March 20, 2014


It is tragic and unacceptable that 6 decades after Brown vs. Board of Education we still haven’t achieved equality in public education. Inequities still exist, including disparities in school discipline.


Just last week, the Indiana University School of Education released a study on discipline disparities. The group found “clear evidence that students of color, particularly African Americans, and students with disabilities are suspended at hugely disproportionate rates, perpetuating racial and educational inequality across the country.”


The collaborative further determined there is no evidence to support the premise that ‘bad kids’  should be removed from the classroom in order to ensure that ‘good kids’ can learn.”


Click here to read the press release from Indiana University.


The report continues, “Far too many of the most vulnerable students are excluded from class for minor misconduct and non-violent behavior, putting them at great risk for academic failure, dropping out, and a downward spiral into the “school-to-prison pipeline”.


Maintaining safe and supportive schools is essential, but concerns do exist with both the rates of and disparities in disciplinary action in our schools.


It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that our schools are safe learning environments for all students and not a point of entry into our justice system for some of students.


Teachers and support staff know firsthand and studies show that safe and successful schools have strong teacher-student and teacher-parent relationships. However, teachers and school personnel often lack the support and resources they need to meet the developmental needs of all our students.


ISTA will continue to advocate for more support for teachers and educational support professionals to be able to have the resources to help build these relationships.