Fair and Just School Climate
Across the nation advocates, educators, parents, students and policymakers are recognizing the importance of fostering positive, healthy school climates. Increasingly, schools are moving away from harmful and counter-productive zero tolerance discipline policies and toward proven restorative approaches to addressing conflict in schools. Everyone thrives when a school community is a healthy living and learning climate for all.
The Latest on Fair and Just School Climate
Findings from a multi-year study of discipline records for nearly 1 million Texas students show that the majority of them were suspended or expelled between seventh to 12th grade. A not-surprising corollary finding: When students are suspended or expelled, the likelihood that they will repeat a grade, not graduate, and/or become involved in the juvenile justice system increases significantly. For more on the groundbreaking report by the Council of State Governments Justice Center in partnership with the Public Policy Research Institute at Texas A&M University.
The student-led Voices of Youth in Chicago Education recently compiled a cost-analysis that shows how enforcing and administering zero tolerance policies costing taxpayers and examines the damaging effects of the Chicago public school system’s disciplinary policies on students and schools. In the report, “Failed Policies, Broken Futures: The True Cost of Zero Tolerance,” VOYCE writes that such harsh policies are “based on the fear that young people of color are future criminals, not the hope that we will be future leaders.”
The overuse of out-of-school suspensions, expulsions and school-based arrests across has pushed many youths -- especially those of color -- out of school and into jail. The Advancement Project’s action kit is intended to help parents, youth, advocates and educators address the school-to-prison pipeline so they can create better learning environments. Read more>.