More than two decades of research has confirmed that out-of-school suspensions do not improve student behavior and, in fact, often exacerbate it. Students who are suspended lose valuable instructional time, and are more likely to fall behind in school, drop out, and enter the juvenile delinquency system, at great cost to students and taxpayers.

The materials below illustrate the problems with out-of-school suspensions, as well as research about the solutions. For a comprehensive page of articles related to the problems and solutions of school discipline, please follow us on facebook and twitter.

Better Than Zero: How Alternative Discipline Is Replacing Zero Tolerance To Break The School to Prison Pipeline  (2015)

Equal Justice Society, Breaking the Chains

American Sociological Review: Suspending Progress: Collateral Consequences of Exclusionary Punishment in Public Schools (December 2014)

GSA Network and Crossroads Collaborative: Gender Nonconforming Youth: Discipline Disparities, School Push-Out, and the School-to-Prison Pipeline (October 2014)

Knowledge Center– The Council of State Governments: Breaking Schools’ Rules: A Statewide Study of How School Discipline Relates to Students’ Success and Juvenile Justice Involvement (2011)

Veronica Terriquez, Robert Chlala, and Jeff Sacha: The Impact of Punitive High School Discipline Policies on the Postsecondary Trajectories of Young Men (2013)

American Journal of Sociology: The Social Structure of Criminalized and Medicalized School Discipline (May 2015)

The Center for Civil Rights Remedies, Are We Closing The School Discipline Gap? (February 2015)

The Center For Civil Rights: Charter Schools, Civil Rights and School Discipline (March 2016)

THE UCLA Civil Rights Project: Closing The School Discipline Gap in California: Signs of Progress (2015)

The UCLA Civil Rights Project: Keeping California’s Kids In School (2014)

UCLA Civil Rights Project: Out-of-School Suspensions in California’s School Districts Reveal Hidden Crisis (2012)

Public Policy Clinic at the S.J.Quinney College of Law: Fingerpaint to Fingerprint, The School To Prison Pipeline in Utah (2014)

Padres & Jovenes Unidos and Advancement Project: Lessons in Racial Justice and Movement Building (2014)

Model Policies

Sample Public Records Act Request

Adriana Villavicencio, Dyuti Bhattacharya, and Brandon Guidry, Moving the Needle Exploring Key Levers to Boost College Readiness Among Black and Latino Males in New York City (2013)

Bettie Ray Butler, Marcus D. Joubert, Chance W. Lewis, Who’s Really Disrupting the Classroom? (2009)


Discipline Disparities: A Research to Practice Collaborative: You Can’t Fix What You Don’t Look At: Acknowledging Race in Addressing Racial Discipline Disparities (December 2014)

Do Early Educators’ Implicit Biases Regarding Sex and Race Relate to Behavior Expectations and Recommendations of Preschool Expulsions and Suspensions?  (Sept. 28, 2016)

Framing the Challenge: Research on Disciplinary Disproportionality and the Need for Equity-Explicit Intervention (EXCERPTS) (2013)

Journal of African American Males in Education: African American Male Discipline Patterns and School District Responses Resulting Impact on Academic Achievement: Implications for Urban Educators and Policy Makers (February/March 2010)

Journal of Progressive Human Services Critical Multiculturalism, Whiteness, and Social Work: Towards a More Radical View of Cultural Competence (2006)

National Institute of Health: Racial, Ethnic, and Gender Differences in School Discipline among U.S. High School Students: 1991-2005

New Study Reveals Race of Students Triggers Alarming Bias in Teacher Expectations –  (March 30, 2016)

Race and Social Problems: Restructuring Inequity: Interventions to Address Racial/Ethnic Disparities in School Discipline: Can Systems Reform Be Race-Neutral?

Shore Research: Disproportionality in Disciplinary Action in Public Education Literature Review (February 19 2012)

The Urban Review: The Color of Discipline: Sources of Racial and Gender Disproportionality in School Punishment (December 2002)

Two Strikes: Race and the Disciplining of Young Students – STANFORD (April 8, 2015)

Urban Strategies Council: African American Male Achievement Initiative- A closer look at suspensions of African American males in Oakland Unified School District (May 22, 2012)

Key Components to Culturally Responsive Teaching (2015)

Equal Justice Society, Breaking the Chains

Ed Source: Getting to the ‘why’ of school discipline disparities (August 2015)

Educational Researcher: The Achievement Gap and the Discipline Gap: Two sides of the same coin? (2010)

VERA Institute of Justice: BEMORE Concept Paper (2013)

My Brother’s Keeper Task Force Report To The President (2014)

Click here for more resources on Racial Bias & Discrimination

International Institute For Restorative Practices: Improving School Climate: Evidence from Schools Implementing Restorative Practices (2015)

Oakland Unified School District: Restorative Justice in Oakland Schools: Implementation and Impact (January 2015) Quick Reference Charts from this report

Advancement Project Toolkit: Restorative Practices: Fostering Healthy Relationships & Promoting Positive Discipline in Schools

Restorative Practices and the Transformation at West Philadelphia High School


Click here for more resources on Restorative Justice & Restorative Practices

The Advancement Project: How We Are Dismantling the School-To-Prison-Pipeline in Denver (September 15, 2014)

Education and Treatment of Children: Evaluation of a Comprehensive Behavior Management Program To Improve School-Wide Positive Behavior Support (2001)

Education and Treatment of Children: Translating Research into Effective Practice: The Effects of a Universal Staff and Student Intervention on Indicators of Discipline and School Safety (2001)

Educational Psychology: Whole-School Positive Behaviour Support: Effects on student discipline problems and academic performance (2005)

Effectiveness of Schoolwide Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports in Reducing Racially Inequitable Disciplinary Exclusion

Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions: A Randomized, Wait-List Controlled Effectiveness Trial Assessing School-Wide Positive Behavior Support in Elementary Schools (2009)

Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions: Examining the Effects of Schoolwide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports on Student Outcomes– Results From a Randomized Controlled Effectiveness Trial in Elementary Schools (2010)

Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions: Using Staff and Student Time Engaged in Disciplinary Procedures to Evaluate the Impact of School-Wide PBS (2004)

National Dropout Prevention Center for Students with Disabilities: A Literature Map of Dropout Prevention Interventions for Students With Disabilities (April 2014)

Click here for more resources on School-Wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports

Healthy Environments and Response to Trauma in Schools (HEARTS): A Whole-School, MultiLevel, Prevention and Intervention Program for Creating Trauma-Informed, Safe and Supportive Schools (2016)

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network, Center for Juvenile Justice Reform : Cross System Collaboration (2014)

Click here for more resources on Trauma Sensitive Strategies