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

Young Children Still Suspended in High Numbers despite New Law

A year after a new law designed to clamp down on the use of out-of-school suspension, a preliminary review of four of Connecticut’s biggest cities shows suspension is down, but continues at an alarmingly high rate, according to the state’s child advocate.

Nevada Receiving Assistance in State’s Juvenile Justice Review

Nevada beat out 17 other states to receive technical help from The Council of State Governments Justice Center, a nonprofit nonpartisan organization which will be conducting the review. Right now, juvenile arrests are down statewide and youth incarceration is at its lowest point in 10 years. But the real issue, according to Governor Brian Sandoval, is making sure millions of dollars in state funding are being used most effectively.

Massachusetts Senate Approves Juvenile Justice Bill

The bill excludes very young children from delinquency proceedings by raising the lower limit of juvenile court jurisdiction from 7 to 11 years of age while making sure young children have access to services from the state Department of Youth Services. The bill also bans the automatic shackling of children during court proceedings, codifies the constitutional right of indigent juvenile offenders to a lawyer and creates a process to expunge certain juvenile records for misdemeanors committed before age 18.

Illinois School Districts Prepare for Disciplinary Changes from Reform Bill

According to the Illinois General Assembly website, amendments to the bill make changes to student discipline policies and the parent-teacher advisory committee; create a memorandum of understanding with local law enforcement agencies that clearly define law enforcement’s role in schools; and clarify what a written expulsion or suspension decision must include.