Logo for school discipline project
All children have a constitutional right to education. But, just this past year, over 40,000 Washington students were denied that right by being disciplined with out-of-school suspensions and expulsions.  Students who are Black, Native American, Pacific Islander, and Latino are disproportionately suspended and expelled from school.   Students with disabilities are also disproportionately excluded.
 
Decades of research have shown that suspension and expulsion is harmful and ineffective.  Students who are excluded from school are more likely to drop out of school without graduating, end up in the criminal justice system. Finally, suspending, expelling, or prosecuting students does not deter or prevent behavior problems at school.   Suspension and expulsion aren’t working.  We need more effective approaches to help students and build positive school climates.  The ACLU of Washington’s Youth Policy project works to reform student discipline practices through legislative and policy advocacy, supporting parents and community advocates, and litigation.
 
Download our new report on police in public schools in Washington entitled Students Not Suspects
Infographic: There is a racial disparity in suspensions and expulsions.
Students who have been suspended are twice as likely to repeat a grade, three times more likely to drop out of school, and three times more likely to be in contact with the juvenile justice system in the next year
Disability disparity: 7.9% of students in special education have been suspended or expelled at least once in 2015 compared to 3% of students not in special education