Brown Bodies and Discipline within’ the Classroom

In the summer of 2011 the “Supportive School Discipline Initiative” project was first introduced by the Department of Education and the Department of Justice, with the goals to improve school discipline, maintain consistency with student attendance, and mainly decrease the “school to prison pipeline”. With hopes that the Council of State Governments would launch the project by October of 2012, they were given $84,000. The suggested release for data driven recommendations for improving school disciplinary actions was to be released in 2014. These list of recommendations were to be crafted by experienced practitioners who worked in education, law enforcement, the juvenile justice system, and behavioral health. Though there has been some buzz this year, not much information has been presented, but we did see the launch of the #RethinkDisciplineCampaign. Some of the data that encouraged the creation of the initiative revealed that close to 6 in 10 public school students were expelled or suspended between 7th and 9th grade, but more alarming was that African-American students had a 31% likelihood of receiving disciplinary action compared to their White and Hispanic counterparts. Data also revealed that students who qualified for special education services were suspended or expelled from school at least once, be it the majority also being students of color. With thorough investigation into the data tracking the progression of this initiative, the only data that has been released and could be found was from the 2011-2012 school year.

Some questions to begin asking:

Where is the data from 2012- 2014?

What can we as a community do to help reduce the disproportionate treatment of the brown body inside and outside of the classroom?

Let’s continue to create spaces for idea sharing, and get to work. Let’s get back to the “it takes a village” mindset and begin to build legacies through all avenues of knowledge. For more detailed information including an interactive map  go to:

http:// nces.ed.gov/programs/maped/storymaps/oss/

All information gathered gives credit to the U.S. Department of Education:

References:

http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/school-discipline/index.html

http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/school-discipline/appendix-3-overview.pdf

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