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School Discipline

Research related to the racial disparities in policies and practices related to school discipline.

 

See the Civil Rights Project's Center for Civil Rights Remedies for information on additional school-to-prison pipeline research


Recent School Discipline Research

 

Research Item Suspended Education in California
This report and companion spreadsheet covering nearly 500 districts reveals to the public the unusually high levels of risk for suspension as well as the stark differences in discipline when these risks are presented by race, gender and disability status.
Research Item Discipline Policies, Successful Schools, and Racial Justice
This research makes clear that unnecessarily harsh discipline policies are applied unfairly and disproportionately to minority students, dragging down academic achievement. The report documents a trend across the United States in which minority students routinely receive major penalties, including school suspensions, for minor school offenses. The materials also show 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.
Research Item The School-to-Prison Pipeline
In this comprehensive study of the relationship between American law and the school-to-prison pipeline, co-authors Catherine Y. Kim, Daniel J. Losen, and Damon T. Hewitt analyze the current state of the law for each entry point on the pipeline and propose legal theories and remedies to challenge them. Using specific state-based examples and case studies, the authors assert that law can be an effective weapon in the struggle to reduce the number of children caught in the pipeline, address the devastating consequences of the pipeline on families and communities, and ensure that our public schools and juvenile justice system further the goals for which they were created: to provide meaningful, safe opportunities for all the nation’s children.
Research Item Suspended Education: Urban Middle Schools in Crisis
In order to better understand the issues of efficacy and fairness in the use of out-of-school suspension, we first must answer two questions: How frequently is suspension being used in our schools? Are there significant differences in the frequency of suspension when we look at subgroups of children by race/ethnicity and gender? This report, published by the Southern Poverty Law Center with research by CRP Senior Law and Education Policy Associate Daniel Losen and Indiana University Professor Russell Skiba, is designed to help answer these questions.
Research Item Opportunities Suspended: The Devastating Consequences of Zero Tolerance and School Discipline Policies
Opportunities Suspended: The Devastating Consequences of Zero Tolerance and School Discipline, is the culmination of the shared efforts of The Civil Rights Project (CRP) at Harvard University and the Advancement Project (AP). By consulting with attorneys, psychiatrists, academians, educators, and children’s advocates, CRP and AP embarked upon a multi-disciplined approach to review this subject matter. This is the first comprehensive national report to scrutinize the impact that the brutally strict Zero Tolerance approach to discipline, currently being used in public schools, is having on American children. The report illustrates that Zero Tolerance is unfair, is contrary to the developmental needs of children, denies children educational opportunities, and often results in the criminalization of children.
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