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

U.S. House Committee Advances Bill to Support Youth Opportunity, Improve Juvenile Justice System

The House Committee on Education and the Workforce recently approved H.R. 5963, the Supporting Youth Opportunity and Preventing Delinquency Act. Introduced by Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) and Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-VA), the bipartisan legislation reauthorizes and reforms the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act to help state and local leaders better serve at-risk youth and juvenile offenders. The bill passed unanimously by voice vote.

An Effective but Exhausting Alternative to High-School Suspensions

For the past two decades, how to discipline students has been as hotly contested a subject as how to educate them. For much of that time, many public-school systems, including New York City’s, have enforced zero-tolerance policies that require mandatory suspensions for certain offenses.

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