Thursday, July 31, 2014
To read several of my recent posts, one might get the impression that overly harsh discipline is on the way out. While it is true the Departments of Justice and Education have made important statements and a substantial number of large districts are promising to reform their discipline policies, the prevailing reality is still one of extremely high rates of harsh discipline in most places. As demonstrative evidence, I offer the following from the Columbia Journalism School's investigative paper, New York World:
In more than 40 New York City public schools, long-term suspensions of students for disciplinary infractions are the norm, not the exception.
. . . .
A New York World review of city data revealed that during the 2012-13 school year, at least 44 schools imposed long-term suspensions in at least 60 percent of all suspension cases. Citywide, about 20 percent of suspensions extend beyond five school days.
The long-term suspensions can last for weeks or even months. The impact of the discipline can last longer: Research has shown that suspended students fall behind in their studies and are more likely to drop out.