2019 Community Matters Report
Each year in schools across the country, nearly 3 million students are suspended at least once.
Approximately half this many students are suspended more than once. This results in an estimated 18 million days of instruction missed due to exclusionary discipline. Why are the numbers so high?
In the early 90’s, schools began adopting zero tolerance policies to keep students and teachers safe from serious student misconduct, such as violent behavior and bringing weapons to school. While these more serious forms of behavior have actually been on the decline, zero tolerance polices have been applied to a wider-range of misbehaviors, including vandalism, insubordination, and even dress code violations resulting in significant increases in overall student suspensions.
But it is our minority students and students who receive special education services that are disproportionately impacted by these policies and overrepresented in school suspensions. And these disparities begin as early as preschool and continue through high school.
This Community Matters Reports outlines research as well as policy and school practice recommendations that can help address the underlying issues that affect student behavior through an integrated focus on social, emotional and academic development.
It also outlines the efforts of Communities In Schools during the 2017-2018 school year to utilize that integrated model of work to improve the outcomes of students.