The advancement of school discipline reform has been a bright spot among what often feels like a sea of bad news in education. Coalitions like the Dignity in Schools Campaign and national groups like the Advancement Project and NAACP have long highlighted the unjust, inequitable and ineffective school discipline policies that far too many children attend school under. Studies consistently show the school-to-prison pipeline is built on a bedrock of white supremacist, patriarchal, heteronormative and ableist biases. Fortunately, innovative cross-sector organizing uniting young people, parents and educators have been able to push positive reform policies in states and districts across the country — first by curbing harmful punishments like suspensions and expulsions, and then by introducing positive policies to replace them, like restorative practices and accountability processes that center healing instead of punishment.
However, a new report shows just how uneven these reforms have been implemented, and how desperately far many states and districts need to go.