Report: Less Than 1 Percent of Students Broke Laws
By West Kentucky Star Staff
RICHMOND, KY - The Kentucky Center for School Safety (KCSS) has released its 2015-16 School Safety Data Report examining law violations committed in Kentucky’s public schools during the previous school year.

The center says 6,001 students out Of 655,475 enrolled in Kentucky public schools were charged with violating a law. That's less than 1 in 100 students. Of those who were charged, 12.33 percent were repeat offenders, with 5,261 others only having one violation. 

Data analysis also showed that use of marijuana or hashish was the number one violation, accounting for 26.45 percent. KCSS says, "While this rate is consistent with previous years, the popularity of marijuana/hashish with teenagers is a major concern for all communities."

Alcohol use and possession had jumped up by 46.8 percent in the previous report, but this new report shows a 26.19 percent decrease.

Disorderly conduct violations increased by 192.81% from the previous report, but it appears the data may not fully correspond from year to year. When they reviewed the data from 2014-2105, KCSS says it appears some districts did not correctly code specific incidences of disorderly conduct, so correct data from this year's report looks inflated by comparison.

The report summary notes that, "the disproportionality of race, special education and socio-economic status among student violators continues to be a concern and suggests that a thorough analysis of school-level data is warranted." Specifically, there was a significantly higher percentage of black students with reported law violations (30.31%) compared to black students enrolled (10.5%) in the 2015 -2016 school year, and there were significantly lower percentages of white (6.57%) and other race (8.67%) students who had reported law violations when compared to white and other race enrollments (79.05% and 10.41%). Still, almost 61 percent of the reported violations were by white students.

Data trends from previous years proved consistent when looking at grades. The largest number of reported law violations were ninth graders, followed by 10th, 11th, and 12th grade. The center says this key transition year is also reported as troublesome in studies of retention, failed subjects and attendance.

Among weapons violations reported, the “other” category for violations was highest (88.80%), and predominately involved objects that are capable of being readily used to inflict severe bodily injury upon someone. This compares to violations involving a firearm, handgun, or rifle, which were rare (11.20%) in the 2015-16 school year.

The KCSS says reported violations for terroristic threatening may be under-reported. The report says representatives are frequently consulted about anonymous threats that have been uncovered, but cannot be attached to a student. Since only violations that can be assigned to a student are reported, anonymous threats that require school administrators to investigate and respond are not captured in the current data. They say this may be an area that needs to be addressed in future reporting procedures. 

On the Net:

KCSS full report

Published 04:15 PM, Monday May. 01, 2017
Updated 02:32 PM, Monday May. 01, 2017

Please login to leave a comment.
  • View Comment
    View (1) Comment