Strict discipline policies have led to the suspensions of millions of students yearly in the U.S., mostly for minor infractions—a practice that makes them more likely to fall behind, drop out and end up in the juvenile justice system, according to a report being released Tuesday.
A prominent Tennessee state senator involved in national juvenile justice reforms said he is troubled by a recent Center for Public Integrity report on children who’ve been prosecuted for truancy in his state, jailed and given permanent court records without the benefit of appointed legal counsel.
Disruptive behavior continues to be one of the most challenging issues that schools face today. Even one seriously incompliant student can threaten teaching and learning for the rest of the class.
Recently I read an article in The Grand Rapids Press regarding the Michigan laws on expulsion of students more commonly known as the “zero tolerance” discipline policies. These are well intended laws originally passed in the hope that they would make schools safer and more orderly for students and staff. However, after years of use, there are concerns about some unintended consequences.
Millions of U.S. public school students in grades K–12 are suspended or expelled every year, particularly students in middle and high school. Re- search has revealed that when students are removed from the classroom as a disciplinary measure, the odds increase dramatically that they will repeat a grade, drop out, or become involved in the juvenile justice system.