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
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

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

Special Education Webinar Reading, Dyslexia, and Equity: Best Practices for Addressing a Threefold Challenge
Learn about proven strategies for instruction and intervention that support students with dyslexia.
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
School & District Management Webinar
Leading Systemic Redesign: Strategies from the Field
Learn how your school community can work together to redesign the school system, reengineer instruction, & co-author personalized learning.
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
Personalized Learning Webinar
No Time to Waste: Individualized Instruction Will Drive Change
Targeted support and intervention can boost student achievement. Join us to explore tutoring’s role in accelerating the turnaround. 
Content provided by Varsity Tutors for Schools

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 ACLU Texas Files OCR Complaint Over a District's Anti-Trans Book Ban
The group claims the Keller school district's new policy to remove books about gender fluidity from library shelves violates federal law.
4 min read
Banned books are visible at the Central Library, a branch of the Brooklyn Public Library system, in New York City on Thursday, July 7, 2022. The books are banned in several public schools and libraries in the U.S., but young people can read digital versions from anywhere through the library. The Brooklyn Public Library offers free membership to anyone in the U.S. aged 13 to 21 who wants to check out and read books digitally in response to the nationwide wave of book censorship and restrictions.
Banned books are on diplay at the Central Library, a branch of the Brooklyn Public Library system, in New York City on Thursday, July 7, 2022. Some of these books are among those banned by school districts in Texas.
Ted Shaffrey/AP
School & District Management Political Tensions in Schools Are 'Pervasive,' Principals Say
High school principals reported high levels of student conflict due to political beliefs and parent efforts to limit curriculum about race.
6 min read
Image of political tension surrounding school leaders.
Collage by Laura Baker/Education Week via iStock/Getty
School & District Management Litter Boxes in Schools: How a Disruptive and Demeaning Hoax Frustrated School Leaders
A hoax claiming that schools were providing litter boxes to students wasted school leaders' time as they worked to debunk it.
6 min read
Smartphone with blue and red colored hoax bubbles floating up off of the screen onto a dark black background with illegible lines of text also in the background.
iStock/Getty Images Plus
School & District Management A New Federal Grant Will Fund Schools' Energy Upgrades. Here's What to Know
The Department of Energy released new funding to help schools redo HVAC systems, add renewable energy, and upgrade facilities.
3 min read
A small white space heater directs air under a teacher's desk. On the front of the desk is a sign that says "Welcome to our classroom."
Personal space heaters are a common item found in the classrooms at Greene County High School in Snow Hill, N.C., where they're used to heat rooms when the HVAC units fail. New federal grants will help schools upgrade climate systems and add energy efficiency measures.
Alex Boerner for Education Week