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Safety in Numbers: Collecting and Using Crime, Violence, and Discipline Incident Data to Make a Difference in Schools
Chapter 1
  Using Data to Make a Difference
Chapter 2
    Meeting the Challenges of Data Collection
Chapter 3
    Reporting Incident Data
Chapter 4
    Collecting Data
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Ghedam Bairu

(202) 502-7304


Appendix A. Federal Reporting Requirements
    Office for Civil Rights
  Office of Special Education Programs
  Safe and Drug-Free Schools Program
Appendix B. Other NCES Handbooks

Appendix A. Federal Reporting Requirements

Three offices of the U.S. Department of Education currently require incident data to be submitted annually:

  • Office for Civil Rights (OCR),
  • Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), and
  • Safe and Drug-Free Schools Program (SDFS).

These offices require a significant amount of information on incidents and disciplinary actions at the school, district, and state levels. A reliable database can substantially reduce the amount of time needed to comply with the requirements described below.

Reporting requirements vary greatly among these offices given the differences in statutory mandates. For example, the data the SDFS office requires on disciplinary incidents differ from those required by OSEP. OSEP requires specific information only on drug and weapon offenses. In contrast, SDFS collects data on many different types of incidents. Providing the data necessary to comply with these requirements involves sorting incident and disciplinary action data with variables such as educational level, gender, race/ethnicity, and disability category. This underscores the need for the incident database to interface with student information systems as discussed in Chapter 4. Again, a database with this capacity that can easily be programmed to produce ad hoc reports will speed fulfillment of these Federal and any state and local reporting requirements.

Note: these requirements, though current as of January 2002, are subject to change.

Office for Civil Rights

OCR collects school and district level data on the Civil Rights Compliance Reports. For each school, OCR collects the number of students subject to specific disciplinary actions during the school year. One question the OCR report asks for the number of students who receive

  • Corporal punishment,
  • Out-of-school suspension, and
  • Expulsion
    • With total cessation of educational services and
    • Due to Zero Tolerance Policy.27

For the OCR reports, students are to be counted once under corporal punishment and out-of-school suspension regardless of the number of times they experience these disciplinary actions. This information is to be subdivided by

  • Gender,
  • Race/ethnicity, and
  • English proficiency.

A second question on the OCR report requests information on disciplinary actions for students with disabilities. Information is required on the unduplicated count of disabled students who receive

  • Corporal punishment,
  • Long-term suspension: noncessation of services, and
  • Long-term suspension: cessation of services.

Again, students are to be counted once for each category regardless of the number of times they were disciplined. These data are further categorized based on whether students are served under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA) or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

For further information, visit OCR on the World Wide Web at

Office of Special Education Programs

OSEP collects discipline data from states on students with disabilities. The program's questions cover the number of children with disabilities who were subject to

  • Unilateral removal by school personnel (i.e., not by an IEP team) to an alternative educational setting for drug or weapons offenses,
  • Removal by a hearing officer regarding likely injury to the student or others, and
  • Single or cumulative suspensions of greater than 10 days.

OSEP requires that these data be sorted by disability category and by race/ethnicity.

For further information, visit OSEP on the World Wide Web at

Safe and Drug-Free Schools Program

The SDFS Program collects two types of information from states to fulfill requirements of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Data needed for the Gun-Free Schools Act Report are limited in scope in contrast to those required for the State Education Agency Safe and Drug-Free Schools Programs Report.

Gun-Free Schools Act Reporting. Under this data collection, states are required to submit data on firearm-related incidents. The required data include:

  • The number of students expelled for bringing firearms to school, both
    • expulsions lasting one year and
    • shortened expulsions
  • The number of students who were expelled for weapons violations, but were referred to alternative settings.

Disciplinary actions for students expelled, but referred to alternative settings are defined as "expulsion with services" in Chapter 4. Expulsion data must be sorted by type of firearm and educational level.

State Education Agency Safe and Drug-Free Schools Program Report. States must currently submit data on incidents sorted in a number of ways. A series of questions are asked for each educational level:

  • How many incidents occurred on school property,
  • How many victims were involved by type of victim (e.g., student, school personnel, nonschool personnel),
  • How many offenders were involved in those incidents by type of offender, and
  • How many incidents were weapons-related.

In addition, states are required to categorize schools by the number of incidents that occurred during the school year. The question asks: "How many schools in your state reported a) no incidents, b) between 1 and 5 incidents, c) between 6 and 10 incidents, etc." Incidents to be reported here include the following:

  • Homicide,
  • Sexual battery (including rape),
  • Robbery,
  • Battery,
  • Breaking and entering/burglary,
  • Larceny/theft,
  • Motor vehicle theft,
  • Kidnapping,
  • Arson,
  • Threat/intimidation,
  • Use or possession of drugs (other than alcohol),
  • Sexual harassment,
  • Sex offenses (non-forcible),
  • Vandalism,
  • Weapon possession,
  • Unclassified offense,
  • Alcohol (liquor law violations),
  • Tobacco (where declared illegal),
  • Trespassing,
  • Fighting,
  • Disorderly conduct,
  • Other major offenses, and
  • Other state (district or municipal) defined offenses.

The SDFS form does not provide definitions for "unclassified offenses, " "other major offenses, " and "other state (district or municipal) defined offenses." It is recommended that School Threats (code 2700) be included in the "other major offenses" category. Under "other state (district or municipal) defined offenses" include Attendance Policy Violations (code 1200), Harassment, Non Sexual (code 1800), Suicide (code 3000), and Other Offenses (code 9900). It is important to report "unclassified offenses" as appropriate to meet state or local requirements.

These requirements are likely to change based on the 2001 Education Legislation, No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, which resulted changes to the SDFS program. For further information, visit SDFS on the World Wide Web at

In summary, responding to current Federal reporting requirements requires a great deal of information. These requirements are likely to increase as the Department of Education works to implement No Child Left Behind. With a comprehensive database, schools and school districts can substantially reduce the amount of time needed to complete mandated reporting.

Appendix B. Other NCES Handbooks

National Forum on Education Statistics/National Center on Education Statistics Publications

These documents are available at