Adwick school was told it was failing its pupils in 1998 after the Office for Standards in Education criticised exam results well below national and local levels, "unsound" teaching in 30 per cent of lessons, and an exclusion rate which was then eight times the national average.
The school's headteacher John Sheppard stepped down, to be replaced by Terry Butterworth, who this week confirmed he had excluded 15 boys and 3 girls.
He said the action "saddened" him but he had given the pupils every chance to improve and they had continued to be disruptive. He said they had made conflict with teachers their main reason for coming to school and had repeatedly ben defiant and abusive.
"It's very difficult to exclude a pupil when they are asking you, in tears, to give them one more chance," he said. "But I have a responsibility to the other 1,200 pupils in the school. There comes a point when you have to make a firm stand against anti-authority behaviour... and send a very clear and loud signal to others."
The decision was supported by staff and governors. It is understood that more than 30 letters have been sent to other pupils warning them to behave or face exclusion.
A spokesman for Doncaster Council, which has to find places for those excluded, said: "We're sorry the school had to do this but we recognise that consideration has to be given to the education of the overwhelming number of pupils whose behaviour is good."