School Discipline

Reforming school discipline policy and practice to reduce exclusionary discipline and end racial disproportionality

In 1975, CDF released a report, School Suspensions: Are they helping children?, which drew national attention for the first time to the problems of exclusionary discipline (suspension and expulsion) and racial disparities in how discipline was being used in schools. The report drew on data from the Department of Education Office for Civil Rights and surveys conducted with suspended students and their families. The findings that exclusionary discipline was used excessively and in a discriminatory way, tragically is still the case.  Thankfully, the research and advocacy spawned by this original report has added new understanding to the problems and their solutions. CDF is working to ensure children stay in school — where they belong — and are treated fairly. Discipline should be a way to teach our children, not push them out of school.  No child should be denied an education because of the color of their skin or their perceived abilities.