America’s School Discipline Crisis

America's School Discipline Crisis

Jacklin Solomon & Sandra M. Donnay, Ph.D.
April 2022

Top 14 States (and Washington D.C.) with the Highest School Suspension Racial Disparities1

Odds of Black Children being Suspended Compared to White Children1

Northeast and Midwest states are disproportionately represented with the highest racial disparities in school suspensions

  • Black children are more likely to be disciplined for minor infractions than White children.2
  • Exclusionary disciplinary practices cause psychological harm and are ineffective.2,3 They are linked to low academic performance even for non-suspended students4,5, increased behavior problems2, school dropout5, arrests, and incarceration.6
  • These disciplinary practices ignore and exacerbate Black children’s traumatic responses to concurrent intergenerational and environmental stressors.3,7,8
Brandeis University Webinar:
Protests, Panthers, and Politics:
Rethinking Blackness in Israel

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Maternal Mortality Disparities: Is Implicit Bias Training Effective?

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Implicit Bias Police Training:
What Works?

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1. U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights Data Collection. (2017-2018) State and National Data Estimations.
2. Amemiya, J., Mortenson, E., & Wang, M. (2020). Minor infractions are not minor: School infractions for minor misconduct may increase adolescents’ defiant behavior and contribute to racial disparities in school discipline.
American Psychologist, 75, 1, 23-36.
3. Gerlinger, J., Viano, S., Gardella, J.H., Fisher, B.W., Curran, F.C., & Higgins, E.M. (2021). Exclusionary school discipline and delinquent outcomes: A meta-analysis. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 50, 1493- 1509.
4. Perry, B.L., & Morris, E.W. (2014). Suspending Progress: Collateral consequences of exclusionary punishment in public schools. American Sociological Review, 79,6, 1067-1087.
5. Morris, E.W., & Perry, B.L. (2016). The punishment gap: School suspension and racial disparities in achievement. Social Problems, 63, 68-86.
6. Barnes, J.C., & Motz, R.T. (2018). Reducing racial inequalities in adulthood arrest by reducing inequalities in school discipline: Evidence from the school-to-prison pipeline. Developmental Psychology, 54, 12, 2328 -2340.
7. Dutil, S. (2020). Dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline: A trauma-informed, critical race perspective on school discipline. Children & Schools, 42, 3, 171-178.
8. Huguely, J.P., Wang, M.T., Pasarow, S., & Wallace, J.M., (2021). Just Discipline in schools: An integrated and interdisciplinary approach. Children & Schools, 42, 3, 195-1

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