School & District Management

Six in 10 Texas Seniors Have Been Suspended or Worse, Study Finds

By John Kelly, Youth Today — May 26, 2011 1 min read

More Texas students have been suspended or expelled than have not, according to a forthcoming study of state trends on school discipline. And the margin isn’t that close.

Details of the study will not be public until July 19, but Council of State Governments Justice Center Director Michael Thompson said at a federal juvenile justice meeting this week that nearly six out of 10 Texas students had received an in-school or out-of-school suspension, were expelled, or were incarcerated at some point by their 12th grade year.

The study is the first look at an entire state’s practices in disciplining students. It tracks 928,940 students who entered seventh grade between 2000 and 2003, using records from Texas school districts and the agencies that oversee juvenile probation and confinement.

Thompson discussed the findings at the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention meeting, which was attended by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. The study found that:

• 58 percent of the students had received a suspension or worse by 12th grade.

• The vast majority (about 90 percent) of those actions were taken at the discretion of school administrators. The notion that state law or federal law drives suspensions and expulsions “is simply not the case,” Thompson said.

• Violent offenses accounted for about 10 percent of the disciplinary actions.

The study also will show that a healthy percentage of youth have 11 or more disciplinary actions, Thompson indicated, and many of them also have juvenile records.

Thompson described the presence of an emotional disturbance as an “off the charts” predictor of severe discipline.

The study does not cover truancy or anything about law enforcement presence on school grounds.

In the meeting, OJJDP Acting Administrator Jeff Slowikowski suggested that a report being produced by the coordinating council likely would recommend some federal action on zero-tolerance policies in schools.

Republished with permission from Youth Today.
A version of this article appeared in the June 08, 2011 edition of Education Week as Six in 10 Texas Seniors Have Been Suspended or Worse, Study Finds

Events

School & District Management Live Event Education Week Leadership Symposium
Education Week's Premier Leadership Event for K12 School & District Leaders.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Law & Courts Webinar
The Future of Criminal Justice Reform: A Sphere Education Initiative Conversation
America’s criminal justice system is in crisis and calls for reform are dominating the national debate. Join Cato’s Sphere Education Initiative and Education Week for a webinar on criminal justice and policing featuring the nation’s
Content provided by Cato Institute
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Equity, Care and Connection: New SEL Tools and Practices to Support Students and Adults
As school districts plan to welcome students back into buildings for the upcoming school year, this is the perfect time to take a hard look at both our practices and our systems to build a
Content provided by Panorama Education

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management Has COVID-19 Led to a Mass Exodus of Superintendents?
This year has been exhausting for superintendents. Some experts say they're seeing an unusually high number of resignations this spring.
5 min read
Chicago Public Schools Superintendent Janice K. Jackson, right, speaks on Feb. 11, 2021, during a news conference at the William H. Brown Elementary School in Chicago. In-person learning for students in pre-k and cluster programs began Thursday, since the district's agreement with the Chicago Teachers Union was reached.
Chicago Public Schools Superintendent Janice K. Jackson, right, announced earlier this week that she would depart the school system. Jackson, who assumed the superintendency in 2018, has worked for more than 20 years in CPS.
Shafkat Anowar
School & District Management Most Schools Offer at Least Some In-Person Classes, According to Feds' Latest Count
A majority of 4th and 8th graders had at least some in-person schooling by March, but inequities persisted.
3 min read
Image shows empty desks in a classroom.
Chris Ryan/OJO Images
School & District Management Opinion Education Researchers Should Think More About Educators: Notes From AERA
Steve Rees, founder of School Wise Press, posits AERA reflects a community of researchers too focused on what they find interesting.
4 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
School & District Management What the Research Says High Costs, Outdated Infrastructure Hinder Districts' Air-Quality Efforts
A national survey finds the pandemic has led districts to update schools' ventilation systems, but their options are limited.
3 min read
Mayor Bill de Blasio, center, checks the movement of a window inside a classroom at Bronx Collaborative High School, during a visit to review health safeguards in advance of schools reopening on Aug. 26, 2020, in New York.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, center, checks the movement of a window inside a classroom at Bronx Collaborative High School, during a visit to review health safeguards in advance of schools reopening earlier this school year.
Bebeto Matthews/AP