OPINION: ‘Punitive discipline makes school feel like a prison, not a community’

Four ways to stop undermining education and educators

During horseplay with friends, a young man — a high school student — had shoved an elderly woman.

Now, he risked suspension. I was working in the student’s school as a staff developer at the time, helping to implement restorative practices as part of my work with Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility. I drew the young man into a “restorative conference” with the principal and others.

Research shows that students of color are punished far more often and more harshly than white students for the same infractions — and sometimes for no infractions at all. That’s because often suspension isn’t about a child’s harmful behavior. It’s about adult assumptions and lack of awareness, especially related to race, class, gender and sexual orientation.

Read more at The Hechinger Report

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