School Discipline

Written by

U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights

U.S. Department of Education

Issue Brief No. 1 (March 2014)
For other data snapshots in the series, visit the 
CRDC
INSIDE THIS SNAPSHOT: School Discipline, Restraint, & Seclusion Highlights

School Discipline, Restraint, & Seclusion Highlights

The Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) reveals that students of certain racial or ethnic groups and students with disabilities are disciplined at far higher rates than their peers, beginning in preschool. The CRDC data also show that

·         Suspension of preschool children, by race/ethnicity and gender (new for 2011-2012 collection): Black children represent 18% of preschool enrollment, but 48% of preschool children receiving more than one out-of-school suspension; in comparison, white students represent 43% of preschool enrollment but 26% of preschool children receiving more than one out of school suspension. Boys represent 79% of preschool children suspended once and 82% of preschool children suspended multiple times, although boys represent 54% of preschool enrollment.

·         Disproportionately high suspension/expulsion rates for students of color: Black students are suspended and expelled at a rate three times greater than white students. On average, 5% of white students are suspended, compared to 16% of black students. American Indian and Native-Alaskan students are also disproportionately suspended and expelled, representing less than 1% of the student population but 2% of out-of-school suspensions and 3% of expulsions.

·         Disproportionate suspensions of girls of color: While boys receive more than two out of three suspensions, black girls are suspended at higher rates (12%) than girls of any other race or ethnicity and most boys; American Indian and Native-Alaskan girls (7%) are suspended at higher rates than white boys (6%) or girls (2%).

·         Suspension of students with disabilities and English learners: Students with disabilities are more than twice as likely to receive an out-of-school suspension (13%) than students without disabilities (6%). In contrast, English learners do not receive out-of-school suspensions at disproportionately high rates (7% suspension rate, compared to 10% of student enrollment).

·         Suspension rates, by race, sex, and disability status combined: With the exception of Latino and Asian-American students, more than one out of four boys of color with disabilities (served by IDEA) — and nearly one in five girls of color with disabilities — receives an out-of-school suspension.

·         Arrests and referrals to law enforcement, by race and disability status: While black students represent 16% of student enrollment, they represent 27% of students referred to law enforcement and 31% of students subjected to a school-related arrest. In comparison, white students represent 51% of enrollment, 41% of students referred to law enforcement, and 39% of those arrested. Students with disabilities (served by IDEA) represent a quarter of students arrested and referred to law enforcement, even though they are only 12% of the overall student population.

·         Restraint and seclusion, by disability status and race: Students with disabilities (served by IDEA) represent 12% of the student population, but 58% of those placed in seclusion or involuntary confinement, and 75% of those physically restrained at school to immobilize them or reduce their ability to move freely. Black students represent 19% of students with disabilities served by IDEA, but 36% of these students who are restrained at school through the use of a mechanical device or equipment designed to restrict their freedom of movement.

The Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) reveals that students of certain racial or ethnic groups and students with disabilities are disciplined at far higher rates than their peers, beginning in preschool. The CRDC data also show that an increasing number of students are losing important instructional time due to exclusionary discipline.

School Discipline

Rates of suspension and expulsion, by race/ethnicity

Black students represent 16% of the student population, but 32-42% of students suspended or expelled. In comparison, white students also represent a similar range of between 31-40% of students suspended or expelled, but they are 51% of the student population.

[Image: Students receiving suspensions and expulsions, by race and ethnicity. Enrollment – 51% White, 2% Two or more races, 24% Hispanic/Latino of any race, 16% Black/African American, 0.5% Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, 5% Asian, 0.5% American Indian/Alaska Native. In school suspension – 40% White, 3% Two or more races, 22% Hispanic/Latino of any race, 32% Black/African American, 0.2% Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, 1% Asian, 0.2% American Indian/Alaska Native. Out-of-school-suspension (single) – 36% White, 3% Two or more races, 23% Hispanic/Latino of any race, 33% Black/African American, 0.4% Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, 2% Asian, 2% American Indian/Alaska Native. Out-of-school-suspensions (multiple) – 31% White, 3% Two or more races, 21% Hispanic/Latino of any race, 42% Black/African American, 0.3% Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, 1% Asian, 2% American Indian/Alaska Native. Expulsions – 36% White, 3% Two or more races, 22% Hispanic/Latino of any race, 34% Black/African American, 0.3% Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, 1% Asian, 3% American Indian/Alaska Native.

[Image: Students receiving suspensions and expulsions, by race and ethnicity. Enrollment – 51% White, 2% Two or more races, 24% Hispanic/Latino of any race, 16% Black/African American, 0.5% Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, 5% Asian, 0.5% American Indian/Alaska Native. In school suspension – 40% White, 3% Two or more races, 22% Hispanic/Latino of any race, 32% Black/African American, 0.2% Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, 1% Asian, 0.2% American Indian/Alaska Native. Out-of-school-suspension (single) – 36% White, 3% Two or more races, 23% Hispanic/Latino of any race, 33% Black/African American, 0.4% Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, 2% Asian, 2% American Indian/Alaska Native. Out-of-school-suspensions (multiple) – 31% White, 3% Two or more races, 21% Hispanic/Latino of any race, 42% Black/African American, 0.3% Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, 1% Asian, 2% American Indian/Alaska Native. Expulsions – 36% White, 3% Two or more races, 22% Hispanic/Latino of any race, 34% Black/African American, 0.3% Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, 1% Asian, 3% American Indian/Alaska Native.

NOTE: Detail may not sum to 100% due to rounding. Totals: Enrollment is 49 million students, in-school suspension is 3.5 million students, single out-of-school suspension is 1.9 million students, multiple out-of-school suspension is 1.55 million students, and expulsion is 130,000 students. Data reported in this figure represents 99% of responding schools.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Civil Rights Data Collection, 2011-12.

Out-of-school suspensions, by race/ethnicity and gender

Black students are suspended and expelled at a rate three times greater than white students. On average, 4.6% of white students are suspended, compared to 16.4% of black students. Through CRDC data, we can also explore suspensions by race and gender. Black boys and girls have higher suspension rates than any of their peers. Twenty percent (20%) of black boys and more than 12% of black girls receive an out-of-school suspension.

[Image: Students receiving out-of-school suspensions by race/ethnicity and gender. Boys – 13% American Indian/Alaska Native, 3% Asian, 7% Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, 20% Black/African American, 9% Hispanic/Latino of any race, 11% Two or more races, 6% White. Girls – 7% American Indian/Alaska Native, 1% Asian, 3% Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, 12% Black/African American, 4% Hispanic/Latino of any race, 5% Two or more races, 2% White.

[Image: Students receiving out-of-school suspensions by race/ethnicity and gender. Boys – 13% American Indian/Alaska Native, 3% Asian, 7% Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, 20% Black/African American, 9% Hispanic/Latino of any race, 11% Two or more races, 6% White. Girls – 7% American Indian/Alaska Native, 1% Asian, 3% Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, 12% Black/African American, 4% Hispanic/Latino of any race, 5% Two or more races, 2% White.

NOTE: Data reflects 99% of CRDC schools and a total of 290,000 American Indian/Alaska Native females, 300,000 American Indian/Alaska Native males, 1.1 million Asian males, 1.2 million Asian females, 120,000 Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander males and females, 3.7 million black females, 3.8 million black males, 5.6 million Hispanic females, 5.9 million Hispanic males, 630,000 males of two or more races, 640,000 females of two or more races, 12 million white males, and 12 million white females.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Civil Rights Data Collection, 2011-12.

Students with disabilities suspended out-of-school

Students with disabilities served by IDEA are more than twice as likely to receive one or more out-of-school suspension as students without disabilities.

 

[Image: Students receiving out-of-school suspensions, by disability (IDEA) status. Students without disabilities – 6%, Students with disabilities – 13%.]

NOTE: Data reflects 99% of CRDC schools, including 43.5 million students without disabilities and 6 million students with disabilities.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Civil Rights Data Collection, 2011-12.

Students with disabilities suspended out-of-school, by race/ethnicity and gender

Latino and Asian-American students with disabilities are suspended at significant but comparatively low rates (17% and 10% for Latino boys and girls, and 10% and 6% for Asian-American boys and girls, respectively). They are the exception to the rule applicable to other boys of color with disabilities, more than one out of four of whom receives an out-of-school suspension. Similarly, nearly one in five girls of color with disabilities receives an out-of-school suspension.

[Image: Students with disabilities (IDEA) receiving out-of-school suspensions, by race/ethnicity and gender. Boys – 29% American Indian/Alaska Native, 10% Asian, 25% Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, 27% Black/African American, 17% Hispanic/Latino of any race, 34% Two or more races, 12% White. Girls – 20% American Indian/Alaska Native, 6% Asian, 18% Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, 19% Black/African American, 10% Hispanic/Latino of any race, 27% Two or more races, 6% White.]

[Image: Students with disabilities (IDEA) receiving out-of-school suspensions, by race/ethnicity and gender. Boys – 29% American Indian/Alaska Native, 10% Asian, 25% Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, 27% Black/African American, 17% Hispanic/Latino of any race, 34% Two or more races, 12% White. Girls – 20% American Indian/Alaska Native, 6% Asian, 18% Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, 19% Black/African American, 10% Hispanic/Latino of any race, 27% Two or more races, 6% White.]

NOTE: Data reflects 98.9% of CRDC schools. Totals include 40,000 male and 19,000 female student who are American Indian/Native Alaskan, 71,000 male and 25,000 female students who are Asian, 11,000 male and 4,000 female students who are Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, 750,000 male and 355,000 female students who are black, 840,000 male and 410,000 female students who are Latino, 69,000 male and 25,000 female students who are of two or more races, 2.1 million male and 1.1 million female students who are white.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Civil Rights Data Collection, 2011-12.

English learners do not disproportionately receive out-of-school suspensions

English learners represent 10% of overall enrollment, but a smaller percentage of students receiving out-of-school suspensions (7%).

 

[Image: Students suspended out-of-school, by English learner (LEP) status. Enrollment – 10% English Learners (LEP), 90% Non-English learners. Students suspended out-of-school – 7% English learners (LEP), Non-English learner.]

NOTE: Data reflects 99% of CRDC schools, including 45 million students who are not LEP and 4.7 million students who are LEP.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Civil Rights Data Collection, 2011-12.

Suspensions and expulsions, by gender

While boys and girls each represent about half of the student population, boys represent nearly three out of four of those suspended multiple times out of school and expelled.

[Image: Students receiving suspensions and expulsions by gender. Overall Enrollment – 49% Girls, 51% Boys. In-school suspension – 33% Girls, 67% Boys. Single out-of-school suspension – 32% Girls, 68% Boys. Multiple out-of-school suspensions – 28% Girls, 72% Boys. Expulsions – 26% Girls, 74% Boys.]

[Image: Students receiving suspensions and expulsions by gender. Overall Enrollment – 49% Girls, 51% Boys. In-school suspension – 33% Girls, 67% Boys. Single out-of-school suspension – 32% Girls, 68% Boys. Multiple out-of-school suspensions – 28% Girls, 72% Boys. Expulsions – 26% Girls, 74% Boys.]

NOTE: Detail may not sum to 100% due to rounding. Totals: Enrollment is 49 million students, in-school suspension is 3.5 million students, single out-of-school suspension is 1.9 million students, multiple out-of-school suspension is 1.55 million students, and expulsions are 130,000 students. Data reported in this figure represents 99% of responding schools.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Civil Rights Data Collection, 2011-12.

Arrests and referrals to law enforcement, by race/ethnicity

Black students represent 16% of student enrollment, 27% of students referred to law enforcement, and 31% of students subjected to a school-related arrest. In comparison, white students represent 51% of students enrolled, 41% of referrals to law enforcement, and 39% of those subjected to school-related arrests.

[Image: Students subjected to referrals to law enforcement or school-related arrests, by race and ethnicity. Enrollment – 51% White, 3% Two or more races, 24% Hispanic/Latino of any race, 16% Black/African American, 0.3% Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, 5% Asian, 1% American Indian/Alaska Native. Referrals to law enforcement – 41% White, 3% Two or more races, 24% Hispanic/Latino of any race, 27% Black/African American, 0.3% Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, 2% Asian, 3% American Indian/Alaska Native. School-related arrests – 39% White, 3% Two or more races, 24% Hispanic/Latino of any race, 31% Black/African American, 0.5% Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, 1% Asian, 2% American Indian/Alaska Native.]

[Image: Students subjected to referrals to law enforcement or school-related arrests, by race and ethnicity. Enrollment – 51% White, 3% Two or more races, 24% Hispanic/Latino of any race, 16% Black/African American, 0.3% Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, 5% Asian, 1% American Indian/Alaska Native. Referrals to law enforcement – 41% White, 3% Two or more races, 24% Hispanic/Latino of any race, 27% Black/African American, 0.3% Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, 2% Asian, 3% American Indian/Alaska Native. School-related arrests – 39% White, 3% Two or more races, 24% Hispanic/Latino of any race, 31% Black/African American, 0.5% Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, 1% Asian, 2% American Indian/Alaska Native.]

NOTE: Detail may not sum to 100% due to rounding. Totals are 49 million students for overall enrollment, 260,000 students referred to law enforcement, and 92,000 students subject to school-related arrests. Data on referrals to law enforcement represents 98% of schools and data on school related arrests represents 94% of schools in the CRDC universe.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Civil Rights Data Collection, 2011–12.

Arrests and referrals to law enforcement, by disability (IDEA) status

Students with disabilities represent a quarter of the students who are referred to law enforcement or subjected to school related arrests, while representing just 12% of the student population.

 

[Image: Students referred to law enforcement or subjected to school-related arrests by disability status (IDEA). Enrollment – 12% Students with disabilities (IDEA), 88% Students without disabilities. Referred to law enforcement – 25% Students with disabilities (IDEA), 75% Students without disabilities. School-related arrest – 25% Students with disabilities (IDEA), 75% Students without disabilities.]

NOTE: Detail may not sum to 100% due to rounding. Totals are 49 million students for overall enrollment, 260,000 students referred to law enforcement, and 92,000 students subject to school-related arrests. Data on referrals to law enforcement represents 98% of schools and data on school related arrests represents 94% of schools in the CRDC universe.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Civil Rights Data Collection, 2011-12.

Preschool discipline

The inclusion for the first time in the CRDC of preschool data confirms that discipline begins in the earliest years of schooling. Of the school districts with children participating in preschool programs, 6% reported suspending out of school at least one preschool child. Racial disparities in out-of-school suspensions also start early; black children represent 18% of preschool enrollment, but 42% of the preschool children suspended once, and 48% of the preschool children suspended more than once.

[Image: Preschool students receiving suspensions, by race and ethnicity. Enrollment – 43% White, 4% Two or more races, 29% Hispanic/Latino of any race, 18% Black/African American, 1% Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, 4% Asian, 2% American Indian/Alaska Native. Out-of-school suspension (single) – 28% White, 3% Two or more races, 25% Hispanic/Latino of any race, 42% Black/African American, 0.1% Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, 1% Asian, 1% American Indian/Alaska Native. Out-of-school suspensions (multiple) – 26% White, 4% Two or more races, 20% Hispanic/Latino of any race, 48% Black/African American, 0.1% Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, 1% Asian, 0.1% American Indian/Alaska Native.]

[Image: Preschool students receiving suspensions, by race and ethnicity. Enrollment – 43% White, 4% Two or more races, 29% Hispanic/Latino of any race, 18% Black/African American, 1% Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, 4% Asian, 2% American Indian/Alaska Native. Out-of-school suspension (single) – 28% White, 3% Two or more races, 25% Hispanic/Latino of any race, 42% Black/African American, 0.1% Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, 1% Asian, 1% American Indian/Alaska Native. Out-of-school suspensions (multiple) – 26% White, 4% Two or more races, 20% Hispanic/Latino of any race, 48% Black/African American, 0.1% Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, 1% Asian, 0.1% American Indian/Alaska Native.]

NOTE: Detail may not sum to 100% due to rounding. Figure reflects 99% of schools offering preschool, including over 1 million preschool students, nearly 5,000 students suspended once, and over 2,500 students suspended more than once. Preschool suspensions and expulsions were collected for the first time in 2011–12.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Civil Rights Data Collection, 2011–12.

The CRDC reveals that children with disabilities served by IDEA and English learners were not disproportionately suspended in preschool.

Preschool children receiving out-of-school suspensions, by disability status

[Image: Preschool Enrollment – 22% IDEA, 78% Non-IDEA. Out-of-school suspension (single) 19% IDEA, 81% Non-IDEA. Out-of-school suspension (multiple) – 17% IDEA, 83% Non-IDEA.]

[Image: Preschool Enrollment – 22% IDEA, 78% Non-IDEA. Out-of-school suspension (single) 19% IDEA, 81% Non-IDEA. Out-of-school suspension (multiple) – 17% IDEA, 83% Non-IDEA.]

NOTE: Preschool suspensions were collected for the first time in 2011-12. Detail may not sum to 100% due to rounding. Represents 99% of schools with preschool students enrolled, including over 1 million preschool students.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Civil Rights Data Collection, 2011–12.

Preschool children receiving suspensions, by English learner status

[Image: Preschool Enrollment – 12% LEP, 88% Non-LEP. Out-of-school suspension (single) – 11% LEP, 89% Non-LEP. Out-of-school suspension (multiple) – 9% LEP, 91% Non-LEP.]

[Image: Preschool Enrollment – 12% LEP, 88% Non-LEP. Out-of-school suspension (single) – 11% LEP, 89% Non-LEP. Out-of-school suspension (multiple) – 9% LEP, 91% Non-LEP.]

NOTE: Preschool suspensions were collected for the first time in 2011–12. Detail may not sum to 100% due to rounding. Represents 99% of schools with preschool students enrolled.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Civil Rights Data Collection, 2011–12.

Restraint and Seclusion

The CDRC reveals that students with disabilities are subject to physical and mechanical restraint and seclusion at rates that far exceed that of other students, and black students with disabilities are subject to mechanical restraints at even higher rates than other students with disabilities. Mechanical restraint is the use of any device or equipment to restrict a student’s freedom of movement. Physical restraint is a personal restriction that immobilizes or reduces the ability of a student to move his or her torso, arms, legs, or head freely. Seclusion is the involuntary confinement of a student alone in a room or area that the student is physically prevented from leaving.

Physical restraint of students with disabilities

Students with disabilities served by IDEA represent 12% of students enrolled in public schools, but 75% of the students who are subjected to physical restraint during school.

 

[Image: Students subjected to physical restraint, by disability status (IDEA). Students enrolled in public schools – 12% Students with disabilities, 88% Students without disabilities. Students subjected to physical restraint – 75% Students with disabilities. 25% Students without disabilities.]

NOTE: Detail may not sum to 100% due to rounding. Figure represents 99% of schools, including 49.7 million students enrolled and over 70,000 students subjected to physical restraint.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Civil Rights Data Collection, 2011-12.

Seclusion of students with disabilities

Students with disabilities served by IDEA represent 12% of all students and 58% of students subjected to seclusion in school.

 

[Image: Students subjected to seclusion, by disability status (IDEA). Students enrolled in public schools – 12% Students with disabilities, 88% Students without disabilities. Students subjected to seclusion – 58% Students with disabilities, 42% Students without disabilities.]

NOTE: Detail may not sum to 100% due to rounding. Figure represents 99% of schools, including 49.7 million students enrolled and over 37,000 students subject to seclusion.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Civil Rights Data Collection, 2011-12.

Mechanical restraint of students of color with disabilities

 

[Image: Students with disabilities subjected to mechanical restraint, by race/ethnicity. Students with disabilities (IDEA) – 55% White, 2% Two or more races, 21% Hispanic/Latino of any race, 19% Black/African American, 0.3% Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, 2% Asian, 1% American Indian/Alaska Native. Students with disabilities (IDEA) subjected to mechanical restraint – 47% White, 2% Two or more races, 12% Hispanic/Latino of any race, 36% Black/African American, 0.1% Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, 1% Asian, 2% American Indian/Alaska Native.]

[Image: Students with disabilities subjected to mechanical restraint, by race/ethnicity. Students with disabilities (IDEA) – 55% White, 2% Two or more races, 21% Hispanic/Latino of any race, 19% Black/African American, 0.3% Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, 2% Asian, 1% American Indian/Alaska Native. Students with disabilities (IDEA) subjected to mechanical restraint – 47% White, 2% Two or more races, 12% Hispanic/Latino of any race, 36% Black/African American, 0.1% Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, 1% Asian, 2% American Indian/Alaska Native.]

Black students represent 19% of students with disabilities served by IDEA, but 36% of these students who are subject to mechanical restraint.

NOTE: Detail may not sum to 100% due to rounding. Figure represents 99% of CRDC responding schools, including 6 million students served by IDEA and nearly 4,000 IDEA students subject to mechanical restraint.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Civil Rights Data Collection, 2011-12.

Discipline, Restraint, and Seclusion: State-by-State

For the first time since 2000, the 2011-12 CRDC included every public school and district in the nation, allowing more accurate depictions of statewide trends and inter-state disparities. The following tables provide state-level data on indicators related to out-of-school suspensions and physical restraint. Here are some highlights:

Out-of-school suspensions

Black and Latino students:

·         Three (3) states reported male suspension rates less than the nation for every racial/ethnic group and a smaller gap between black students and their white peers: New Jersey, New York, and North Dakota

·         Five (5) states reported male suspension rates higher than the nation for every racial/ethnic group: Florida, Indiana, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and South Carolina.

·         Eleven (11) states (and D.C.) reported higher gaps than the nation between the suspension rates of black students and white students for both boys and girls: Arkansas, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.

Students with disabilities (served by IDEA):

·         Five (5) states reported a four percentage point or smaller gap in out-of-school suspension rates between students with disabilities served by IDEA and students without disabilities: North Dakota, (2%), Utah (3%), Idaho (4%), Mississippi (4%), and Wyoming (4%).

·         Five (5) states (and D.C.) reported a ten percentage point or higher gap in out-of-school suspension rates between students with disabilities served by IDEA and students without disabilities: Florida (15%), Nevada (14%), District of Columbia (13%), Wisconsin (11%), and Louisiana (10%).

Physical restraint

Students with disabilities (served by IDEA) and physical restraint:

·         Across the nation, 75% of students subjected to physical restraint were classified as students with disabilities served by IDEA. Twenty-five (25) states had higher percentages than the national average.

·         In Nevada, Florida, and Wyoming, students with disabilities served by IDEA represent less than 15% of students enrolled in the state, but more than 90% of the students who were physically restrained in the state. Nevada (96%), Florida (95%), and Wyoming (93%) reported the highest percentages of physically retrained students with disabilities by IDEA.

·         Three (3) states had fewer than 50% of students subjected to physical restraint classified as students with disabilities served by IDEA. Those states were: Mississippi (40%), Arkansas (41%), and Louisiana (43%).

To see Discipline, Restraint, and Seclusion data by state, click here and go to pages 12-19.

Data Notes and Methodology

Since 1968, the Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) has collected data on key education and civil rights issues in our nation's public schools for use by the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), other Department offices, other federal agencies, and by policymakers and researchers outside of the Department. The CRDC collects information about school characteristics and about programs, services, and outcomes for students. Most student data is disaggregated by race/ethnicity, gender, limited English proficiency, and disability.

Schools and Districts Included

The CRDC has generally been collected biennially from school districts in each of the 50 states, plus the District of Columbia. The 2011-12 CRDC included all public schools and public school districts in the nation that serve students for at least 50% of the school day. The CRDC also includes long-term secure juvenile justice agencies, schools for the blind and deaf, and alternative schools. The response rate for this large national collection was 98.4% of school districts and 99.2% of schools, representing 99.6% of students in the nation.

Race and Ethnicity

For the 2011-12 CRDC, districts reported data using the seven race and ethnicity categories (Hispanic/Latino, white, black/African-American, Asian, Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, American Indian/Alaska Native, and Two or More Races). For more information on the Department’s 2007 guidance regarding race and ethnicity categories, please visit http://www2.ed.gov/policy/rschstat/guid/raceethnicity/index.html.

Privacy Protection and Data Rounding

To ensure the protection of privacy while meeting the purposes of the CRDC, OCR conducted the analysis presented in this document on the privacy protected CRDC data. The CRDC data is privacy protected by rounding student counts in groups of three to prevent the disclosure of individual student information. For example, student counts from 1-3 are rounded to two, student counts from 4-6 are rounded to five.
In previous years, OCR has rounded CRDC data to the nearest five. However, in collaboration with the Department’s Disclosure Review Board, OCR implemented a new rounding method for the 2011-12 CRDC to reveal true zeroes where possible and minimize the distortion of rounding. In general, for the 2011-12 CRDC data, the distortion of rounding one student to two would be balanced by the rounding down of three students to two. However, this new privacy protection method may inflate total counts for CRDC data elements in which there are prevalent cases of schools reporting only one student (e.g., one student retained is rounded to two students retained).

Limitations of CRDC Data

OCR strives to ensure CRDC data are an accurate and comprehensive depiction of student access to educational opportunities in school districts. The submission system includes a series of embedded edit checks to ensure significant data errors are corrected before the district submits its data. Additionally, each district is required to certify the accuracy of its submission. Only a district superintendent, or the superintendent’s designee, may certify the CRDC submission. Ultimately, the quality of the CRDC data depends on accurate collection and reporting by the participating districts.

After reviewing the data, OCR is aware that inconsistencies may still remain in the data file. Users should be aware that outliers in the dataset may be a function of districts misreporting data. For example, outliers in the data on single-sex classes may be reporting the number of students enrolled in single-sex classes rather than the number of single-sex classes. In the analysis provided in this report, some schools and districts with potential reporting errors were excluded from the analysis. The percentage of schools included can be found in the notes section below each chart.

Discipline

CRDC Definitions:

·         Students with Disabilities (IDEA): Children (students) having mental retardation, hearing impairment (including deafness), speech or language impairment, visual impairment (including blindness), serious emotional disturbance (hereafter referred to as emotional disturbance), orthopedic impairment, autism, traumatic brain injury, developmental delay, other health impairment, specific learning disability, deaf-blindness, or multiple disabilities, and who, by reason thereof, are eligible to receive special education and related services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) according to an individualized education program, individual family service plan, or service plan. The “Students with Disabilities (IDEA)” column in survey items always refers to students with disabilities who are receiving services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

·         Students with Disabilities (Section 504): An elementary or secondary student with a disability who is being provided with special education and/or related aids and services under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and is NOT being provided with services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The “Section 504 only” column in survey items always refers to students with disabilities who are being provided with related aids and services under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and are NOT being provided with services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

·         In-school suspension: Instances in which a child is temporarily removed from his or her regular classroom(s) for at least half a day but remains under the direct supervision of school personnel. Direct supervision means school personnel are physically in the same location as students under their supervision.

·         Out-of-school suspension:

o For students with disabilities (IDEA): Out-of-school suspension is an instance in which a child is temporarily removed from his/her regular school for disciplinary purposes to another setting (e.g., home, behavior center). This includes both removals in which no IEP services are provided because the removal is 10 days or less, as well as removals in which the child continues to receive services according to his/her IEP.
o For students without disabilities and students with disabilities served solely under Section 504: Out-of-school suspension means excluding a student from school for disciplinary reasons for one school day or longer. This does not include students who served their suspension in the school.

·         Expulsion with educational services: An action taken by the local educational agency removing a child from his/her regular school for disciplinary purposes, with the continuation of educational services, for the remainder of the school year or longer in accordance with local educational agency policy. Expulsion with educational services also includes removals resulting from violations of the Gun Free Schools Act that are modified to less than 365 days.

·         Expulsion without educational services: An action taken by the local educational agency removing a child from his/her regular school for disciplinary purposes, with the cessation of educational services, for the remainder of the school year or longer in accordance with local educational agency policy. Expulsion without services also includes removals resulting from violations of the Gun Free Schools Act that are modified to less than 365 days.

·         Referral to Law Enforcement: Referral to law enforcement is an action by which a student is reported to any law enforcement agency or official, including a school police unit, for an incident that occurs on school grounds, during school-related events, or while taking school transportation, regardless of whether official action is taken.

·         School-related arrest: A school-related arrest is an arrest of a student for any activity conducted on school grounds, during off-campus school activities (including while taking school transportation), or due to a referral by any school official.

Generally, discipline data is presented two ways in this snapshot. Figure 1 shows the proportion of all students subject to disciplinary actions who are represented in each race/ethnicity category. The data is presented in stacked bar charts where each bar sums to 100 percent. Figure 2 presents the information as a rate. For example, of all the black male students enrolled, 20 percent received an out-of-school suspension. By presenting the rate as a rate, the prevalence of the disciplinary action can be analyzed.

Discipline by Race, Section 504 Students: The CRDC collects detailed disaggregated discipline data for non-disabled students, students served by IDEA, and Section 504 students. Because the CRDC does not include the race/ethnicity breakdown of students served by Section 504 only, the percentages by race/ethnicity of students receiving each type of disciplinary action are calculated based on non-disabled students and students served by IDEA.

Expulsions:The percentage of students receiving expulsions includes both expulsions with services and without services.

Referrals to law enforcement and school-related arrests: The data represented in these figures excludes schools with possible reporting errors. For example, some schools reported large numbers of students subjected to school-related arrests, but much smaller counts of students referred to law enforcement. To ensure large reporting errors did not bias the results, school reporting over 150% of the students referred to law enforcement as arrested, were excluded from the analysis.

Restraint and Seclusion

CRDC Definitions:

·         Mechanical Restraint: The use of any device or equipment to restrict a student’s freedom of movement. The term does not include devices implemented by trained school personnel, or utilized by a student that have been prescribed by an appropriate medical or related services professional and are used for the specific and approved purposes for which such devices were designed, such as: Adaptive devices or mechanical supports used to achieve proper body position, balance, or alignment to allow greater freedom of mobility than would be possible without the use of such devices or mechanical supports; Vehicle safety restraints when used as intended during the transport of a student in a moving vehicle; Restraints for medical immobilization; or Orthopedically prescribed devices that permit a student to participate in activities without risk of harm.

·         Physical Restraint: A personal restriction that immobilizes or reduces the ability of a student to move his or her torso, arms, legs, or head freely. The term physical restraint does not include a physical escort. Physical escort means a temporary touching or holding of the hand, wrist, arm, shoulder or back for the purpose of inducing a student who is acting out to walk to a safe location.

·         Seclusion: The involuntary confinement of a student alone in a room or area from which the student is physically prevented from leaving. It does not include a timeout, which is a behavior management technique that is part of an approved program, involves the monitored separation of the student in a non-locked setting, and is implemented for the purpose of calming.

Analysis of Physical Restraint, State by State: Hawaii reported no students subject to physical restraint. Therefore the percent of IDEA students subject to physical restraint is reported as n/a.

 

For more information about the CRDC, click here.