Written by Aricka Flowers, UOPX Writer Network
Are American schools too harsh when it comes to discipline? A new study by the Council of State Governments Justice Center has some people saying yes to that question. A review of the discipline records from the last 10 years of some 1 million Texas middle and high schoolers showed that about half included a suspension or expulsion. Yet only 3 percent of those punishments were required by state law; the others were based on the behest of school officials.
The reason why the study is problematic is due to the fact that the researchers also found that the suspensions and expulsions were doled out in a haphazard manner when schools, ability and race were considered. Even more impactful is the finding that 31 percent of the students who were disciplined even once ended up repeating a grade at least one time during their academic career. Only 40 percent of those punished 11 times or more ever graduated from high school.
“One of the most important takeaways from the report is learning that the school a student attends largely influences how, when, or if a student is removed from the classroom for disciplinary reasons,” said State Sen. Florence Shapiro (R), who is also chair of the Texas Senate Education Committee. “The data suggests that individual school campuses often have a pronounced influence over how often students are suspended or expelled.” Read more…