Reforming School Discipline and Reducing Disproportionality in Suspension and Expulsion
The use of suspension and expulsion in America’s school has increased over the past 30 years. Yet there is no evidence that exclusionary school discipline has a benefi cial eff ect on student behavior or school climate. The consistent overrepresentation of African American students in the use of school exclusion cannot be fully explained by either poverty or diff erential rates of disruptive behavior. Both school-wide positive behavior supports and social-emotional learning strategies show promise as system-wide reform eff orts for reducing the use of suspension and expulsion, while data on the eff ects of restorative justice are still emerging. Despite abundant documentation of racial and ethnic disparities in school suspension and expulsion, there is as yet little research that could meet the urgent needs of schools and school districts to improve equity in school discipline.