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School Discipline

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Use of exclusionary discipline, where students are removed from the classroom as punishment, has received recent significant attention for its negative, cumulative impact on student academic achievement and for its disproportionate use among students of color. In Virginia, 16 of 132 school divisions reported a rate of suspension for Black students three times higher than rates of suspensions for non-Black students. For Black females, 41 school divisions reported similarly disproportionate suspension rates, compared to just 12 divisions for Black males. These disciplinary actions put students at higher risk for negative life outcomes, including involvement in the criminal justice system. The Office of Equity and Community Engagement is keenly focused on mitigating the adverse effects of disproportionate disciplinary practices by leveraging policy, instruction, and leadership. 

The Virginia Department of Education’s inaugural Quarterly Research Bulletin focuses on sustainable strategies to reduce out-of-school time due to exclusionary discipline. It explores the question, is diversifying Virginia’s teacher workforce a possible solution and examines the school-level relationship between teachers’ race and rates of exclusionary discipline, particularly among Black students. 

Read the full Research Brief here

In addition, we have compiled the following of resources to support equitable approaches to school discipline


Organizations to follow:

Some of the links on the #EdEquityVA pages lead you to websites not associated with the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Education. VDOE does not necessarily endorse the views expressed or the data and facts presented on these external sites. In addition, VDOE does not endorse or recommend any commercial products, processes, or services.

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