William Koski, a Stanford law professor and director of the school’s Youth and Education Law Project, said many schools in the U.S. had strict zero-tolerance discipline policies in the 1990s, but began to depart from that approach about a decade later, as concerns grew that suspensions and expulsions were failing to help students, while feeding the school-to-prison pipeline and disproportionately affecting Black children.
“If you get expelled a lot, you are just more likely to head down that path, to not graduate, to end up not being a very productive person,” Koski said.
Educators have shifted to a gentler approach that focuses on creating a safe and positive school climate, while zeroing in on the root causes of behavioral problems.
Koski said he understands the frustrations of teachers in Newport News and elsewhere. He said that some school systems may still be in search of a “happy medium” between the two approaches.Read More