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Table 16.  Number and percentage distribution of students in public elementary schools involved in the use or possession of a weapon other than a firearm or explosive device at school receiving various disciplinary actions, by selected school characteristics: 2009–10

  Disciplinary actions taken for students involved in the use or possession of a weapon other than 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 suspensions lasting 5 or more days but less than the remainder of the school year     Other disciplinary actions3  
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 elementary schools             4,350 ! 29.9     8,480 ! 58.3  
Enrollment size                                      
Less than 300                   1,900   82.3  
1,000 or more #       #                
Town #       #   #       32.5 !   1,340   64.0  
Crime level where students live4                                      
Moderate #   #                    
Mixed #   #                    
Percent of combined Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian, Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Alaska Native students                                      
Less than 5 percent #       #             540 ! 81.1  
5 to less than 20 percent #       #             2,020   78.5  
20 to less than 50 percent                      
50 percent or more                      
Percent of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch                                      
0–20 percent #       #             610 ! 82.0  
21–50 percent #   #     #   #     320 ! 16.9 !   1,460   77.6  
More than 50 percent             3,870 ! 32.5     6,410 ! 53.8  
Percent of students below 15th percentile on standardized tests                                      
0–5 percent #   #                    
6–15 percent                      
More than 15 percent                      
Percent of students likely to attend college                                      
0–35 percent                      
36–60 percent                      
More than 60 percent #   #                    
Percent of students who consider academic achievement important                                      
0–25 percent #       #             #   #  
26–50 percent #   #     #   #     1,230 ! 42.3     1,450   49.9  
51–75 percent                      
More than 75 percent                   4,100 ! 65.7  
Percent male enrollment                                      
0–44 percent                   780 ! 79.6  
45–55 percent             3,910 ! 33.0     6,370 ! 53.7  
More than 55 percent                   1,330   77.9  
Student-to-FTE ratio5                                      
Less than 12 students #                      
12–16 students                      
More than 16 students                      
Number of classroom changes6                                      
0–3 changes                      
4–6 changes                      
More than 6 changes #   #     #   #     720 ! 24.0 !   1,920 ! 63.6  
Regular use of law enforcement7                                      
Regular use                      
No regular use             2,730 ! 26.7        
Number of serious discipline problems8                                      
No problems                      
1 problem #                      
2 problems #       #                
3 or more problems                      
Transfers as a percentage of enrollment9                                      
Less than 6 percent #   #     #   #     350 ! 28.7 !   870   71.3  
6 to less than 11 percent                      
11 to less than 21 percent                      
21 percent or more                      
Prevalence of schoolwide
No disruptions             4,280 ! 32.7     7,360 ! 56.2  
Any disruptions #                      
Percent of students absent on a daily basis                                       
0–2 percent #   #     #   #     550 ! 62.1 !   440 ! 50.0 !
3–5 percent                      
6–10 percent                      
More than 10 percent #       #               51.2 !
Prevalence of violent incidents11                                      
No violent incidents #       #             800 ! 61.9  
Any violent incidents             3,990 ! 30.1     7,680 ! 57.9  
#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 represents more than 50 percent of the estimate.
1Firearm 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."
2Specialized 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."
3Other disciplinary actions include suspension less than 5 days, detention, etc.
4Respondents 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."
5Student-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.
6Respondents were asked, "How many classroom changes do most students make in a typical day?" Responses exclude morning arrival and afternoon departure.
7Respondents were asked, "During the 2009–10 school year, did you have any security guards, security personnel, or sworn law enforcement officers present at your school at least once a week?"
8Serious 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.
9Transfers 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.
10Schoolwide 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.
11Violent 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. Elementary schools are defined as schools in which the lowest grade is not higher than grade 3 & the highest grade is not higher than grade 8. Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), 2009–10 School Survey on Crime and Safety (SSOCS).