The racial disparities in school-discipline rates are well-known, as are the damaging effects that harsh disciplinary policies can have on school climates.
News and Events
The Waukegan School District’s discipline review committee is facing a daunting task in adjusting school policies that outline behavior infractions and consequences for students.
A change of approach to school discipline in California schools has resulted in a decline in the number and percentage of students suspended and expelled in academic year 2014-2015 in comparison to academic year 2013-2014 across ethnic groups. State Superintendent Tom Torlakson attributes the shift toward resolving behavior issues in lieu of classroom removals as the causal mechanism for the decline. Effective solutions, restorative practices, and mediation to regulate emotions have contributed to the 13.9 percent decline in expulsions and the 12.8 percent decline in suspensions, according to Torlakson.
The winter issue of American Educator explores the history of counterproductive zero-tolerance school discipline policies and highlights more positive approaches to ensure that schools are safe and comfortable places to teach and to learn.
In the state of Iowa the excessive use of suspensions since 2009 has come under much scrutiny. In the last school year, school officials in Iowa suspended students 56,032 times. Though this figure is a reduction from higher numbers in recent times, education advocates see signs of a broken-system.
An overwhelming majority of suspensions were classified as either being caused by disruptive behavior or attendance; 4% of suspensions were the result of ‘fighting without injury’ “By spending time away from the classroom, students are missing out on education and they’re falling behind,” said Nazgol Ghandnoosh, a research analyst for the Sentencing Project, a civil rights advocacy group based in Washington, D.C.
An Investigation by the New York Attorney General’s office found that over a five year period Albany School District suspended one in eight students each school year, disproportionately affecting minority and disabled students. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman came to an agreement with the Albany School District to ensure that school discipline policies are not discriminatory in nature and practice. A. G. Schneiderman took specific aim at the school-to-prison-pipeline which has obstructed vulnerable children from receiving services they need help to succeed.
A new LA Unified police diversion program, which replaces arrests with counseling, is keeping hundreds of students out of the city’s criminal justice system.
“If we didn’t have this program, a lot would have gone into a courtroom and before a judge,” said LAUSD police chief Steven Zipperman, in a presentation yesterday to the district’s school board Successful School Climate: Progressive Discipline and Safety Committee.
Clear the room.
That’s how multiple local law enforcement officials say they would have handled an incident caught on videotape in a Columbia-area high school where a school resource officer forcibly removed a female student from her desk and threw her to the floor across a classroom. Videos of the incident quickly went viral and the officer was fired.
A kindergartner in Minneapolis Public Schools got suspended last school year for playing with ChapStick and then fleeing the classroom after being told to stop. Another student was suspended for climbing over a railing. One student was sent home for refusing to follow directions.
None of these suspensions should have happened under a new moratorium that banned such discipline for kindergartners and first-graders who commit nonviolent offenses. But 50 times over the past school year, administrators ignored the rule and sent students home for disruptive behavior, according to a Star Tribune review of suspension records.
Despite reducing overall suspensions by 25 percent over four years, St. Paul Public Schools continues to kick African-American and American Indian students out of school at alarming rates relative to their peers.
In 2010-11, the district set an ambitious goal for racial equity in school discipline: that the student demographic with the most suspensions be excluded from school at no more than twice the rate of the racial group with the fewest suspensions -- Asian-Americans.
Noble High School officials said Tuesday they are seeing higher test scores and fewer disciplinary problems two years after launching a multimillion-dollar program aimed at ninth-graders that emphasizes making social and emotional connections with students.
By screening for depression, bipolar disorder, and other mental health issues, could schools head off future campus violence?
A court experiment in Florida attempts to help delinquent girls by promoting rehabilitation rather than incarceration.
Districts from Los Angeles to New York City are experimenting with new policies designed to eliminate zero-tolerance discipline. But the reality is often a lot different than the idea...
A coalition of national advocacy organizations is calling for stronger relationships between racial justice and LGBTQ groups to help dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline...
The children, an 8-year-old boy and a 9-year-old girl, were so small that the school resource officer, Kenton County Deputy Sheriff Kevin Sumner in Covington, Kentucky, locked the handcuffs around the children's biceps and forced their hands behind their backs, the lawsuit charges. A disturbing video shows the boy, S.R., being shackled and crying out in pain. S.R. has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and a history of trauma.
A new study says black students are more likely to get criminalized discipline, while white students receive medical intervention.
School discipline issues are on display in a big way Wednesday at the White House, which is hosting a summit on the issue featuring U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, other top department officials, plus leaders from school districts that have made headway in tackling school climate issues.
Kayleb Moon-Robinson was 11 years old last fall when charges — criminal charges — began piling up at school.
Diagnosed as autistic, Kayleb was being scolded for misbehavior one day and kicked a trash can at Linkhorne Middle School in Lynchburg, Virginia, in the Blue Ridge Mountains. A police officer assigned to the school witnessed the tantrum, and filed a disorderly conduct charge against the sixth grader in juvenile court.