Suspensions & Exclusionary School Discipline Policies
Three million students, including preschoolers and kindergartners, are suspended from public schools each year across the nation. Nationally, the rates of school suspensions have increased dramatically—from 1.7 million in 1974 to 3.1 million in 2000—and have been most dramatic for children of color. Children of color and children with disabilities are disproportionately suspended. Indeed, more than one out of four boys of color with disabilities and nearly one in five girls of color with disabilities receives an out of school suspension. The vast majority of these suspensions are NOT for violent behavior.
The school-to-prison pipeline affects students by pushing them out of school with exclusionary disciplinary policies that include suspensions, expelling, or even arresting kids for minor offenses that use to be mediated by principals and school staff. It doesn't end there, the most significant indicator of which children will be suspended is not the type of offense but the color of their skin, their special education status, what school they go to, and whether they have been suspended before. Investing in trauma informed, restorative justice practice in schools and divesting from youth prisons and excessive policing in school supports healthy, holistic school environments that support students, families, and the broader community.
Our Campaigns work on:
- Reducing/Eliminating exclusionary school discipline policies that push students into the criminal justice system.
- Educating and activating parents on shifting exclusionary school discipline policies and policing in schools to social emotional development, restorative justice, and trauma informed care models.
- Educating local school districts and elected officials on social emotional development, restorative justice, and trauma informed care models.