School Discipline: Increasing Pressure to Reduce Suspensions with No or Fewer Resources

Vermont Legislature Considers School Discipline Oversight Bill.

The Rutland (VT) Herald (2/21) reports that the Vermont legislature is exploring solutions “to break the link between poverty and lack of education” by way of “a bill that would provide better oversight for school discipline practices.” The measure “would establish a school discipline advisory council to review practices in the state’s K-12 schools, with an overall goal of reducing the number of students suspended or expelled.” The article cites ED data pointing to several thousands of suspensions in the state in the 2011-12 school year.


Principals want to reduce discipline problems and suspensions, but districts are increasingly removing or significantly cutting resources needed to offer alternatives. 

The underlying assumption here is that principals are acting irresponsibly by unduley punishing students, particularly minority students. The message to principals–we don’t trust you.

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