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ERIC Number: ED569912
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Mar
Pages: 26
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 9
A Descriptive Analysis of Harassment, Intimidation, or Bullying Student Behaviors: 2013-2014
Whisman, Andy
West Virginia Department of Education
This report describes the occurrence of discipline referrals and corresponding interventions and consequences used by schools for "harassment," "intimidation," or "bullying" behaviors during the 2013-2014 school year. Using data entered into the West Virginia Education Information System (WVEIS), the authors conducted two sets of analyses--one focusing on discipline referrals to examine the number, seriousness, and types of harassment, intimidation, or bullying behaviors and interventions used by schools; and a second addressing questions about the characteristics of students reported for these behaviors. Of the 209,602 student discipline referrals reported in WVEIS, 3,533 (1.7%) were for harassment, intimidation, or bullying behaviors. Most of these referrals were at the middle school level (47%) followed by high school (29%) and elementary school (24%). Students referred for harassment, intimidation, or bullying behaviors also were referred for other categories of inappropriate behaviors, including disruptive/disrespectful conduct (49%), failure to obey rules/authority (26%), tardiness or truancy (12%), and aggressive conduct (10%). Disciplinary interventions or consequences used by schools in response to harassment, intimidation, or bullying behaviors included out-of-school suspensions (33%), followed by in-school suspensions (20%), detentions (13%), and administrator/teacher and student conferences (12%). All other interventions or consequences were used at lower rates. Of the 2,957 students referred for disciplinary action for harassment, intimidation, or bullying behaviors, most (86%) were referred for a single offense. Three quarters of the students were male. White students were present at a slightly lower rate than their respective statewide representation (87% vs. 91%), while Black students were present at a higher rate (10% vs. 5%). Other races were present in roughly the same proportions as their representation in the overall student population. Nearly a quarter (24%) of students referred for these behaviors were identified as eligible for special education services. Risk ratio calculations indicate Black students were twice as likely to experience discipline referrals for these behaviors compared to White students, and multiple race students were 1.5 times more likely. Similarly, students with disabilities were twice as likely to be referred compared with students without disabilities. Recommendations include (a) address harassment, intimidation, or bullying behaviors with evidence-based interventions integrated into a school-wide approach aimed at improving behaviors and overall conditions for learning; (b) build staff capacity to provide appropriate behavioral interventions in the context of the multi-tiered framework as part of school-wide approaches to promote appropriate behavior; (c) minimize the use of out-of-school suspensions, and couple in-school suspensions with interventions to avoid depriving students of needed supports; and (d) investigate the issue of subgroup disparity in discipline practices, and deliver professional development and technical assistance to schools to help minimize disparities. The report includes the appendix: WV Board of Education Policy 4373 Definitions. [For the 2012-2013 report, see ED569904.]
West Virginia Department of Education. 1900 Kanawha Boulevard East, Charleston, WV 25305. Tel: 304-558-3660; Fax: 304-558-0198; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE), Office of Research
Identifiers - Location: West Virginia