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The impact discipline has on students across the country cannot be overstated. While positive discipline practices can promote safe learning environments and aid students in developing key skills, negative discipline practices can harm students’ well-beings, make students feel unsafe, and in many cases, reinforce racism and discrimination.  

A new study by Francis Pearman, an assistant professor at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education, shows the many ways Black students are physically separated from their white peers in schools reinforces anti-Black bias in schools and racist discipline practices.

Black students are suspended at two to four times higher rates than white and Latino students. Research shows that when the racial discipline gap goes up, so does the achievement gap in schools. This disproportionate treatment can also lead more Black students to fall behind in classes, drop out of school, and fall victim to the school-to-prison pipeline. 

The Biden administration recently released new guidance asking school districts to investigate why they might have these gaps in discipline. Additionally, experts are putting out new research on ways to reduce racial inequalities when it comes to discipline in schools. Data does not appear to show some of these most popular reforms have led to substantial changes yet. 

The skilled attorneys at Kennedy Hunt P.C. are experts in education law. If your child has been harmed by discriminatory discipline practices, we may be able to help. Fill out a questionnaire so we can understand your claim.