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School Discipline, Race, and Ethnicity

School discipline involves the regulation, surveillance, and punishment of students through different mechanisms to control behavior. This entry discusses the research on the disproportionate number of students of color who are suspended and expelled, the consequences of zero-tolerance policies, and the school cultures that create a school-to-prison pipeline. The entry concludes with suggestions for effecting more equitable discipline policies in schools.

Although school administrators and faculty are responsible for maintaining safe learning environments for students, as school discipline is considered in relationship to race and ethnicity, issues of equity, severity, disproportionality, and social control are raised. For African American students in particular, a significant body of research indicates that they are disproportionately targeted for punishment in schools. Disciplinary school practices since the 1970s have become ...

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