Reports show harsh discipline policies applied disproportionately to students of color
The report, Discipline Policies, Successful Schools, and Racial Justice, is published by the National Education Policy Center (NPEC), and is released in collaboration with the Annenberg Institute for School Reform and the Dignity in Schools Campaign.
Losen’s research makes clear that unnecessarily harsh discipline policies are applied unfairly and disproportionately to minority students, dragging down academic achievement. The report also documents a trend across the United States in which minority students routinely receive major penalties, including school suspensions, for minor school offenses.
The report shows how criminalizing kids detrimentally affects student learning, and criticizes the federal government’s minimal efforts to collect data in any uniform way on the large number of students kicked out of school.
The report was released October 5, 2011 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., as part of the Dignity in Schools Campaign National Week of Action.
The Press Club briefing included presentations by experts including:
Daniel Losen, (the report’s author), Civil Rights Project at UCLA, discussed the report’s findings (video);
Jonathan Brice, School Support Networks Officer, Baltimore City Public Schools, the administrator chiefly responsible for student discipline in the Baltimore City Schools, spoke about alternative approaches to zero tolerance policies (video);
Bobby Scott, Congressman, Third District, Virginia, talked about actions the federal government should take to insure that discipline is applied fairly;
Honorable Steven Teske, Judge, Juvenile Court, Clayton County, Georgia, offered recommendations (video);
Kevin Welner, Professor, University of Colorado at Boulder School of Education and Director, National Education Policy Center discussed the National Education Policy Center’s studies on diversity, academic achievement and the role discipline plays (video);
Edward Ward (video), Blocks Together, Chicago, IL and Wanda Parker (video), Citizens for a Better Greenville, Greenville, MS, who are youth and parent representatives from the Dignity in Schools Campaign and spoke to their experiences with the overuse of suspensions, putting a human face on the issues.
The complete report, a companion brief suggesting statutory changes to implement the report’s recommendations, and resource sheets for parents and community members are available on this site and at http://nepc.colorado.edu/publication/discipline-policies.
Press Contact: James Horwitz , 202/549-4921, firstname.lastname@example.org.