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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

New NCES Report on Crime, Violence, Discipline and Safety in the Public Schools

From Jim Gerl's Special Education Law Blog

By Jim Gerl, Esq.
July 28, 2017

The National Center of Educational Statistics of the federal Institute of Education Sciences has issued a report on crime, violence, discipline and safety in U.S. Public Schools 2015-2016. The report provides findings using data from the 2015–16 School Survey on Crime and Safety (SSOCS:2016).

If you deal with school discipline or crime, you should study this report.

The 83 page report is available here.

Among the findings are a troubling number of schools feel that IDEA and related state rules pertaining to the discipline of students with disabilities are hindering their efforts to deal with crime in public schools!

According to the study, among the factors that were reported to limit schools’ efforts to reduce or prevent crime “in a major way,” three factors were more likely to be reported than others:
  • a lack of, or inadequate, alternative placements or programs for disruptive students (30 percent);
  • inadequate funds (28 percent); and,
  • federal, state, or district policies on disciplining special education students (17 percent) (table 11).

Other key findings include:
  • A higher percentage of middle schools reported that student bullying occurred at school daily or at least once a week (22 percent) than did high schools (15 percent) or primary schools (8 percent) (table 4).
  • Of the schools with a student enrollment size of 1,000 or more during the 2015–16 school year, 27 percent reported cyberbullyingamong students daily or at least once a week. This percentage is higher than in schools with lower enrollments. For example, 8 percent of schools with enrollments of less than 300 students reported cyberbullying (table 5).

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