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Table 15.  Number and percentage distribution of students in public middle 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 2009–10

  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 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 middle schools 240 !           640 !        
Enrollment size                                      
Less than 300 #   #     #   #     #   #     #   #  
500–999 190 !           500 !        
1,000 or more #         36.9             29.7  
City 140 !                   34.2 !
Suburb             280 !        
Crime level where students live4                                      
Percent of combined Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian, Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Alaska Native students                                      
Less than 5 percent #   #       100.0 5         #   #  
5 to less than 20 percent                      
20 to less than 50 percent                      
50 percent or more 180 ! 14.7 !   220 ! 18.1 !   390 ! 32.2 !   470 ! 38.7  
Percent of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch                                      
0–20 percent #                      
21–50 percent                      
More than 50 percent 230 !           490 !        
Percent of students below 15th percentile on standardized tests                                      
0–5 percent #       180 !              
6–15 percent             200 !        
More than 15 percent 140 !                    
Percent of students likely to attend college                                      
0–35 percent 130 !                    
36–60 percent                      
More than 60 percent             240 !        
Percent of students who consider academic achievement important                                      
0–25 percent                      
26–50 percent 130 !                    
51–75 percent                      
More than 75 percent             220 !        
Percent male enrollment                                      
0–44 percent #                      
45–55 percent 190 !           480 !        
More than 55 percent                      
Student-to-FTE ratio6                                      
Less than 12 students                      
12–16 students                      
More than 16 students 140 !           340 !       50.9 !
Number of classroom changes 7                                      
0–3 changes #   #       100.0 5         #   #  
4–6 changes                      
More than 6 changes 160 !           330 ! 21.0 !   840 ! 53.9  
Regular use of law enforcement 8                                      
Regular use 170 !           570 !        
No regular use                      
Number of serious discipline problems9                                      
No problems                      
1 problem 140 ! 35.8 !   60 !     230 !        
2 problems                      
3 or more problems                      
Transfers as a percentage of enrollment10                                      
Less than 6 percent                      
6 to less than 11 percent #                      
11 to less than 21 percent                      
21 percent or more                      
Prevalence of schoolwide
No disruptions 240 !           520 !        
Any disruptions #         39.1 !            
Percent of students absent on a daily basis                                       
0–2 percent             #         91.3 !
3–5 percent             400 !        
6–10 percent 170 !           240 !        
More than 10 percent #   #     #   #     #   #     #   #  
Prevalence of violent incidents12                                       
No violent incidents #   #     #   #     #   #     #   #  
Any violent incidents 240 !           640 !        
#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."
5Rounds to 100.
6Student-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.
7Respondents were asked, "How many classroom changes do most students make in a typical day?" Responses exclude morning arrival and afternoon departure.
8Respondents 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?"
9Serious 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.
10Transfers 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.
11Schoolwide 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.
12Violent 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), 2009–10 School Survey on Crime and Safety (SSOCS).