The history and safeness of public schools

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Public concern for safe and orderly schools is not new. In Centuries of Childhood, Aries (1962) reports assaults and riots, in schools from the Middle Ages to the 19th century. Teachers in Colonial America frequently had student mutinies, and the public's concern with school safety in the United States continued throughout the 19th century (Crews & Counts, 1997; Midlarsky & Klain, 2005). In the 1840s, Horace Mann denounced the whipping or flogging of students for misbehavior and reported on the closing of approximately 400 Massachusetts schools due to student discipline problems (Tozer, 2000).(. In the last sixty years, congress and other governmental entities have raised concerns about newly perceived upsurges in student violence (Crews & Counts, 1997). The Safe and Drug-Free Schools Act of 1986, the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990, and the modified Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1996 all reflected public opinion and congress acting upon that opinion that schools were becoming increasingly dangerous places.(Cornell & Mayer, 2010). Many times, the response to school violence has been legislation, such as declaring that schools are gun-free zones. That resulting legislation addresses complex social problems with simplistic solutions. Perhaps the most simplistic solution has been the widespread adoption of zero-tolerance policies.( Cornell, 2010). In the late 1980's and early 1990's, public schools began to move away from a rehabilitative model of discipline to a stricter approach based on zero tolerance policies. This was likely a response to public outcry that American schools were becoming more violent. A zero tolerance school policy generally prescribes a mandatory sanction-like suspension---for a discipline infraction without consideration of extenuating circumstances or consequences of the offense. (APA, 2008).

Zero Tolerance

zero-tolerance policies have expanded dramatically in many school systems to include automatic suspension or expulsion for disciplinary infractions that would have received only minor punishment in previous decades, such as bringing a water pistol to school, shooting a paper clip with a rubber band, or playfully pointing a finger in a game of cops and robbers on the playground (American Psychological Association

Zero Tolerance Task Force, 2008; Cornell, 2006; Skiba & Knesting, 2001). Episodes of school violence are often the focus of attention, but low level aggressive behavior is much more prevalentcornell and mayer, 2010, why do school order and safety matter-Educational Researcher

From cornell---Student misbehavior not only disrupts the classroom and robs teachers of precious instructional time (Aleem & Moles, 1993; Dinkes, Cataldi, & Lin-Kelly, 2007; Gottfredson et al., 2000) but has a broader and longer lasting impact. Teachers can suffer from emotional strain and burnout that damage their feelings of commitment and self-efficacy, leading to negative and depersonalizing attitudes toward students (Browers & Tomic, 2000; Hastings & Bham, 2003). According to a 2003-2004 national survey, in the past year 242,000 teachers reported being threatened with injury with a weapon, and 120,000 reported being physically attacked by a student (Dinkes et al., 2007). Like their teachers, students, too, are distracted from instruction. The distraction is compounded by anxiety over bullying and fears for personal safety (Hanish & Guerra, 2002). Six percent of secondary students in 2005 reported avoidance of a school activity or location over the past 6 months due to fear of attack or harm (Dinkes et al., 2007). Investigations into exposure to violence and related trauma have demonstrated linkages to problems in cognitive functioning and early reading achievement (Delaney-Black et al., 2002;Margolin & Gordis, 2000; Perry, 2001). Research specifically concerned with victimization experiences at school have examined a variety of models and mechanisms that lead to lower academic performance.''' Cornell, el al, 2010

"""Schools face a number of challenges related to disruptive and antisocial students. The behavior of these students interferes with learning, diverts administrative time, and contributes to teacher burnout (Byrne, 1999; Kendziora & Osher, 2009). Discipline issues like horseplay, rule violation, disruptiveness, class cutting, cursing, bullying, sexual harassment, refusal, defiance, fighting, and vandalism are all considered low level aggressive behaviors that contribute to poor individual, school, and community outcomes (Conoley & Goldstein, 2004). Schools typically respond to disruptive students with external discipline, which consists of sanctions and punishment such as office referrals, corporal punishment, suspensions, and expulsions. For example, at least 48% of public schools took a serious disciplinary action against a student during 2005-2006. Among these actions, 74% were suspensions lasting 5 days or more, 5% were expulsions, and 20% were transfers to specialized schools (Dinkes, Kemp, & Baum, 2009). Such responses present a short-term fix to what often is a chronic and long-term problem. Little evidence supports punitive and exclusionary approaches, which may be iatrogenic for individuals and schools (Mayer, 1995;Skiba, Peterson, & Williams, 1997). For example, segregation with antisocial peers can increase antisocial behavior (Dishion, Dodge, & Lansford, 2006), and punitive approaches to discipline have been linked to antisocial behavior(Gottfredson, Gottfredson, Payne, & Gottfredson, 2005; Mayer & expulsion disproportionately affect students with emotional and behavioral disorders and students of color, contributing to school disengagement, lost opportunities to learn, and dropout (American Academy of Pediatrics, 1998; Morrison et al., 2001; Osher, Morrison, & Bailey, 2003; Gregory, Skiba, & Noguera, Educational Researcher,2010 pp. 59-68).""""osher,bear, Sprague, doyle, 2010, how can we improve school discipline

WHY SUSPENSION IS BAD """"Concerns have been raised about the widespread and increasing use of suspensions. First, suspensions have a detrimental effect on achievement and are used most often with students who can least afford to be outside of the classroom. Arcia (2006), in a study of suspensions and achievement that spanned 3 school years, found that, prior to suspension, students who received the highest number of days in suspensions had lower achievement levels than students who received fewer or no suspensions. Subsequent achievement gains were also related to suspensions such that achievement gains increased in relation with decreases in the number of days students were suspended. Second, suspensions may reinforce rather than deter negative behavior. Atkins et al. (2002) examined the rates of disciplinary referrals and the teacher ratings of behavior of third- to eighth-grade students. They found that, whereas for some students suspensions in the fall decreased subsequent disciplinary referrals, for other students, those who had been rated by their teachers as significantly more aggressive, more hyperactive, and with fewer social skills than other students, disciplinary referrals increased after suspensions. In other words, suspensions increased and did not deter undesirable behavior. Third, students of ethnic or racial minorities are overrepresented relative to their enrollments among the students suspended. They have been reported to receive disciplinary referrals for less serious and more subjective reasons than majority students, and to be given more serious consequences for infractions (Advancement Project, 2005; Keleher, 2000; Mendez & Knoff, 2003; National Association of Child Advocates, 1998; Skiba, Michael, Nardo, & Peterson, 2000). Fourth, it has been suggested that by removing students from a supervised environment suspensions provide increased opportunities for disruption, for delinquency, and for involvement with the police (Advancement Project, 2005; Civil Rights Project, 2000; National Association of Child Advocates, 1998). Moreover, child advocates have raised concerns about the policies and attitudes that are associated with suspensions. They are seen as occurring within a context of punishment, fostered by the zero-tolerance policy that criminalizes adolescent behavior by excluding students who misbehave and by involving the police and the criminal justice system. Indeed, the process of suspensions and expulsions has been termed the "schoolhouse to jailhouse track" (Advancement Project, 2005, p. 7). Fifth, suspensions are often used for minor infractions that might be addressed in other ways that would have fewer negative academic conse­quences for students. Mendez and Knoff (2003) found that in middle schools, 74% of suspensions were for disobedience and that over all grades less than 1% of suspensions were for serious offenses such as the possession of a weapon. Last, in some schools suspensions are not used as a disciplinary (i.e., teaching) strategy, but are part of a highly punitive environment (Christle, Nelson, & Jolivette, 2004). It has been suggested that they are used as a "pushout" strategy for students who are seen as troublemakers (National Association of Child Advocates, 1998; Skiba et al., 2000). . """" ARCIA, 2007


From advancement 2005----Zero tolerance, a term taken from the war on drugs (where law enforcement agencies swiftly and harshly responded to drug offenders), was initiated in school districts during a juvenile crime wave in the late 1980s (Skiba, 2002)when Congress acted, passing the Gun-Free Schools Act of 1994, which required states to enact laws mandating the expulsion of students found on school property with firearms. Most states and school districts reacted by going above and beyond the federal mandate, passing laws and policies that required expulsion or suspension for the possession of all weapons, drugs and other serious violations committed on or off school grounds.

While zero tolerance once required suspension or expulsion for a specified list of serious offenses, it is now an overarching approach toward discipline for potential weapons, imaginary weapons, perceived weapons, a smart mouth, headache medicine, tardiness, and spitballs. Punishment through exclusion from the classroom has become the rapid-response to every act of misconduct or perceived misconduct. From 1974 to 2000, the number of students suspended out-of-school increased from

1.7 million to 3.1 million. (Wald and Losen, 2003). Research conducted over the past fi ve years has detailed the growing use of suspensions for trivial conduct, much of which is subjectively labeled "disrespect," "disobedience," and "disruption." (Gregory, 2008)

Teachers and school offi cials contend that the reasons for this strict treatment of students include:

Averting tragedy by cracking down on minor conduct before it becomes serious

Deterring misconduct by providing youths a "wake-up call"

Limiting legal liability by treating all misbehavior as serious

Shifting youths into the juvenile justice system to give them the help that schools will not or cannot provide

Creating an environment conducive to learning by removing children who do not want to learn (Consellla, 2003).

Advocates, parents, and youths believe that this overly harsh treatment of youths is due to:

Pushing out allegedly low-performing youths in an era of high-stakes testing, and

Perpetuating the structural racism that has resulted in the over-criminalization and incarceration of people of color and that is victimizing younger and younger people of color.

Ultimately, there is no evidence that zero tolerance measures alone are effective in changing misbehavior or preventing violence. (Skiba, 2002). The high rate of recidivism of suspended youths indicates that out-of-school suspension is an ineffective deterrent and, in fact, for some students it acts as a reinforce (Mendez, 2003). Further, although the purpose of out-of-school suspensions and expulsions is to teach students a lesson about misbehavior, many students view these punishments as being based more on the reputation of students than on their behavior and thus unfairly target certain groups of students- e.g., students of color (Skiba, 2002). Similarly, the use of criminal penalties for minor conduct not only engenders a sense of unfair treatment, it also adversely impacts students' self-perceptions. ( Wald and Kurlaender, 2003). These devastating consequences of zero tolerance and the schoolhouse to jailhouse track clearly dictate that these practices should be used only as a last resort.

From advancement 2005

In recent years, traditional school punishments have been supplemented by criminal penalties. Even harmless acts are now subject to citations (tickets) or arrests and referrals to juvenile or criminal courts. In fact, in many instances the charges (e.g., "terroristic threatening" for playing cops and robbers, or assault for throwing a snowball) would never

"""School disciplinary practices exclude hundreds of thousands of young people in the United States from the educational process each year. School discipline takes a variety of forms, from minor actions like sending students to the principal's office or requiring them to stay after school, to more severe sanctions that include suspension and expulsion. According to the most recent School Survey on Crime and Safety: Forty-eight percent of public schools (approximately 39,600 schools) took a serious disciplinary action against a student for specific offenses during the 2005-06 school year. Of those disciplinary actions, 74% were suspensions lasting five days or more, 5% were removals with no services (i.e., expulsions), and 20% were transfers to specialized schools (Dinkes, Cataldi, Lin-Kelly, & Snyder, 2007, p. 56). The Office of Civil Rights' Elementary and Secondary Survey: 2000, a study that included 97% of the nation's schools districts and 99% of its schools, found that there were a total of 3,053,449 student suspensions and 97,177 expulsions in 2000 (U.S. Department of Education, 2000). . Although disciplinary practices that remove students from classrooms and schools are used widely, their use is not distributed equally across the population. Research from the 1970s to the present has documented that White students are not as likely as Black students to experience school discipline (The Civil Rights Project/Advancement Project, 2000; Nichols, Ludwin, & Iadicola, 1999; Raffaele Mendez & Knoff, 2003; Skiba, Michael, Nardo, & Peterson, 2002; Skiba, Peterson, & Williams, 1997). For example, although Black youth comprise only 17% of the nation's public school students, they account for 32% of the students suspended (Raffaele Mendez & Knoff, 2003). Past research has referred to the overrepresentation in numbers of Black students that are disciplined at school as "racial disproportionality." Nationally, Black students are more than twice as likely as White students to be suspended or expelled, and in urban districts the disparity has been found to range from 3 to 22 times as likely (The Civil Rights Project/Advancement Project, 2000; Raffaele Mendez & Knoff, 2003; Wald & Losen, 2003). Although a substantial number of studies have found that Black students disproportionately experience school discipline, "fewer investigations have explored disciplinary disproportionality among students of other ethnic backgrounds, and those studies have yielded inconsistent results" (Skiba et al., 2002, p. 319).

Policies and School Discipline The large number of young people in the United States who annually experience school discipline, generally results from schools'widespread use of "zero-tolerance" discipline policies. School-based zero-tolerance policies are rooted historically in federal drug policies designed to deter drug trafficking through immediate, harsh, and legally mandated punishments (Verdugo, 2002). By the mid-1990s, the vast majority of public schools had adopted zero-tolerance policies. These policies were in response to the confluence of a number of factors that included such widely publicized incidents of school violence as Columbine (Rosenberg, nd.) and Jonesborough (The Civil Rights Project/Advancement Project, 2000); both support public perception of increasing violence in schools, as well as the need for federal legislation that mandated expulsion for the possession of a weapon in school (i.e., the Gun-Free Schools Act of 1994). In fact, by the 1996­1997 school year 94% of U.S. public schools had zero-tolerance policies for firearms, 91% for other weapons, 88% for drugs and 87% for alcohol (Kaufman, et al., 2000). Although most school-based zero-tolerance policies initially focused on weapons and substance use, many schools later expanded these policies to include infractions that have relatively little impact on school safety (e.g., insubordination, tardiness). The widespread use of school-based zero-tolerance policies, particularly for behaviors that do not physically endanger students and schools, has serious implications for students'short-term academic performance as well as their longer-term social and economic well being. In particular, suspension and expulsion remove students from the learning environment, potentially increase the amount of time that they spend unsupervised and with other out-of-school youth, and strongly correlate with various negative outcomes including poor academic achievement, grade retention, delinquency, and substance use (American Bar Association & National Bar Association, 2001; Raffaele Mendez, 2003). In fact, among girls, experiencing school discipline (e.g., suspension or expulsion) during middle school is the strongest predictor of being arrested later in adolescence (American Bar Association & National Bar Association, 2001). Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of schools' ubiquitous use of exclusionary school discipline practices is the fact that, "suspension does not appear to work as a deterrent to future misbehavior" (Raffaele Mendez, 2003, p. 31). Rather, suspension has been found to be associated with additional suspensions and eventually expulsion or dropping out (The Civil Rights Project/Advancement Project, 2000; Raffaele Mendez, 2003; Skiba et al., 1997). Patterns in School Discipline


From advancement 2005----The existence of structural racism in our schools is nothing new. The very premise of the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision is that race is a determining factor in who receives quality education in the United States. Fifty years later, education policy and practice continue to single out students of color for disparate treatment.

Racial disparities in school discipline have been documented for more than thirty years. In 1975, the Children's Defense Fund found that national suspension rates for Black students were two to three times higher than suspension rates for White students. (Children's Defense Fund, 1975) This pattern still holds true. In 2000, Blacks were 17% of public school enrollment nationwide and 34% of suspensions( U.S. Dept. of Education, 2000).

With the increased referrals of these disciplinary issues to the juvenile justice system, students of color are more likely to be on the schoolhouse-to-jailhouse track than their White peers. (Browne, 2003). In fact, this pattern is true beyond the schoolhouse doors. The racial disparities of this track mirror the disparities in the juvenile and criminal justice systems. For example, in 2008, Black youths made up 16% of the juvenile population but were 52% of juvenile arrests, while white youth made up 78% of the juvenile population and were involved in 47% of the arrests. (Puzzanchera, 2009). 1 Further, in 2008, the racial composition of the U.S. juvenile population aged 10-17 was 78 percent white, 16 percent black, 5 percent Asian, and one percent Native American. Most juveniles of Hispanic descent were included in the White category. Of all juvenile arrests for violent crimes in 2008, 47 percent involved white youth, 52 percent involved black youth, one percent involved Asian youth, and one percent involved native American youth. For property crime arrests the proportions were 65% white youth, 33 percent black youth, 2 percent Asian, and one percent native American. Black youth were over represented in juvenile arrests. (Puzzanchera, 2009).

Researchers conclude that racial disparities cannot be accounted for by the socioeconomic status of minority students. Nor is there any evidence that minority students misbehave more than their White peers.4 (Skiba, 2002-color of dis). Race does, however, correlate with the severity of the punishment imposed, with students of color receiving harsher punishments for less severe behavior Furthermore, research pertaining to the treatment of minorities in the juvenile justice and criminal justice systems indicates that racially biased decision making occurs at every step of those processes.45 Thus, it is more likely that disparities in the schoolhouse-to-jailhouse track are due to racism, individual and/or structural. These disparities ultimately exacerbate racial inequities in education.

From advancement 2005

""""""Virtually every study that has examined racial differences in school discipline has found that White youth are less likely than Black youth to be suspended and to be expelled (The Civil Rights Project/Advancement Project, 2000). Beyond this consistent finding, however, there are at least four important areas related to racial and ethnic differences in school discipline that past research has not addressed adequately. One important topic that relatively little research has examined is the extent to which there are racial or ethnic differences in less-severe school disciplinary practices that might precede such serious disciplinary measures as suspension and expulsion.A study by Skiba et al. (2002) of 19 middle schools in a large Midwestern public school district found that Black youth were referred to the office more often than White youth. Interestingly, the reasons that Black and White youth were sent to the office were different, with Black students being sent to the office for more subjective reasons, (e.g., disrespect and perceived threat) while White students were more likely to be referred for more objective reasons (e.g., smoking, vandalism, and leaving school without permission). The results of the study led the authors to conclude that differences in Black and White youths' rates of suspension are due, in large part, to disproportionate office referrals. The extent to which other racial or ethnic groups besides Black youth are also more likely than White youth to receive school disciplinary actions has not been adequately addressed in the literature. One of the few studies to examine school discipline for other groups of young people used data from 1996-1997 on suspension among White, Black, and Hispanic students from 142 schools in a west central Florida school district. The study reported that Hispanic students were more likely than White students to be suspended but less likely than Blacks to be suspended (Raffaele Mendez & Knoff, 2003). The only national study on racial and ethnic differences in disciplinary disproportionality that we found examined parents' reports of whether their 7th- through 12th-grade child had been suspended or expelled. The study found that suspension and expulsion rates were highest for American Indian (38%) and Black (35%) students; at an intermediate level for Hispanic students (20%); and at the lowest level for White (15%) and Asian American (13%) students (Hoffman & Llagas, 2003). Another important underinvestigated topic in the relationship between school discipline and race and ethnicity concerns changes in the application of disciplinary practices over time. Recent research suggests that exclusionary disciplinary practices have been used with increasing frequency, at least since the broad implementation of school-based zero-tolerance policies in the early 1990s. Nevertheless, to our knowledge, no study has examined explicitly trends in school disciplinary practices over time or across racial and ethnic groups (see Raffaele Mendez, Knoff, & Ferron, 2002). LOW SES A fourth important issue that past research has not explored adequately is the extent to which key sociodemographic variables, potentially confounded with race and ethnicity, act to either moderate2 or mediate3 the relationship between race and ethnicity and school discipline. Although there are differences in the specific findings, some previous studies suggest that gender may moderate the relationship between school discipline and race; that is, the strength of the relationship between school discipline and race may vary, depending upon students' gender. Given the lack of consistency in the findings of the relationships between gender and racial and ethnic differences, further research is merited. For example, Skiba et al., (2002) found that Black males have the highest suspension rates followed by White males, Black females, and White females. Also others have reported that Black females'rates are higher than White males and other females (e.g., Raffaele Mendez & Knoff, 2003). In addition to gender as a possible moderator of the relationship between race and school discipline, some researchers, as noted earlier, have sought to identify variables that might help to explain, or mediate, the relationship. In order for a variable to mediate the relationship between an independent variable and a dependent variable, the independent variable and the dependent variable must correlate with each other and with the mediator. When the mediator is statistically controlled, the relationship between the independent variable and the dependent variable will approach zero. Possible mediators of the race and ethnicity and school discipline relationship are key sociodemographic factors that correlate with race and ethnicity and school discipline. More specifically, school discipline rates have been found to be higher for economically disadvantaged students, for students in schools located in large cities, and for students who attend school in the southern region of the country (The Civil Rights Project/Advancement Project, 2000). In light of the fact that many non-White youth are economically less advantaged than White youth, and are more likely than White youth to attend school in large urban school districts and in the south, statistically adjusting for these differences may help to explain racial and ethnic differences in school discipline. Although the existence of differences in suspension and expulsion between Black and White youth has been established, what is not known is the extent to which these differences exist for other racial and ethnic groups, how they have or have not changed over time, or the extent to which they can be explained by differences in key sociodemographic factors that may be confounded with race and ethnicity.. """"" WALLACE, 2008

Special ed Disciplinary exclusion disproportionately affects students with disabilities (Cooley, 1995; Fasko, Grubb, & Osborne, 1997; Fiore & Reynolds, 1996; Leone et al., 2000). Fiore and Reynolds reported suspension rates of approximately 20% for special education students versus 10% for the overall student population, based on aggregated state and district data. These higher rates exist despite the protections afforded students with disabilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA; 1990). The 1997 amendments to IDEA, and its reau­thorization in 2004 as the Individuals with Disabilities Educa­tion Improvement Act (IDEIA) specify detailed procedures that school districts must follow for disciplinary exclusion of stu­dents with disabilities. These procedures are intended to ensure that discipline is not applied in a discriminatory manner and does not result in denial of educational services, but they do not prohibit disciplinary removal (Hartwig & Ruesch, 2000; Yell, Drasgow, & Rozalski, 2001). Disproportionate exclusion is particularly evident among students in certain disability groups. State and national studies have indicated that students with emotional/behavioral disor­ders (EBD) and learning disabilities (LD) are suspended or ex­pelled at rates that double or even triple rates for the school population as a whole (Cooley, 1995; Fiore & Reynolds, 1996; Zhang, Katsiyannis, & Herbst, 2004). The National Longitudi­nal Transition Study-2 (NLTS2) revealed that the 2001-2002 adolescent suspension rates were among the highest for students in the LD (17%), EBD (44%), and other health impaired (OHI; 21%) categories. The rates reflect considerable increases since the mid-1980s, particularly for EBD (13% points) and OHI (15% points; Wagner, Newman, & Cameto, 2004). These findings may signify that children with attention­deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), who are a majority of students in the OHI category, are also at high risk for discipli­nary exclusion. Behavioral conduct problems among students with ADHD may contribute to this high-risk level (Rabiner, Coie, Miller-Johnson, Boykin, & Lochman, 2005). ADHD has largely been neglected in research on school exclusion, although the authors of one study noted that hyperactive students with ADHD in the general population had suspension rates of 14%, compared to 2% for their control group (Lambert, Hartsbough, Sassone, & Sandoval, 1987). Although the short- and long-term benefits of early intervention for children's emotional, behav­ioral, and cognitive/academic functioning increasingly are being recognized (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2000), to our knowledge, it is yet unknown whether early in­tervention services for students with EBD, LD, or ADHD af­fect future likelihood of exclusion. In both general and special education, school exclusion is more prevalent among boys and older children, especially stu­dents who have progressed to middle school and high school (Fasko et al., 1997; Fiore & Reynolds, 1996; Hayden, 1994; Skiba, 2002). African American youth are suspended and ex­pelled at rates that are two to three times higher than those for other students, despite the lack of evidence that these students exhibit higher levels of disruptive behavior (Skiba, Michael, Nardo, & Peterson, 2000; Townsend, 2000; Wu, Pink, Crain, & Moles, 1982). The Twenty-Fifth Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Educa­tion Act described school exclusion rates for students with dis­abilities in special education by age and ethnicity. It reported suspension and expulsion rates of 9% among 6 to 9 year olds, 19% among 10 to 12 year olds, and almost one third (27%) of 13 to 17 year olds. Among 6 to 12 year olds, rates were 28% for African Americans, 13% for Hispanics, and 10% for Cau­casians. For the 13 to 17 year olds, the rates increased to 46% of African Americans, 28% of Hispanics, and 30% of Cau­casians (U.S. Department of Education, 2003). Wider family, school, and community factors have also been linked to school exclusion in both general and special edu­cation. Youth in special education and of low socioeconomic family status have been overrepresented among disciplinary referrals (Hayden, 1994; Skiba, 2002; Townsend, 2000). Low-income youth were also overrepresented in a sample of Ken­tucky schools with high suspension rates (Christle, Nelson, & Jolivette, 2004). A higher concentration of poverty and resource-poor schools in inner cities may partially explain the increased risk for suspension among students in urban schools (Wu et al., 1982). Characteristics of social relationships among children, parents, and other adults have also been studied. Higher rates of suspension and expulsion have been associated with low par­ent involvement at school and family problems (Christle et al., 2004; Morrison & D'Incau, 1997). Suspension rates were also associated with teacher perceptions of low student competence, student perceptions that teachers lacked interest in them, rigid school disciplinary policies, and racially and academically biased school personnel (Wu, 1980). Morrison and D'Incau's qualitative analysis of school records found that supportive in­volvements in school, religious, and community organizations were less likely among students who had been recommended for expulsion. Thus, the evidence concerning suspension and expulsion points to both its deleterious effects as well as disparities of use across economic, ethnic, and disability groups. The research has identified associated family, school, and community factors while also indicating that youth who are perhaps most in need of enhanced supports due to academic, psychological, financial, and social disadvantages are most likely to experience discipli­nary exclusion. However, the majority of the research base is composed of univariate studies conducted with small sample sizes. Furthermore, the research specifically related to students who receive special education has not sufficiently disentangled disability categories to determine the degree to which students in individual categories may be disproportionately affected. """"":"ACHILLES, 2007

American Psychological Association Zero Tolerance Task Force. (2008). Are zero tolerance policies effective in schools? An evidentiary review and recommendations. American Psychologist, 63, 852-853.