Improving student academic and behavior outcomes requires ensuring all students access to the most effective and accurately implemented instructional and behavioral practices and interventions. Schools need to create an environment that ensures all students feel emotional and physically safe. Students are losing important instructional time due to exclusionary discipline. The increasing use of disciplinary sanctions such as in-school and out-of-school suspensions, expulsions, or referrals to law enforcement authorities creates the potential for significant, negative educational and long-term outcomes, and can contribute to what has been termed the “school to prison pipeline.” Studies suggest a correlation between exclusionary discipline policies and practices and an array of serious educational, economic, and social problems, including school avoidance and diminished educational engagement; decreased academic achievement; increased behavior problems; increased likelihood of dropping out; substance abuse; and involvement with juvenile justice systems (Joint Dear Colleague Letter, 2014).
Supporting Students Who Are Expelled
The resources below provide guidance for schools on implementing the state requirements for students who have been expelled.
- Standards for Educational Opportunities for Students Who Have Been Expelled
These standards, adopted by the Connecticut State Board of education, require a determination concerning appropriate programming and the development of an individualized learning plan (ILP) for all students who have been expelled.
- Alternative Educational Opportunities for Students Who Have Been Expelled: Best Practice Guidelines for Program Implementation
This framework for effective program implementation consists of eight indicators for best practices regarding the delivery of educational opportunities to students who have been expelled from their school and placed in alternative education settings.
- Guidance Regarding Student Expulsions: Superintendent Letter, August 31, 2018
Go to the "How To" section in the left navigation bar to access additional guidance and resources on school expulsions.
Disparities in School Discipline
Connecticut’s data demonstrated that students of certain racial or ethnic groups tend to be disciplined more than their peers. For example, suspension/expulsion rates for Black and rates for Black females are two to five times that of as their White counterparts. Hispanic males are two to three times that of their White counterparts and although African-American students represent 15% of students in the CRDC, they make up 35% of students suspended once, 44% of those suspended more than once, and 36% of students expelled. Further, over 50% of students who were involved in school-related arrests or referred to law enforcement are Hispanic or African-American.
Statistical evidence may indicate that groups of students have been subjected to different treatment or that a school policy or practice may have an adverse bias impact. Black and Hispanic students receive out of school suspensions at a greater rate than White students who are given a less severe sanction. This pattern remains when analyzing sanctions stemming from school policy violations separately.