News and Events: Discipline Disparities

Webinar: The School Discipline Consensus Report: Strategies from the Field to Keep Students Engaged in School and Out of the Juvenile Justice System

This webinar will review a groundbreaking report released by the CSG Justice Center in June 2014, which provides 60 bipartisan field-driven policy and practice recommendations to provide students with safe, productive learning environments; effectively respond to students’ behavioral health needs; limit the use of suspensions, expulsions, and referrals to the juvenile justice system for minor, school-based offenses, and support educators in building positive school and classroom climates.

Program to Address Disparities in School Discipline Policies that Fuel “School to Prison Pipeline” in Four U.S. Cities

Annenberg Institute for School Reform

Brown University’s Annenberg Institute for School Reform (AISR) announced today a $1 million, two-year grant from The Atlantic Philanthropies, a limited-life foundation, to engage community and school-district partners in four major U.S. cities with the goal of addressing school discipline practices and policies that contribute to a disproportionate number of low-income students of color leaving school and entering the criminal justice system – what is commonly called the “school-to-prison pipeline.” 

For Students with Disabilities, Discipline Issues Take Toll

The Council of State Governments Justice Center

In the 2011-12 school year in Fairfax County, students with disabilities made up 14 percent of the school population but represented 40 percent of discipline cases involving long-term suspensions. The county School Board voted last month to adopt a number of revisions to the district’s discipline policies — known as Student Rights and Responsibilities — including ­changes aimed at addressing the disproportionate number of cases involving students with disabilities.

How a Community Play Inspired Sacramento Schools to Tackle Discriminatory Discipline Issues

Huffington Post

ZERO, an innovative play in which White threw out questions to the audience between acts, distills the real stories and the real emotions behind the numbers in Sacramento. It reveals the indiscriminate use of suspensions from the points of view of African-American student James (the main character, ZERO), his teacher, his counselor, his principal, his parent, a bully, his girlfriend, and his father, who's been in prison. 

How Best Reduce School Suspensions? One St. Paul Teacher Argues the Answer is Not Ignoring Classroom Misbehavior

The Council of State Governments Justice Center

St. Paul Public Schools’ (SPPS) Black suspension rate dropped only two percent from 2010-11 to 2011-12. Black students there still receive nearly 70 percent of all suspensions. SPPS Chief of Staff Michelle Walker told the MSR that Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS) and “Courageous Conversations” strategies, used to help teachers respond more positively to student behaviors — especially those of Black students — has played a huge role in the decline in suspensions.

NYCLU Urges City Council to Improve Transparency in School Discipline

New York Civil Liberties Union

In testimony delivered today at a New York City Council joint-committee hearing on school safety and student discipline, the New York Civil Liberties Union urged lawmakers to strengthen the reporting requirements in the Student Safety Act – a 2011 city law that requires regular reporting by the DOE and NYPD on school safety and disciplinary issues, including student suspensions and arrests.

School Discipline Reform Long Overdue, Experts Say

NEA Today

As schools around the country have tightened their disciplinary policies to curtail the possibility of school violence, some experts caution that these measures are doing more harm than good. On April 9th, educational experts convened in Washington, D.C. to offer policy recommendations and best-practice disciplinary approaches that can diminish the frequency, and often racial slant, of zero tolerance discipline policies.

School 'Discipline Gap' Explodes As 1 In 4 Black Students Suspended, Report Finds

Huffington Post

For years, education advocates have highlighted the dire importance of closing the achievement gap of academic performance between students of different ethnic and socioeconomic groups. Now, another group of advocates is drawing attention to the discipline gap of unequal punishments to different groups of students

Discriminatory discipline: Feds and Mississippi school district reach agreement on changes

The Center for Public Integrity

A Mississippi school district under scrutiny for excessive punishment of black students has reached an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice to enact new disciplinary policies, train school police officers in "bias-free" policing and stop involving officers in minor campus behavioral disputes.