Kirsten Bokenkamp, Communications Coordinator
The more often a student is disciplined at school, the more likely that student will drop-out. Seems logical, but is it true? When controlling for other variables, the Breaking Schools’ Rules report recently found that the answer is a resounding yes. And students of color and special education students are disproportionately disciplined.
- About 10 percent of students suspended or expelled at least once during the study period dropped out. For those disciplined 11 times or more, that percentage rose to 15 percent. In comparison, just 2 percent of students who were never disciplined dropped out.
- Thirty-one percent of students with one or more suspension or expulsion repeated a grade at least once compared to 5 percent of students who were never disciplined.
- Almost 60 percent of those students disciplined 11 times or more did not graduate from high school during the study period, compared to 18 percent who were never disciplined.
- The authors of the report point out that “not graduating” is a distinct measure from whether a student dropped out or repeated a grade. Students in this category may have dropped out in the future, or in the very least, would have repeated a grade at least once. As such, the true drop-out rate is likely underestimated.
Putting these facts together with what we already know – children of color and special education students are disproportionately disciplined – paints a grim picture for the future of Texas’ youth. We can’t help but conclude that this institutionalized discrimination plays a part at landing a disproportionate number of children of color in jail.
The next blog will discuss the impact of school discipline on incarceration rates.