NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Evidence That Schools Are Becoming Safer

August 11, 1999

One-third fewer youngsters were expelled for bringing a firearm to school in the 1997-98 academic year than in the previous period, according to a report from the Education Department. Those expelled represent only a minuscule proportion of all students, the data show.

  • Total expulsions in the 1997-98 school year amounted to 3,930 students -- compared to a total school age population of 51,310,092.
  • That amounts to an expulsion rate of 0.08 per 1,000 students.
  • In California and Florida, the rate was 0.06 per 1,000 students; 0.03 in New York; and 0.10 in Colorado and Texas.
  • At 0.30 per 1,000, South Dakota leads the nation in the percentage of students expelled for a gun incident -- while North Dakota, with one expulsion, is trailed only by Wyoming, which didn't have any, as states having the fewest expulsions.

The disparity from state to state suggests to some observers that some states and school districts are being more aggressive than others about barring a student from school for a gun violation.

Source: June Kronholz, "Reported School Firearms Expulsions Dropped in '97-'98 From a Year Earlier," Wall Street Journal, August 11, 1999.


Browse more articles on Education Issues