Each academic year, millions of U.S. public school students are suspended or expelled from school. Yet, research now demonstrates that when students are removed from school settings for disciplinary reasons, the odds increase dramatically that they will disengage from school, dropout, or become involved in the juvenile justice system. These negative consequences disproportionately affect boys of color. As awareness of these trends grows, educators are increasingly looking for alternative strategies to increase student discipline skills in order to support youth engagement in school and improve their health and academic outcomes.
In this brief, lawyer and Warren Institute research associate Danfeng Soto-Vigil Koon reviews data on the major trends in school discipline practices with a focus on out-of-school suspensions and expulsions. Her review then describes the most widely used alternatives to out-of-school (exclusionary) suspension and expulsion in California and assesses the relevant research to gauge the potential of each to improve school and student level outcomes.
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