chapter  6
—Systemic School Discipline: Issues of Equity from a Social Justice Perspective
Pages 27

Despite calls for proactive and preventative approaches (e.g., Sugai & Horner, 2002) school discipline in the United States has largely been characterized by control-driven punitive mechanisms intended to maximize student compliance. This type of “get tough” approach has resulted in the widespread use of exclusionary discipline, particularly suspension and expulsion, to address student misbehavior (Fenning et al., 2010). By definition, suspension and expulsion are associated with removal of students from the school setting for a designated period of time. On a national basis, suspension is widely used, as approximately 3.3 million students in the United States received out of school suspensions in 2006 alone (Planty et al., 2009), and some data suggest the practice may be increasing (e.g., Krezmien, Leone, and Achilles, 2006). The use of suspension and expulsion is particularly prevalent in urban schools (e.g., Noltemeyer & Mcloughlin, 2010a). Further, over 40 years of evidence has documented that these exclusionary discipline approaches have been disproportionately used with particular groups, including African American (Children’s Defense Fund, 1975; Skiba, Michael, Nardo, & Peterson, 2002; Skiba et al., 2011) and male students (e.g., Raffaele Mendez & Knoff, 2003).