School suspensions may not stop violence

When school officials suspend students, the idea is to maintain a safe environment and deter violence and other problematic behavior on the school campus.

But when I interviewed 30 children in southeast Michigan who had been suspended from school, I learned that suspensions might actually be having the opposite effect.

That’s because students use school suspensions strategically to earn respect and build a reputation for being tough. I made this finding – which will be published in the Journal of Crime and Justice – as part of my ongoing research into how black students and their parents view school discipline, school safety measures and the police.


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