restricted access Schools, Prisons, and Social Implications of Punishment: Rethinking Disciplinary Practices

Throughout the United States, schools most frequently punish the students who have the greatest academic, social, economic, and emotional needs. An examination of which students are most likely to be suspended, expelled, or removed from the classroom for punishment, reveals that minorities (especially Blacks and Latinos), males, and low achievers are vastly overrepresented. The enactment of zero tolerance policies related to discipline in school districts has contributed to a significant increase in the number of children who are being suspended and expelled from school. This article explains why this has occurred and puts forward an alternative approach to discipline that is aligned with the educational mission of schools.