students and school discipline

understanding disciplinary data


School personnel learn
new approaches to discipline

Ansonia sentences
kids to … gym time?

Bridgeport cops, kids stop
giving each other a bad rap

Old Lyme cop club
helps kids shine

right response CT

CT just start—unequal treatment of youth

school police collaboration

school police training

using youth behavior data

understanding disciplinary data

CT juvenile justice

CT funding opportunities


Do minority students have more disciplinary incidents than white students? Is there disproportionate minority contact (DMC)?

Do school districts handle discipline in the same way?

These are questions we answered in the training with system data about school districts. For information on youth behavior see Youth Behavior Data.

Using disciplinary data by comparing your district data to the statewide average or to the data available for your District Reference Group (DRG) is a good place to start.

To compare rates by race/ethnicity use the Relative Rate Index (RRI). The RRI shows what happens to minority students in terms of what happens to white students. DMC is found when the RRI is NOT close to 1.

Rate for Minority Students


Rate for White Students

A rate at a particular decision point is the number of students at that point divided by the number of students at the previous decision point. For example, the number of disciplinary incidents divided by the number of students in attendance gives the rate of disciplinary incidents, usually expressed as a percentage.

The RRI identifies potential problems where additional data analysis would be useful. Look at the two decision points of identification of: 1) incidents and 2) consequences or sanctions. If district RRI’s are high or are high relative to other districts, look at RRI’s within the district by level (elementary, middle, high), by school building or by grade. This shows more specifically where the problem lies.

Where RRI’s are high, look at factors other than race/ethnicity that would explain decisions made. Begin with the type of misbehavior. Categorize misbehavior into three groups (serious, less serious, not serious) and re-calculate the RRI’s.

Look for:

  • Low numbers of students or incidents (small numbers mean one different decision would change the data)
  • Large numbers of incidents by a few students (might explain away DMC)
  • Large numbers of incidents identified by a few staff (might indicate a personnel or training issue)
  • Large RRI’s across the system (might mean policies and procedures need clarification)

Review some recent Connecticut RRI data by school district provided in the Effective School Staff Interactions with Students and Police training.