End Juvenile Solitary Confinement Now

Theoretically, the purpose of the juvenile corrections system is rehabilitation of juveniles who have committed crimes. In fact, all children incarcerated in the juvenile correction system will be released into the community as there is no such thing as life in prison for someone convicted as a juvenile. So, both the incarcerated juveniles and society at large are better off if rehabilitation is successful.

Unfortunately, Wisconsin’s juvenile corrections system has failed to accomplish this basic goal of rehabilitation at its 2 locked facilities, Lincoln Hills (for boys) and the adjoining Copper Lake (for girls). In fact, the treatment of these juveniles has gotten so abusive that the FBI has been investigating these facilities for approximately 2 years. While the outcome of that investigation is still pending, more recently the ACLU filed a civil lawsuit against the State of Wisconsin for abusing juveniles at these facilities, including, among other things, by the use of pepper spray and solitary confinement.

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The Lincoln Hills/Copper Lake juvenile corrections facilities

According to the ACLU’s lawsuit, the heavy use of solitary confinement and pepper spray violate the 8th Amendment’s prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment and the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of due process. Some inmates are confined to 7-foot-by-10-foot cells for months at a time. They typically get out for just an hour or two a day but during that time they are on a belt held by guards or chained to a desk.

Today, I was interviewed on the radio about the use of solitary confinement at these facilities. You can hear the interview here. In recent years, seven states have passed laws that limit or prohibit the use of solitary confinement for youth in detention facilities. For example, Connecticut law states that no child at any time shall be held in solitary confinement, but “seclusion” may be used periodically if authorized and the young person is checked every thirty minutes.

According to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, “the potential psychiatric consequences of prolonged solitary confinement are well recognized and include depression, anxiety and psychosis. Due to their developmental vulnerability, juvenile offenders are at particular risk of such adverse reactions. Furthermore, the majority of suicides in juvenile correctional facilities occur when the individual is isolated or in solitary confinement.”

In 1990, the United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty establish minimum standards for the protection of juveniles in correctional facilities which specifically prohibits juvenile solitary confinement, stating, “All disciplinary measures constituting cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment shall be strictly prohibited, including corporal punishment, placement in a dark cell, closed or solitary confinement or any other punishment that may compromise the physical or mental health of the juvenile concerned.

Wisconsin juveniles should not have to wait for the outcome of the FBI investigation or the ACLU lawsuit. The Wisconsin legislature should promptly act to prohibit the use of solitary confinement at Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake. This is not just the humane way to treat these juveniles. Traumatizing these children decreases the likelihood of successful rehabilitation and increases the chance that they will commit another crime upon their release. If policymakers truly care about decreasing crime, then they will end this barbaric practice in this legislative session.

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For more information on how I can help you accomplish effective, progressive systems change contact Jeff Spitzer-Resnick by visiting his website: Systems Change Consulting.

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School to Prison Pipeline Close to Home

Recently, the Madison school board voted to modify the contract it has with the City of Madison through which it pays for 4 full time police officers (one stationed in each high school). Unfortunately, rather than taking this vote as an opportunity for a serious conversation about the role of police in our schools, Madison’s Mayor, Paul Soglin threatened to remove the police from the high schools if an agreement is not reached within 45 days, though to date, he has been unwilling to engage in serious negotiations on the issue.

school to prison pipeline

Courtesy: Atlanta Black Star

While it is unclear how these negotiations will conclude, both the City and the school board would be wise to examine the available data on juvenile arrest rates to determine whether they are feeding the school to prison pipeline. I recently obtained a copy of a Dane County report with very useful data, Juvenile Population, Arrest, Law Enforcement Referral, and Recidivism in Dane County, 2007‐ 2015There is some good news. Despite an increase in the juvenile population in Dane County from about 45,000 in 2001, to just under 48,000 in 2014, the number of juvenile arrests have fallen from about 8,000 in 2001, to around 3,000 in 2015. While that is a dramatic decline, it is, nevertheless stunning to see the high percentage of juveniles arrested in Dane County. It should be noted, however, that the number of arrests of white juveniles was about the same as that of black juveniles in 2015, but due to the much smaller black population in Dane County, the arrest rate of black juveniles is 3.5 times higher than that of white juveniles.

However, arrests just start the juvenile justice process. The next step is a referral for prosecution. Referrals for prosecution also highlight a huge racial disparity. In 2015, 483 black juveniles were referred for prosecution compared to only 299 white juveniles. Overall, the juvenile referral rate has risen dramatically from 2007-2015 as follows:

  • Total juvenile arrest referral rate increase=37.7%
  • White juvenile arrest referral rate increase=41.1%
  • Black juvenile arrest referral rate increase=26.7%

The arrest referral disparity between white and black juveniles in 2015 is almost 2:1.

The most relevant data to the current debate about police in our schools is that the most common location for juvenile arrest is in school. In 2015, 22.3% of all juvenile justice referrals were from arrests that took place at school. The percentage of school arrests by race were split evenly among white, black and Hispanic juveniles at around 22% (no explanation is given for the other 34%). In 2015, 81 of the 188 Dane County school law enforcement referrals took place in MMSD schools, 67 of which were at MMSD high schools. It is worth noting that the single highest juvenile law enforcement referral has been the very generic disorderly conduct.

When juveniles enter the justice system they are assigned a social worker who makes a recommendation  to the district attorney regarding formal charges. It is worth noting that the DA has consistently charged juveniles at a higher rate than the social worker recommendation. In 2015, social workers recommended charged in 46% of cases, while prosecutors charged 56% of such cases. The racial disparities are stark. In 2015, prosecutors charged:

  • 62% of black juvenile arrestees;
  • 53% of Hispanic juvenile arrestees; and
  • 43% of white juvenile arrestees.

As the City of Madison and the Madison Metropolitan School District negotiate the future role of police officers in our schools, examining this data, with eye towards elimination of the school to prison pipeline and elimination of racial disparities in juvenile arrests should be a critical piece of the conversation.

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For more information on how I can help you accomplish effective, progressive systems change contact Jeff Spitzer-Resnick by visiting his website: Systems Change Consulting.

 

 

 

The Difference Between Abuse & Neglect

As the FBI and state Department of Justice (DOJ) continue to investigate what appears to be rampant child abuse at the Lincoln Hills School for Boys and Copper Lake School for Girls juvenile correctional facilities in Irma, Wisconsin, I have noted repeated excuses raised by union leaders and some staff for the abuse of these  incarcerated juveniles. These excuses range from blaming Wisconsin’s now infamous Act 10 for breaking children’s wrists, arms and causing serious foot injuries, to suggesting that introduction of methods of highly regarded trauma informed care, are to blame.

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Sadly, thus far, the media, union leaders and politicians generally seem more interested in the blame game, rather than examining the real consequences on these troubled youths when they suffer abuse and neglect at the hands of those who have the responsibility to keep them safe. While it is certainly appropriate to determine who is responsible and exact the appropriate punishment, that is exactly why the FBI and DOJ are continuing their investigation. It is certainly my hope and expectation that when their investigation is concluded, the appropriate people will be prosecuted and punished.

However, my experience as an attorney who has litigated abuse and neglect cases against a wide variety of care providers for nearly 30 years, I know that it is important to pay attention to the difference between abuse and neglect. Put simply: abuse is intentional and can never be excused by understaffing or other poor working conditions.While I fully support appropriate staffing levels and well trained and supported staff, the lack of these things can never justify breaking the bones of incarcerated youth.

Neglect, on the other hand, can easily occur when there are staffing shortages or poorly trained staff. If there are not enough staff to check on the physical and emotional health of incarcerated youth, then their health can deteriorate and they may harm each other due to insufficient supervision. Similarly, if staff are poorly trained, they may not have the knowledge of how to de-escalate dangerous situations, which may in turn, result in injuries.

In general, neglect is ultimately the responsibility of those who determine staffing levels and training, i.e., supervisors. On the other hand, as stated previously, responsibility for abuse lies with the abuser. Once the FBI and DOJ have concluded their investigation, prosecutions should take place with the understanding of the difference between abuse and neglect to make sure that those responsible for each category of harm are held accountable.

In addition, what must never be forgotten is that children have been abused and neglected under state supervision. These children must be compensated for the harm that was done to them.

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For more information on how I can help you accomplish effective, progressive systems change contact Jeff Spitzer-Resnick by visiting his website: Systems Change Consulting.

Establish a Law School Clinical Program to Assist those Caught up in the Schools to Prison Pipeline

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to speak to University of Wisconsin Law School Clinical faculty and students about the possibility of establishing a clinical program through which law students, under the supervision of clinical faculty, would represent students caught up in the Schools to Prison Pipeline due to school discipline problems.  As of yet, there is no funding for such a program, but there is no doubt that the need is great.

As I have written previously, the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) suspends over 2,000 students/year, over half of whom are African-American, and nearly half of whom have disabilities.  While there is hope on the horizon, given the school board’s recent decision to institute a new Behavior Education Plan starting in the 2014-15 school year, that Plan has no specific numerical goals, and as system change tends to take a long time, I have made it clear that students need advocates to navigate their way through the school discipline system.  This is not only my opinion, as the esteemed Yale Law Journal made clear that parents are not enough to help students with disabilities navigate their way through the complexities of the educational/legal system.  Quite plainly, students need external advocates.

There are many potential designs for a Schools to Prison Pipeline Law School Clinical program.  The David A. Clark School of Law at the University of District of Columbia has run an excellent Juvenile & Special Education Law Clinic for over 20 years. The Cardozo Law School at Yeshiva University operates a Youth Justice Clinic.

If the University of Wisconsin Law School wants to establish a School to Prison Pipeline Clinic, it would have to make the following decisions:

  • Would it work on cases in one or more school districts?
  • Would it focus exclusively on children with disabilities, where the law is more helpful, or provide assistance to any student caught up in the Schools to Prison Pipeline?
  • Would it have office hours inside school buildings, with the cooperation of the school district, or work in a community agency, such as the Boys and Girls Club of Dane Countythe YWCA Madison, the Nehemiah Center for Urban Leadership Development, or another local agency, which already work on Schools to Prison Pipeline issues?
  • Would the University of Wisconsin provide the funding for faculty to oversee the clinical program, and any other attendant costs, or would outside foundations need to fund the program?

While many different models could be implemented, the need is great, and students caught up in the schools to prison pipeline need legal assistance now, as there simply is not enough no or low cost legal assistance available to meet the enormous need.  If those who want to address the problem put their minds together, perhaps such a clinical program can begin as soon as the fall of 2014.  But, if not, the need will not disappear, so good planning should move forward so a high quality Schools to Prison Pipeline Law School Clinic can be established as soon as possible.

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For more information on how I can help you accomplish effective, progressive systems change contact Jeff Spitzer-Resnick by visiting his website: Systems Change Consulting.

Moving from Worst to First: Creating the Madison Model

This past fall, the Wisconsin Council on Children & Families released its Race to Equity report on the state of racial disparities in Dane County, Wisconsin.  The data was alarming, including:

  • A Black unemployment rate of 25%–5 times higher than the 5% unemployment rate for non-Hispanic Whites: worse than the Wisconsin ratio of 23:7%; and far worse than the national ratio of 18:8%;
  • An even more shocking poverty disparity with 75% of Dane County Black children living in poverty compared to 5% of Non-Hispanic White children: once again far worse than the Wisconsin disparity of 49:12%; and the national disparity of 39:14%.

Academically, the disproportional disparities persist in Dane County:

  • 70% of Black students did not take the ACT in 2011, compared to 36% of non-Hispanic Whites, contrasted with the state wide non-participation rate of 50:41%;
  • 50% of Black students in the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) did not graduate in 4 years in 2011, compared to 16% of Non-Hispanic Whites, contrasted with a 36:9% ratio statewide.

Arrest rates are also alarming:

  • Juvenile arrest rates in 2010 were a shocking 46.9% of Black juveniles arrested in Dane County, while only 7.7% of White juveniles were arrested, compared to a 32.9:9.8% statewide ratio, and a 7.1:3.3% national ratio;
  • Adult arrest rates in 2012 show a similarly shocking 29.5% of Blacks arrested in Dane County, while only 3.6% of whites were arrested, compared to a 23:5.3% statewide ratio, and a 8.2:3.3% national ratio.

Much has been written about these shocking numbers and their human toll, with great leadership being demonstrated in the African-American community, particularly by Rev. Alex Gee, whom I wrote about previously.

However, 6 months after this compelling report which basically describes Madison and Dane County as perhaps the worst place for African-Americans to live in the nation, none of the institutions responsible for this ongoing tragedy: our schools systems; our system of justice; or our economic policy makers; have made specific commitments to stem the tide of this tragedy.

When I last met with Rev. Gee a couple of weeks ago, I suggested that his leadership had presented a unique opportunity to move Madison and Dane County from the Worst to the First in the nation on addressing racial disparities.  While many may be skeptical and remain satisfied with tinkering around the edges to seek and hopefully obtain minor, incremental improvements, I believe that with:

  • clearly identified, measurable goals,
  • community-wide support to achieve those goals,
  • policy changes and programs designed to achieve those goals; and
  • clear accountability for community leaders to take credit for achieving those goals and blame for failure to do so,

we can create The Madison Model for ending racial disparities, and more importantly, achieving racial justice as an example for the nation.

Skeptics will argue that my suggestions are naive and such dramatic improvement simply cannot be achieved.  Indeed, without clear measurable goals, community-wide support to achieve those goals, policy changes and programs designed to achieve those goals, and clear accountability for community leaders to achieve those goals, Madison and Dane County will likely stay mired in its misery of racial injustice.  Fortunately, Rev. Gee’s coalition has galvanized many and will be convening organizing meetings on March 29th & April 5th to move this process forward.  I look forward to participating in both sessions to continue our work in moving Madison from Worst to First.

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For more information on how I can help you accomplish effective, progressive systems change e-mail Jeff Spitzer-Resnick or visit Systems Change Consulting.

Ending Racism Requires Systems Change

Recently, Rev. Alex Gee, wrote an incredible personal story about his Justified Anger about racism in Madison.  The story’s publication on the front page of the Capital Times has sparked many fruitful conversations about how to end enduring racism in a city where most would expect that such problems would be minimal.  After I read his compelling story (and I strongly recommend that you read it as well), I reached out to Rev. Gee to meet him and discuss how we might work together to transform the important conversation his article has started into enduring systemic change.

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We met for coffee the day before Christmas, which I am sure must be a very busy time for any Pastor preparing for his church’s most important holiday.  But his commitment to ending racism in his life long town inspired him to take an hour out of his day to meet me and start what we both hope will be a fruitful relationship.

Of course, neither of us is naive enough to think that ending racism in Madison is an easily accomplished task.  After all, given its liberal, progressive history, if it were easy to end racism in Madison, it would have been done long ago.

Sadly, however, the markers of racism pervade our bastion of liberalism.  An examination of the available data tells the story only too well.  Whether it is the gigantic gap in our schools, with Black students graduating over 30 percentage points lower (55%) than White students (86.7%), or the juvenile arrest rates with Black juveniles being arrested at a shocking rate of 46.9% compared to the White arrest rate of 7.7%.

While some might jump to the conclusion that these horrific statistics are evidence of internal problems in the African-American community, Rev. Gee’s article reveals that the problems of racism are deeply rooted in systemic attitudes and perceptions about people of color.  Indeed, Rev. Gee himself has been a victim of racial profiling, as the Madison police dared to question him in his own car in his own church’s parking lot, investigating what he was doing there!  On another occasion, when he was questioned by the police while at a local bank, Rev. Gee asked why he was stopped.  A police officer told this honorable man of the cloth that it was because he fit a drug dealer profile!  It does not take a deep understanding of racism to understand that the only reason Rev. Gee fits a drug dealer profile, is that this well dressed professional happens to be black.

Thus, without enduring systemic change in the multiple layers of our society: schools, police, courts, housing, employment, and health care, the problem of racism is simply not going to go away.  The task is not easy, but if our nation can elect a Black President, surely we can bring the legacy of racism to an end in a liberal college town.

As I have written previously, systems change requires persistence.  It must start with how we treat our youth in school as generational change begins with the newest generation.  That means we must put an end to the schools to prison pipeline, which starts by ending the practice of routinely suspending students for mere disruptive behavior. Of course, if we do not resist the racism of low expectations, we will be doomed to stay mired in this painful cycle of low achievement rooted in racism.

After my meeting with Rev. Gee, we exchanged messages about how we both hope to work together on this important issue.  I felt truly blessed when Rev. Gee said that he “was inspired” by our meeting.  Indeed, Systems Change Requires Inspiring Action.  

In the coming weeks, I hope to work with Rev. Gee to bring together key community leaders to take his inspirational article from starting many important conversations to truly ending racism through systemic change.


For more information on how I can help you accomplish effective, progressive systems change e-mail Jeff Spitzer-Resnick or visit Systems Change Consulting.

Fighting the School to Prison Pipeline (Update)

In April, I posted this TV story about my client, a 14 year old boy with disabilities in 8th grade in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, who was given a concussion and black eye when he was slammed to the school floor by a school based police officer, without provocation.  Prior to that TV story airing, on behalf of my clients, I wrote the Sun Prairie Mayor and Police Chief asking them to investigate the incident, discipline the police officer, and enter into good faith negotiations to compensate my client for this act of police brutality.  We proceeded with the TV story because the City of Sun Prairie refused to investigate the incident, discipline the officer, or enter into good faith negotiations to resolve the matter quickly and quietly.

My clients and I decided to allow Sun Prairie some time to reconsider its intransigence after the TV story aired, but sadly, to date, Sun Prairie remains firmly committed to refusing to conduct an independent investigation, discipline the police officer or enter into good faith negotiations to compensate my client for the violation of his Constitutional rights to be free from unwarranted police brutality.  This leaves us with only one conclusion.  The City of Sun Prairie and its police department apparently believe that it is ok for its police officers to give concussions to their young residents without provocation.  Accordingly, yesterday, on my client’s behalf, I filed a federal civil rights lawsuit to bring this matter to the courts.  The Wisconsin State Journal covered the story in today’s paper.

My clients and I hope that filing this lawsuit will finally force Sun Prairie to retain attorneys who will recognize that it would be better to use this case as an opportunity to address problems in its police department’s interaction with teenage students rather than engaging in a protracted battle in court.  However, at this point, whether or not Sun Prairie will change its tune remains to be seen.  Until then, both my clients and I are ready, willing and able to assert my young client’s right to be free from unprovoked and unwarranted police brutality while attending school.

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For more information on how I can help you accomplish effective, progressive systems change e-mail Jeff Spitzer-Resnick or visit Systems Change Consulting.

Using Special Education Law to Fight Capital Punishment

In an earlier post, I discussed how I used special education law to disrupt the school to prison pipeline by serving as a special education law expert in a juvenile delinquency case.  My testimony in that case resulted in the court throwing out the competency evaluation conducted by a psychologist who refused to review the child’s special education records.  The next evaluator reviewed those records and determined that the child was not competent to stand trial.

After that case, I received an unexpected request to serve as an expert in a capital punishment case outside of Wisconsin (as Wisconsin does not have capital punishment). The defendant has disabilities and received special education while in school. The defense attorney believed that the defendant may have been denied his rights under special education law, and requested that I review 9 years of educational records and write a report if I found that his rights were violated.

I have now completed my analysis of this case and found a large number of violations of special education rights which may have resulted in him making a very bad choice after he was out of school.  These violations included:

  • Failure to evaluate the child for possible emotional disabilities even though the school psychologist and other staff mentioned that he needed counseling due to the tragic death of his mother as a young child, and his abandonment by his father;
  • Failure to provide him the counseling that he needed;
  • Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) which repeatedly used vague, non-measurable goals, resulting in his continuing to fall further and further behind academically;
  • Failure to provide any transition to adulthood services;
  • When he began experiencing an increased number of discipline problems, no effort was made to examine whether these problems were due to special education needs, and the only result was unlawful lengthy suspensions;
  • Despite failing to graduate high school, he was not afforded the opportunity to continue his education through age 21, as special education law requires.

While it is impossible to know if the tragic events leading to his death sentence could have been avoided if he had received all of his special education rights, if one believes that education in general, and special education in particular, has any value at all, one must at least seriously consider the possibility that the outcome for him and the victims of his crime, would have been much better had he received counseling in school, an appropriate education, and remained in school until he earned his high school diploma, with appropriate transition services to lead to a successful transition to adulthood.

This is clearly unique work.  I have found nothing else written about connecting the lack of appropriate special education to mitigating a death sentence.  The defense attorney is pleased enough with the work I have done thus far in this first capital punishment case that she just sent me a contract for a second case.

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For more information on how I can help you accomplish effective, progressive systems change e-mail Jeff Spitzer-Resnick or visit Systems Change Consulting.

Video

Fighting the School to Prison Pipeline

http://www.wkow.com/story/22081512/2013/04/25/concern-over-student-hurt-by-sun-prairie-school-officer

This is a new case of mine clearly demonstrating why it is often inappropriate to have police in our schools, particularly when they abuse the children they are supposed to protect and do so without provocation.


For more information on how I can help you accomplish effective, progressive systems change e-mail Jeff Spitzer-Resnick or visit Systems Change Consulting.

School Suspensions: A Failure to Educate

While policy makers and politicians debate school accountability and point fingers at various tools and causes, it is remarkable that the continuing upward trend to suspend ever more students, especially students of color and those with disabilities, continues unabated, with a complete absence of accountability.  Earlier this week, UCLA’s Center for Civil Rights Remedies, published a comprehensive report on both the overuse of suspensions in our schools, and the wide disparities revealing severe discrimination regarding who receives suspensions.

Key findings from this report include the following troubling data:

  • Latinos had a nearly 11 percentage point increase in suspensions between elementary school and secondary schools, which is particularly surprising since the Latino elementary school suspension rate is similar to the White suspension rate at the elementary level.
  • Black female secondary students were suspended at a higher rate (18.3%) than secondary male students from all other racial/ethnic groups.
  • The rate of suspensions for secondary students with disabilities (19.3%) was nearly triple that of non-disabled students (6.6%).
  • The highest rate of suspensions were for Black male students with disabilities, a shocking 36%.
  • 323 districts around the country had secondary school suspension rates of 25% or higher.
  • 2,624 schools had secondary suspension rates of at least 25%.
  • 519 schools had secondary suspension rates of at least 50%.
  • Chicago led the nation in the number of schools that suspended at least 25% of any subgroup, with 82 of its schools doing so.  Chicago’s overall suspension rate was a horrific 27.5% which is even more troubling when examining the disparity of its 41.6% suspension rate for Black students compared to only 10.6% of its white students.

Anyone who cares about the education of our nation’s children must seriously question why neither the federal government, nor the states, factor suspension rates into any school accountability formula.  Even from a pure academic standpoint, it goes without saying that the massive number of children who are suspended are generally not receiving the benefit of any education when they are out of school.

Moreover, anyone who cares about the achievement gap should be especially concerned about the disparities which this suspension data reveals.  This is especially true because most suspensions are for minor infractions, such as violating dress codes, use of cell phones, tardiness and truancy, loitering and disruption, so it simply cannot be argued that the high use of suspensions is keeping our nation’s schools safer.

Fortunately, UCLA’s Center for Civil Rights Remedies also published, A Summary of New Research: Closing the Discipline Gap: Research to Policy, which analyzes and consolidates the results of 16 new research papers on this topic in search of a solution.  Key findings of this summary are:

  • Out of school suspensions have serious, disparate and negative academic outcomes including increasing the number of dropouts. One study analyzing Florida 9th graders found that the drop out rate increased from 16% to 32% for students suspended only once, and jumped to 42% for those suspended twice.
  • It is clear that suspension rates are correlated with intentional decisions made by school leaders.

There is good news in this Research Summary and if we are serious about improving our educational system leading to better educated citizens, these findings must be implemented at the federal, state and local level, as follows:

  • Chicago’s safest schools have strong teacher-student and teacher-parent relationships, resulting in low suspension rates.
  • Teacher training and improving student engagement lead to lower suspension rates.
  • Large district-wide investments in social-emotional learning resulted in safer schools than investments in high-security hardware and personnel, such as metal detectors and school police officers.
  • Non-punitive threat assessment protocols reduce suspensions for all groups.
  • As I discussed in Putting an End to the School to Prison Pipeline, the use of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) can be effective in reducing suspensions, but only if PBIS is aligned with school codes of conduct and pays attention to subgroups of students.
  • Restorative justice is a viable strategy  to keep students in school and out of the juvenile justice system.

To sum up, if federal, state, and local policy makers are truly serious about improving educational outcomes, they must insist that local schools develop strategies that keep students in school, instead of issuing rampant suspensions.  Moreover, they must provide the policy and budgetary leadership to do so.


For more information on how I can help you accomplish effective, progressive systems change e-mail Jeff Spitzer-Resnick or visit Systems Change Consulting.