting selected discipline problems that occurred at school, by frequency and selected school characteristics: Selected years, 1999-2000 through 2017-18
[Standard errors appear in parentheses]
Year and school characteristic Happens at least once a week1 Happens at all2
Student racial/ethnic tensions3 Student bullying4 Student sexual harassment of other students Student harassment of other students based on sexual orientation or gender identity5 Student verbal abuse of teachers Widespread disorder in classrooms Student acts of disrespect for teachers other than verbal abuse Gang activities Cult or extremist group activities
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
All schools                                                    
1999-2000 3.4   (0.41) 29.3   (1.21) ---   (†) ---   (†) 12.5   (0.69) 3.1   (0.44) ---   (†) 18.7   (0.85) 6.7 (0.46)
2003-04 2.1   (0.28) 26.8   (1.09) 4.0   (0.40) ---   (†) 10.7   (0.80) 2.8   (0.39) ---   (†) 16.7   (0.78) 3.4 (0.35)
2005-06 2.8   (0.31) 24.5   (1.14) 3.5   (0.40) ---   (†) 9.5   (0.61) 2.3   (0.24) ---   (†) 16.9   (0.76) 3.7 (0.41)
2007-08 3.7   (0.49) 25.3   (1.11) 3.0   (0.39) ---   (†) 6.0   (0.48) 4.0   (0.45) 10.5   (0.71) 19.8   (0.88) 2.6 (0.36)
2009-10 2.8   (0.39) 23.1   (1.12) 3.2   (0.55) 2.5   (0.41) 4.8   (0.49) 2.5   (0.37) 8.6   (0.67) 16.4   (0.84) 1.7 (0.31)
2013-146 1.4   (0.31) 15.7   (1.12) 1.4   (0.26) 0.8   (0.19) 5.1   (0.54) 2.3   (0.45) 8.6   (0.74) ---   (†) --- (†)
2015-16 1.7   (0.33) 11.9   (0.79) 1.0   (0.19) 0.6   (0.13) 4.8   (0.51) 2.3   (0.38) 10.3   (0.80) 10.4   (0.62) --- (†)
                                                     
2017-18                                                    
All schools 2.8   (0.42) 13.6   (0.72) 1.4   (0.27) 1.0   (0.19) 6.0   (0.53) 3.1   (0.41) 11.8   (0.72) 11.0   (0.66) --- (†)
School level7                                                    
Primary 1.9   (0.51) 8.7   (0.94)   (†)   (†) 4.6   (0.83) 2.6   (0.62) 10.1   (1.02) 4.9   (0.85) --- (†)
Middle 4.9   (0.68) 27.9   (1.51) 3.3   (0.58) 2.6   (0.47) 10.3   (0.89) 5.5   (0.79) 17.3   (1.18) 19.0   (1.19) --- (†)
High school 4.5   (0.69) 15.8   (1.25) 2.8   (0.49) 2.3   (0.49) 7.1   (0.81) 2.6   (0.60) 13.1   (1.25) 27.9   (1.20) --- (†)
Combined   (†) 12.3   (3.17)   (†)   (†) 4.3 ! (1.98)   (†) 8.2 ! (2.67) 4.5 ! (1.46) --- (†)
                                                     
Enrollment size                                                    
Less than 300   (†) 9.6   (1.89)   (†)   (†) 3.0 ! (1.04) 1.5 ! (0.64) 4.9   (1.29) 3.3   (0.56) --- (†)
300 to 499 3.4   (0.76) 11.3   (1.26) 1.2 ! (0.41) 0.6 ! (0.23) 5.9   (1.18) 4.3   (0.97) 14.4   (1.60) 6.6   (1.19) --- (†)
500 to 999 2.3   (0.45) 15.6   (1.20) 0.9   (0.25) 0.8   (0.18) 6.8   (0.87) 2.7   (0.51) 12.1   (1.09) 12.3   (1.15) --- (†)
1,000 or more 5.9   (0.89) 20.7   (1.67) 3.3   (0.56) 2.2   (0.45) 9.5   (1.29) 3.9   (0.71) 16.2   (1.48) 33.4   (1.61) --- (†)
                                                     
Locale                                                    
City 3.1   (0.69) 13.4   (1.11) 0.9   (0.24) 0.6 ! (0.18) 8.9   (1.32) 3.9   (0.74) 14.9   (1.64) 17.8   (1.37) --- (†)
Suburban 3.7   (0.79) 13.0   (1.51) 1.4   (0.36) 0.7   (0.18) 5.3   (0.74) 2.7   (0.64) 10.5   (1.23) 10.1   (0.89) --- (†)
Town 2.6 ! (0.85) 17.9   (2.35) 2.4 ! (0.73) 1.8 ! (0.57) 6.6   (1.80) 4.8 ! (1.63) 14.8   (2.16) 10.0   (1.20) --- (†)
Rural 1.4 ! (0.60) 12.5   (1.53) 1.5 ! (0.62) 1.3 ! (0.60) 3.7   (0.90) 1.8 ! (0.66) 8.7   (1.44) 5.7   (0.84) --- (†)
                                                     
Percent minority enrollment8                                                    
0 to 25 percent 1.7   (0.40) 13.0   (1.10) 1.5 ! (0.49) 1.5 ! (0.45) 2.3   (0.44) 1.5 ! (0.46) 7.8   (1.10) 2.7   (0.48) --- (†)
26 to 50 percent 2.4   (0.57) 11.7   (1.48) 1.3   (0.29) 0.7 ! (0.24) 5.2   (1.17) 3.6   (0.98) 10.1   (1.50) 9.8   (1.13) --- (†)
51 to 75 percent 5.1   (1.52) 16.5   (2.45) 2.3 ! (0.82) 0.9 ! (0.37) 10.1   (1.91) 4.2 ! (1.38) 18.9   (2.45) 17.8   (1.62) --- (†)
76 to 100 percent 3.3   (0.85) 14.3   (1.50) 0.8   (0.25) 0.6 ! (0.23) 9.5   (1.23) 4.1   (0.77) 14.5   (1.47) 19.3   (1.52) --- (†)
                                                     
Percent of students eligible for
     free or reduced-price lunch
                                                   
0 to 25 percent 1.5   (0.36) 8.5   (0.97) 1.5 ! (0.49) 1.2   (0.32) 1.4   (0.36) 1.1 ! (0.44) 5.8   (1.43) 3.2   (0.54) --- (†)
26 to 50 percent 3.5   (0.76) 13.8   (1.45) 1.9   (0.55) 1.1   (0.28) 3.0   (0.71) 2.5 ! (0.77) 8.1   (1.07) 7.5   (0.79) --- (†)
51 to 75 percent 2.2   (0.61) 14.5   (1.63) 0.4 ! (0.15)   (†) 7.1   (0.98) 3.3   (0.83) 13.8   (1.35) 12.2   (1.39) --- (†)
76 to 100 percent 3.5   (0.93) 15.6   (1.52) 1.7 ! (0.63) 0.7 ! (0.24) 10.0   (1.25) 4.4   (0.82) 16.2   (1.73) 16.9   (1.43) --- (†)
                                                     
Prevalence of violent incidents9
     at school during school year
                                                   
No violent incidents   (†) 4.2   (1.06)   (†)   (†)   (†)   (†) 3.0 ! (0.95) 2.6   (0.65) --- (†)
Any violent incidents 3.9   (0.61) 17.5   (0.93) 1.7   (0.29) 1.4   (0.26) 8.2   (0.74) 3.9   (0.50) 15.4   (0.98) 14.5   (0.86) --- (†)
---Not available.
†Not applicable.
!Interpret data with caution. The coefficient of variation (CV) for this estimate is between 30 and 50 percent.
‡Reporting standards not met. Either there are too few cases for a reliable estimate or the coefficient of variation (CV) is 50 percent or greater.
1 Includes schools that reported the problem happens either at least once a week or daily.
2 Includes schools that reported the problem happens at all at their school during the school year. In the 1999-2000 survey administration, the questionnaire specified "undesirable" gang activities and "undesirable" cult or extremist group activities. As of 2013-14, the questionnaires have no longer asked about cult or extremist group activities.
3 Prior to the 2007-08 survey administration, the questionnaire wording was "student racial tensions."
4 The 2015-16 and 2017-18 questionnaires defined bullying as "any unwanted aggressive behavior(s) by another youth or group of youths who are not siblings or current dating partners that involves an observed or perceived power imbalance and is repeated multiple times or is highly likely to be repeated." The term was not defined for respondents in previous survey administrations.
5 Prior to 2015-16, the questionnaire asked about "student harassment of other students based on sexual orientation or gender identity (i.e., lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning)" in one single item. The 2015-16 and 2017-18 questionnaires had one item asking about "student harassment of other students based on sexual orientation," followed by a separate item asking about "student harassment of other students based on gender identity." For 2015-16 and 2017-18, schools are included in this column if they responded "daily" or "at least once a week" to either or both of these items; each school is counted only once, even if it indicated daily/weekly frequency for both items. The 2015-16 and 2017-18 questionnaires provided definitions for sexual orientation--"one's emotional or physical attraction to the same and/or opposite sex"--and gender identity--"one's inner sense of one's own gender, which may or may not match the sex assigned at birth." These terms were not defined for respondents in previous survey administrations.
6 Data for 2013-14 were collected using the Fast Response Survey System (FRSS), while data for all other years were collected using the School Survey on Crime and Safety (SSOCS). The 2013-14 FRSS survey was designed to allow comparisons with SSOCS data. However, all respondents to the 2013-14 survey could choose either to complete the survey on paper (and mail it back) or to complete the survey online, whereas all respondents to SSOCS had only the option of completing a paper survey prior to 2017-18, when SSOCS experimented with offering an online option to some respondents. The 2013-14 FRSS survey also relied on a smaller sample than SSOCS. The FRSS survey's smaller sample size and difference in survey administration may have impacted the 2013-14 results.
7 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. Combined schools include all other combinations of grades, including K-12 schools.
8 Percent combined enrollment of Black, Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Alaska Native students, and students of Two or more races.
9 "Violent incidents" include rape or attempted rape, sexual assault other than rape, physical attack or fight with or without a weapon, threat of physical attack or fight with or without a weapon, and robbery with or without a weapon. Respondents were instructed to include violent incidents that occurred before, during, or after normal school hours or when school activities or events were in session.
NOTE: Responses were provided by the principal or the person most knowledgeable about crime and safety issues at the school. "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. Respondents were instructed to respond only for those times that were during normal school hours or when school activities or events were in session, unless the survey specified otherwise.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 1999-2000, 2003-04, 2005-06, 2007-08, 2009-10, 2015-16, and 2017-18 School Survey on Crime and Safety (SSOCS), 2000, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2016, and 2018; and Fast Response Survey System (FRSS), "School Safety and Discipline: 2013-14," FRSS 106, 2014. (This table was prepared July 2019.)

2020 Tables and Figures All Years of Tables and Figures Most Recent Full Issue of the Digest