2018 Discipline Voter Guide - What You Should Know 

What You Should Know

Students in schools across Texas are removed from their classrooms through the use of harmful, punitive exclusionary discipline practices like suspensions, alternative school placements, and expulsions. These practices isolate students from their teachers and peers, interrupt learning, are not developmentally appropriate, and often fail to address serious underlying issues like hunger, homelessness, or undiagnosed special education needs. Students of color and students with disabilities are disproportionately represented in these exclusions. Further, entire school climates, including the academic achievement of students who are not suspended, suffer when educators and administrators rely on harsh techniques to address student behavior. Research shows that even one suspension increases the likelihood of grade retention, academic failure, and future contact with the justice system. There are a number of research-based positive behavior programs and strategies that educators could use to support students and keep them in class, learning with their peers. Making these programs and strategies available to schools and incentivizing and monitoring their use will help to ensure the health, safety, happiness, and success of Texas’ students.