Breaking Schools’ Rules: A Statewide Study on How School Discipline Relates to Students’ Success and Juvenile Justice Involvement

Research Overview

The CSG Justice Center, in partnership with the Public Policy Research Institute at Texas A&M University, has released an unprecedented statewide study of nearly 1 million Texas public secondary school students, followed for at least six years. Among its startling findings are that the majority of students were suspended or expelled between seventh to twelfth grade.

Funded by the Atlantic Philanthropies and the Open Society Foundations, this study also found that when students are suspended or expelled, the likelihood that they will repeat a grade, not graduate, and/or become involved in the juvenile justice system increases significantly. African-American students and children with particular educational disabilities who qualify for special education were suspended and expelled at especially high rates.


Research Report

To browse an online version of the report, click on the cover below and scroll through the pages using the arrow buttons on the sides. A link to download the pdf is included below the online version of the report.

Download the Report: Breaking Schools' Rules: A Statewide Study on How School Discipline Relates to Students' Success and Juvenile Justice Involvement (.pdf)


Media Coverage

A briefing to present the findings of the Texas study, conducted by the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center in partnership with the Public Policy Research Institute at Texas A&M University, was held on Tuesday, July 19, 2011. The event also featured a discussion by Texas stakeholders about strategies to keep schools safe and reduce high rates of suspension and expulsion.

Download the Press Release: New Report on How School Discipline Relates to Academic and Juvenile Justice Outcomes (.pdf)


Related Resources

Opportunities Suspended: The Disparate Impact of Disciplinary Exclusion from School

The first in an ongoing series of national studies by the Center for Civil Rights Remedies at the Civil Right Project.

Barbara Jordan Freedom Foundation School Discipline conference, Feb. 2012.

CSG Justice Center Research Director Tony Fabelo featured on research panel.

FAQs

Recent Headlines

For More Teens, Arrests by Police Replace School Discipline

Prompted by changing police tactics and a zero-tolerance attitude toward small crimes, authorities have made more than a quarter of a billion arrests over the past 20 years, the Federal Bureau of Investigation estimates.

The Economic Impact of School Discipline

A recent report from the National Woman’s Law Center and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund highlights findings that show African American pre-K–12 female students were suspended at six times the rate of white female students during the 2011–12 academic year, more than any other group of girls (and several groups of boys).

Program Changes Culture of School Discipline

Four years ago Waco Independent School District in Texas piloted a program to try and reduce the number of discipline referrals and suspensions of students—and it’s helped some schools change the entire way they look at discipline.

Black Oakland Students Suspended Less, but Huge Discrepancy Remains

California’s Oakland Unified School District has reduced the number of suspensions of its black students in the last three years, but these students are still being taken out of school at a much higher rate than white students, according to a yearly report to the civil rights office of the U.S. Department of Education.