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Reportable public school crimes and consequences decrease in 2015-16

The following is a press release from North Carolina Public Schools

Numbers of reportable acts of school crime, long-term suspensions, expulsions and corporal punishment events decreased in 2015-16, while the number of short-term suspensions increased, according to the N.C. Department of Public Instruction’s 2015-16 Consolidated Data Report. This report will be presented Feb. 2 to the State Board of Education. The total number of reportable acts of school crime decreased 3.2 percent from the 2014-15 school year. Approximately 1.5 million students attended public schools in 2015-16.

State Board Chairman Bill Cobey said he was glad to learn that school crime and violence acts and the disciplinary consequences for such acts decreased last year for the most part. “Schools must be safe havens if we want our teachers to be effective and our students to excel academically,” he said. Cobey added that it is imperative for educators to have strong support from parents and the school community to have the most positive impact on this key measure of school success.

Key findings of the 2015-16 Consolidated Data Report show that:

Reportable Acts of School Crime 

  • The total number of reported acts of school crime decreased 3.2 percent to 10,020 from 10,347 acts in 2014-15. The rate of acts per 1,000 students decreased by 3.9 percent to 6.62 acts per 1,000 students, compared to 6.89 acts per 1,000 students in 2014-15.
  • Schools are required to report 16 offenses that occur on campus or school property. Of those reported, dangerous or violent offenses accounted for 1.8 percent or 177 individual offenses. The most frequently reported acts involved illegal possession of controlled substances, alcoholic beverages, and weapons (excluding firearms or powerful explosives), and assault on school personnel. These four offenses accounted for 96.3 percent or 9,648 of the total number of reported acts.
  • Of the 16 reportable offenses, four showed increases in 2015-16: Assault on School Personnel was up 57 acts (1,272 to 1,329); Possession of a Firearm or Powerful Explosive, up 32 acts (86 to 118); Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon, up eight acts (1 to 9); and Death by Other Than Natural Causes up one (0 to 1).
  • 2,057 schools (79 percent of all) reported five or fewer acts of crime.
  • Four districts – Clay, Jones, Polk and Washington – reported no acts at the high school grades.

Short-Term Suspensions

  • Short-term suspensions (10 days or fewer) among students in all grades increased for the second year in a row, up last year by 4.0 percent. There were 216,895 short-term suspensions reported, compared to 208,650 reported in 2014-15.
  • Of that total, 40.8 percent or 88,559 were given to high school students – a 2.3 percent increase from the 2013-14 total of 86,578.
  • More males than females received short-term suspensions, though both genders showed increases in short-term suspensions from the previous year.
  • American Indian students experienced the only decrease in short-term suspensions; all other racial subgroups showed increases.
  • Ninth graders were more likely to be given short-term suspensions, followed by students in 8th and 7th grades.
  • The average duration of a single short-term suspension was 2.97 days, down from 3.01 days in 2014-15.  

Long-Term Suspensions

  • Fewer long-term suspensions (11 days or more) were reported for students in all grades in 2015-16, for a total of 1,036 statewide. This represents a 4.5 percent decrease from the 1,085 reported in 2014-15.
  • High school students received 702, or 67.8 percent, of long-term suspensions, a 7.8 percent decrease from the 761 reported in 2014-15.
  • Males received more long-term suspensions, though both genders showed a decrease in numbers of long-term suspensions.
  • American Indian and Multiracial students showed an increase in the number of long-term suspensions. Hispanic and Pacific Islander numbers were unchanged, and all other racial subgroups decreased. Black students received the most long-term suspensions, 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 76.6 school days, up from the 72.4 days per suspension reported in 2014-15.


  • Expulsions decreased in 2015-16, with a total of 27 reported, for a 35.7 percent decrease from 2014-15, when 42 were reported.
  • High school students received 21 of all expulsions last year, down from the 37 reported the previous year.
  • More males than females were expelled; however, expulsions for males decreased while expulsions for females remained unchanged.
  • The number of Hispanic students expelled increased, while the count for Multiracial students remained the same at a single student, and none were reported among American Indian, Asian and Pacific Islander, also unchanged from the previous year. All other racial subgroups decreased. Black students received the most expulsions (although this number decreased by 15) followed by Hispanic and White students, with the same number of expulsions.
  • Ninth graders received the most expulsions, followed by 10th and 8th graders.

Corporal Punishment

  • Four North Carolina school districts reported using corporal punishment in 2015-16: Graham, Macon, Robeson and Wilson.
  • Those districts reported 73 instances of corporal punishment, a 50.3 percent decrease from the 147 reported in 2014-15. A total of 66 individual students were subjected to corporal punishment. While 61 students received corporal punishment once, five students received it two or more times. Of those receiving corporal punishment, 61 uses were on non-disabled students and 12 uses were on students with disabilities.
  • More males than females received corporal punishment, with American Indian students receiving the most uses (34), followed by White (32) and Black (5) students.
  • Third graders received the most corporal punishment, followed by 1st and 8th graders, who had equal numbers.
  • The top three reasons for administering corporal punishment were Disruptive Behavior (37), Aggressive Behavior (8) and Insubordination and Leaving School (6 each).  

The full report detailing district-by-district data on all of these measures is available online. Questions regarding this report may be directed to NCDPI Communications at 919.807.3450.


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