NEWS RELEASES 2015-16

NEWS RELEASES 2015-16 :: MARCH 3, 2016

REPORTABLE PUBLIC SCHOOL CRIMES AND CONSEQUENCES INCREASE IN 2014-15;
LONG-TERM SUSPENSIONS DECREASE SLIGHTLY

The total number of reportable acts of school crime, short-term suspensions, expulsions, and the use of corporal punishment increased in 2014-15 while the number of long-term suspensions decreased slightly according to the Consolidated Data Report today presented to the State Board of Education. The total number of reportable acts of school crime increased 2.1 percent, the first increase in three years, while the number of students in North Carolina public schools was at an all-time high of 1,537,643.

State Superintendent June Atkinson said that it is essential for schools to provide positive learning environments so students can reach their academic potential. “Any increase in school crime is a trend in the wrong direction. I am particularly concerned that these increases are among the same groups of students at the same grade levels. One answer is for schools to incorporate more programs such as Positive Behavior Intervention and Support to reach students before they make poor choices that impede their academic success. Parental involvement and support are other important elements in deterring school crime.”

Key findings of the 2014-15 Consolidated Data Report show that:

Reportable Acts of School Crime

  • The total number of reported acts of school crime increased by 2.1 percent to 10,347 from 10,132 acts in 2013-14. The rate of acts per 1,000 students also increased by 1.5 percent to 6.89 acts per 1,000 students as compared to 6.79 acts per 1,000 students in 2013-14.
  • Schools are required to report 16 offenses that occur on campus or school property. Of those reported, dangerous or violent offenses account for 2.2 percent or 229.  The most frequently reported acts involved illegal possession of controlled substances, alcoholic beverages, weapons (excluding firearms or powerful explosives) and assault on school personnel. These four acts accounted for 96 percent or 9,946 of the total number of reported acts.
  • Seventy-eight percent or 2,028 schools reported five or fewer acts of crime.
  • Four districts – Elkin City, Jones, Tyrrell and Washington – reported zero acts at the high school grades.

Short-Term Suspensions

  • Short-term suspensions (10 days or fewer) among students in all grades increased 5.2 percent in 2014-15. There were 208,650 short-term suspensions reported as opposed to 198,254 reported in 2013-14.
  • Of that total, 41.5 percent or 86,578 may be attributed to high school students, which is a 2.7 percent increase from the 2013-14 total of 84,295.
  • More males than females received short-term suspensions with black students receiving the most short-term suspensions followed by white and Hispanic students.
  • Students were most likely to be given short-term suspensions in 9th, 8th and 7th grades.
  • The average duration of a single short-term suspension was 3.01 days, up from 2.97 days in 2013-14.

Long-Term Suspensions

  • There were fewer long-term suspensions (11 days or more) for students in all grades in 2014-15, with 1,085 reported. This is a .3 percent decrease from the 1,088 reported in 2013-14.
  • High school students received 761 or 70.1 percent of long-term suspensions, which was a 6.6 percent increase from the 714 reported in 2013-14.
  • Males received more long-term suspensions with black students given the most followed by white and Hispanic students.
  • Ninth graders received the most long-term suspensions followed by 10th and 8th graders.
  • The average duration of a long-term suspension was 72.4 school days, up from 62.6 days per suspension in 2013-14.

Expulsions

  • Expulsions increased in 2014-15 with 42 reported. This was a 13.5 percent increase from 2013-14 when 37 were reported.
  • High school students received 37 of those expulsions, up from the 34 reported the previous year.
  • More males than females were expelled with black students receiving the must expulsions followed by white students.
  • Tenth graders received the most expulsions followed by 12th and 9th graders.

Corporal Punishment

  • Corporal punishment, which is governed by local school board policy, is still used in four North Carolina school districts - Graham, Macon, Robeson and Swain - a number that has been declining for many years.
  • In those four districts, there were 147 instances of corporal punishment, a 20.5 percent increase from the 122 reported in 2013-14. A total of 124 students received corporal punishment. While 108 students received corporal punishment once, 16 students received it two or more times.
  • More males than females received corporal punishment with American Indian students receiving the most corporal punishment followed by white and multiracial students.
  • First graders received the most corporal punishment followed by 3rd and 4th graders.
  • The top three reasons for administering corporal punishment were disruptive behavior (82), leaving school (16) and cell phone use (12).

The full report detailing district-by-district data on all of these measures is available online.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 160 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.


For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.