Monday numbers: A closer look at crimes, suspensions and expulsions in NC schools

By: - February 7, 2022 6:00 am

Public schools in North Carolina reported a significant reduction in the number of crimes, suspensions and expulsions during the 2020-21 academic year, as the COVID-19 health crisis forced most districts to offer a mix of remote and in-person learning. 

The Department of Public Instruction shared the findings of the state’s 2020-21 Consolidated Data Report during the State Board of Education’s business meeting last week. 

A subset of that data, the report on School Crime and Violence, showed that “reportable crimes” in 2020-2021 experienced a sharp drop of 78.6% from the previous school year. Reportable crimes are serious offenses such as assault, homicide and rape that school districts are required to report. 

Here is a “by the numbers” snapshot of what the Consolidated Report shows for the year 2020-2021: 

1,535 – Number of reportable crimes across the state during the 2020-2021 school year – the crime rate was 1.04 crimes per 1,000 students

7,158 (for a rate of 4.49 per 1,000 students) The number in 2019-2020

19,482 – Number of statewide short-term suspensions that occurred as a result of criminal or non-criminal acts (unacceptable behaviors) 

152,863 The number in 2019-2020

18,290 (94%) — Number and percentage of the short-term suspensions in 2020-2021 that stemmed from incidents involving unacceptable behaviors (non-criminal acts)

82 — Number of long-term suspensions reported 

405 – The number in 2019-2020

6 – Number of expulsions reported

21 The number in 2019-2020

0 – Number of school districts that reported the use of corporal punishment (this is the third school year in a row zero uses of corporal punishment were reported)

2 (for a total of 60 incidents) – The number that so reported in 2017-2018

314 – Number of students statewide placed in Alternative Learning Programs and Schools instead of being given long-term suspensions 

2,104 – The number in 2019-2020

18,217 – Number of in-school suspensions of a half-day or more assigned to 13,574 students

182,133 – The number in 2019-2020

5,765 – Number of enrollments into Alternative Learning Programs and Schools (all reasons)

10,757 – The number in 2019-2020

1.94 – Dropout rate per 100 high school students

1.53 – Dropout rate in 2019-2020

2.01 – Dropout rate in 2018-2019

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Greg Childress
Greg Childress

Education Reporter Greg Childress covers all aspects of public education in North Carolina, including debates over school funding, curricula, privatization, and teacher pay and licensing.