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 a groundbreaking statewide study of nearly 1 million Texas public secondary school students, followed for at least six years. Funded by the Atlantic Philanthropies and the Open Society Foundations, this study 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.

Recent Headlines

Rules to Reduce Racial Bias in Student Discipline in Review

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is reviewing an Obama-era policy that tried to counter racial bias in school discipline and lessen penalties for student infractions. That’s putting a spotlight on what causes disparities in school discipline and how they can be fixed.

School Resource Officers Play an Important Role in School Safety

The Cumberland County sheriff’s office was given countywide responsibility 30 years ago, when then-Fayetteville Police Chief Ron Hansen suggested school duty was better suited for the sheriff’s office because schools are governed and operated by county government.

How Philly Schools Are Cutting out Bad Behavior and Improving Academics

Credit a reboot of student discipline and a system of school operation that teaches kids how to behave in every scenario and rewards positive behavior. Rather than only negatively reacting to misdeeds, every adult in the building creates clear expectations and goes out of his or her way to honor good conduct as a way of preventing trouble.