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Discussion Questions

  • 1. What are your state level policies and/or stances on exclusionary discipline? How has your school district responded to and interpreted the state policy discourse on exclusionary discipline?
  • 2. As the leader of your school, how do you communicate your expectations around student discipline? How does your racial identity contribute to your understanding of disciplinary practices? How might your expectations around discipline be racist?
  • 3. Do you know the statistics on school discipline in your school district and across your state? How do these statistics differ for white and nonwhite students?
  • 4. What alternatives do you have in place of disciplinary actions like school suspension? Do these alternatives directly address racism in discipline and require educators to examine their own implicit racial biases and anti-Blackness?
  • 5. What can you do to make students, especially students of color, feel more included and connected to their school community?

School Discipline Resources

  • • African-American Policy Forum:
  • • The Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles: https://
  • • The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Policy Center:
  • • Justice Policy Institute:
  • • NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund:

Recommended Readings

Alexander, M. (2010). The new Jim Crow: Mass incarceration in the era of colorblindness. New York: The New Press.

Losen, D. J., Keith, II, M. A., Hodson, C. L., & Martinez, T. E. (2016). Charter schools, civil rights and school discipline: A comprehensive review. Los Angeles, CA: The Center for Civil Rights Remedies at The Civil Rights Project/ Proyecto Derechos Civiles.

Milner, IV, H. R., Cunningham, H. B., Delale-O’Connor, L., & Kestenberg, E. G. (2019). “These kids are out of control”: Why we must reimagine “classroom management” for equity. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.

Okilwa, N. S., Khalifa, M., & Briscoe, F. (Eds.) (2017). The school to prison pipeline: The role of culture & discipline in school. Bingley, United Kingdom: Emerald Publishing Ltd.

Rumberger, R. W., & Losen, D. J. (2016). The high cost of harsh discipline and its disparate impact. Los Angeles, CA: The Center for Civil Rights Remedies at The Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles.

Winn, M. T. (2018). Justice on both sides: Transforming education through restorative justice. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.


The Advancement Project. (2014). Restorative practices: Fostering healthy relationships & promoting positive discipline in schools: A guide for educators. Cambridge, MA: The Schott Foundation for Public Education.

Ahmed, S., & Walker, C. (2018, May 25). There has been, on average, 1 school shooting every week this year. CNN. Retrieved from 03/02/us/school-shootings-2018-list-trnd/index.html

Alexander, M. (2010). The new Jim Crow: Mass incarceration in the era of colorblindness. New York: The New Press.

Anderson, K. P., & Ritter, G. W. (2017). Disparate use of exclusionary discipline evidence: Evidence on inequities in school discipline from a U.S. state. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 25(49).

Barnum, M. (2016, March 27). Exclusive: Data shows 3 of the 5 biggest school districts hire more security officers than counselors. The 74. Retrieved from

Barnum, M. (2019, February 14). New studies point to a big downside for schools bringing in more police. Chalkbeat. Retrieved from www.chalkbeat. org/posts/us/2019/02/14/police-schools-research-parkland/

Bonilla-Silva, E. (2017). Racism without racists: Color-blind racism and the persistence of racial inequality in America (5th edition). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Committee for Children, (n.d.). TOis social-emotional learning? Seattle, WA: Author. Retrieved from

Corley, C. (2018). Do police officers in schools really make them safer. NPRAll Things Considered. Retrieved from do-police-officers-in-schools-really-make-them-safer

The Council ofState Governments Justice Center. (2017). Realizing thefull vision of school discipline reform: A framework for statewide change. New York: Author.

DiAngelo, R. (2018). fragility: Why it’s so hard for white people to talk about racism. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.

Duncan, A. (2014). Rethinking school discipline: Remarks of U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan at the release of the joint DOJ-ED school discipline guidance package. The Academies at Frederick Douglass High School, Baltimore, MD. Retrieved from

Fabelo, T, Thompson, M. D., Plotkin, M., Carmichael, D., Marchbanks, M. P., & Booth, E. A. (2011). Breaking schools’ rules: A statewide study of how school discipline relates to student’s success and juvenile justice involvement. New York: Council of State Governments Justice Center, and College Station, TX: Texas A&M University, Public Policy Research Institute.

Fausset, R., Perez-Pena, R., & Blinder, A. (2015, October 28). Race and discipline in spotlight after South Carolina officer drags student. The New York Times. Retrieved from

Finn, J. D., & Servoss, T. J. (2014). Misbehavior, suspensions, and security measures in high school: Racial/ethnic and gender differences. Journal of Applied Research on Children: Informing Policy for Children at Risk, 5(2), Article 11.

Fuchs, D., Mock, D., Morgan, P. L., & Young, C. L. (2003). Responsiveness to intervention: Definitions, evidence, and implications for the learning disabilities construct. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 18, 157—171.

Gershenson, S., Holt, S. B., & Papageorge, N. (2016). Who believes in me? The effect of student-teacher demographic match on teacher expectations. Economics of Education Review, 52, 209-224.

Gilliam, W. S., Maupin, A. N., Reyes, C. R., Accavitti, M., & Shic, F. (2016). Do early educators’ implicit biases regarding sex and race relate to behavior expectations and recommendations of expulsions and suspensions? New Haven, CT: Yale University Child Care Center.

Gopalan, M., & Nelson. A. A. (2019). Understanding the racial discipline gap in schools. AERA Open,

The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education. (2019). Racial disparities in school discipline have little to do with student behavior. Retrieved from ww.jbhe. com/2019/07/racial-disparities-in-school-discipline-have-little-to-do-with-different-student-behavior/

Keierleber, M. (2019). Lessons from Parkland: 6 big things we’ve learned about student safety, school security, and resilience since the tragic 2018 massacre.

The 74. Retrieved from e-tragic-2018-massacre/

Lewis, C., Butler, B., Bonner, F., & Joubert, M. (2010). African American male discipline patterns and school district responses resulting impact on academic achievement: Implications for urban educators and policy makers. Journal of African American Males in Education, 1 (1), 8—25.

Lindsay, C. A., & Hart, C. M. D. (2017). Exposure to same-race teachers and student disciplinary outcomes for Black students in North Carolina. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 39(3), 485—510.

Lindsay, C. A., Lee, V., & Lloyd, T. (2018). The prevalence of police officers in U.S. Schools. Urban Institute. Retrieved from prevalence-police-officers-us-schools

Mansfield, K. C., Rainbolt, S., & Fowler., E. S. (2018). Implementing restorativejustice as a step toward racial equity in school discipline. Teachers College Record, 120(14), 1-24.

Mattison, E., & Aber, M. S. (2007). Closing the achievement gap: The association of racial climate with achievement and behavioral outcomes. American Journal of Com mun ity Psychology, 40(1), 1-12.

McNeely, C. A., Nonemaker, J. M., & Blum, R. W. (2002). Promoting student connectedness to school: From the national longitudinal study of adolescent health. Journal of School Health, 72(4), 138-147.

Milner, IV, H. R., Cunningham, H. B., Delale-O’Connor, L., & Kestenberg, E.G. (2019). “These Kids are out of control”: Why we must reimagine “classroom management “for equity. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.

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National Child Traumatic Stress Network Schools Committee (NCTSN). (2017). Creating, supporting, and sustaining trauma-informed schools: A system framework. Los Angeles, CA, and Durham, NC: National Center for Child Traumatic Stress.

National Clearinghouse on Supportive School Discipline (NCSSD). (n.d.). Pushout. Retrieved from reference-guides/pushout

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