Student problem behaviors, disciplinary actions, and schools' challenges for achieving school safety
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] Based on the secondary analyses of School Survey on Crime and Safety (SSOCS) 2005-2006 data, this study found that secondary schools frequently took severe disciplinary actions against students. After controlling for the number of students' problem behaviors, the study found that schools with a larger percentage of disadvantaged students (e.g., special education students, ethnic minority students, underachievers, and students in poverty) were more likely to take severe disciplinary actions than schools with a smaller percentage of such students. In addition, school principals faced multiple challenges for promoting school safety. Schools with challenges (e.g., a lack of alternative education programs, a lack of funding, and problems in special education policies) were more likely to take severe disciplinary actions. School principals should administer severe disciplinary actions in a fair manner, and school districts and state policy makers should establish reasonable regulations on alternative education programs and special education policies.
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