142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Racial Disproportionality in School Discipline and the School-to-Prison Pipeline

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Monday, November 17, 2014 : 12:30 PM - 12:50 PM

Sharon Adams-Taylor, MA, MPH , American Association of School Administrators, Alexandria, VA
Bryan Joffe, MPA , AASA, Alexandria, VA
The Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) 2011-2012 school-year statistics show disturbing racial disproportionality, particularly for African-American students. Although African-Americans represent 15% of students in the CRDC, they make up 35% of students suspended once, 44% of those suspended more than once, and 36% of students expelled. Further, over 50% of students involved in school-related arrests or referred to law enforcement are children of color.

The increasing use of disciplinary practices such as out-of-school suspensions, expulsions, or referrals to law enforcement impacts educational outcomes, and may contribute to what has been termed the “school to prison pipeline.” Fewer than 5% of out-of-school suspensions result from mandatory offenses (alcohol, drugs, weapons); 95% are discretionary actions.

AASA, the School Superintendents Association, collaborates with the Children’s Defense Fund, in a partnership funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies, to reduce racial disproportionality in school discipline and to reduce the over-use of out-of-school suspension and expulsion. The goal of educators and community members should be, wherever possible, to prevent children from interacting with juvenile justice and law enforcement, not to supplement school security and discipline procedures with these agencies. AASA is working with ten school districts to examine discipline data and alter policy and practice. As a result, Racine Unified School District has already had 700 fewer suspensions in the 2013-2014 school-year than at this point last year.

This session will offer alternatives to suspension and expulsion in an effort to reduce the number of African-American children losing instructional time and interacting with the justice system.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Public health or related education
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe innovative ways that school districts can address racial disproportionality in school discipline Explain ways to improve discipline policy and practice to ensure equity

Keyword(s): African American, Criminal Justice

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal or co-principal of multiple philanthropically funded grants focusing on academic achievement for historically under-served student populations. My efforts at AASA have focused on college-access and success, school district systems-level change, and school discipline/school climate reform.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.