The goal is to have school districts—with parental feedback—develop a graduated “positive discipline” system that leads to punitive punishment and lost school time only as a last resort. It would also require schools to factor in the role that formative traumatic stress plays on student behavior.
Breaking Schools’ Rules: A Statewide Study on How School Discipline Relates to Students’ Success and Juvenile Justice Involvement
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.
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.
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 ResourcesOpportunities 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.
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Susan Enfield, superintendent of Highline Public Schools, responded to criticism by seeking additional feedback from teachers and principals, ensuring that top officials from the district visit schools throughout the year to see firsthand the changes in progress. She plans to introduce tweaks along the way—by adding more opportunities for kids to work on social and emotional skills, for example.
Unlike most mentoring programs in the United States, which offer a few months or years of involvement, Friends of the Children offers kids 12 years of continuous mentorship from kindergarten to high school graduation.
Since the establishment of the county’s juvenile diversion program in 2015, it has maintained a 93.5 percent success rate. The program, according to Fairfield County Juvenile Court Judge Terre Vandervoort, is one of many established in the past few years in response to new evidence on recidivism prevention.
University of Pittsburgh social work professor Sara Goodkind cited a recent survey of 1,600 teenagers in Allegheny County. In it, white girls were just as likely to report using drugs and alcohol as black girls. Yet, black girls are more than three times as likely to be referred to juvenile court for drug offenses.