discipline | KNKX

discipline

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Washington lawmakers passed legislation two years ago to limit suspensions and expulsions in public education in response to data showing that some groups of students, including African-American and Native American children, are disciplined more frequently than others.

Now some advocates, including the ACLU of Washington, are raising concerns about the state superintendent’s timeline for implementing new discipline rules.

Ashley Gross / KNKX

In recent years, there have been changes to state law to limit the use of suspensions in school. You can look up a lot of data on discipline numbers on the state superintendent’s web site, but what’s missing are the human stories behind the statistics.

Why did that one kid come to school stoned? Why does that girl have a backpack stuffed with stolen goods?

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Low-income kids, black and Latino students and children in special education are suspended and expelled at above-average rates. State lawmakers have passed legislation in recent years aimed at reducing the disproportionate use of discipline.

Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

Washington schools are making progress in reducing the use of suspensions and expulsions as discipline, according to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. But officials said racial minorities and kids with disabilities are still being disciplined at higher rates than their peers.

The videos are an infamous genre unto themselves: "Mother Punches Her Daughter Dead in the Face for Having Sex in the House!" "Dad Whups Daughter for Dressing Like Beyonce." "Son Left In Bloody Mess as Father Forces Him to 'Fight.'" Their images stream from Facebook timelines and across YouTube channels, alternately horrifying and arresting: burly fathers, angry mothers, lips curled, curses flying, hands wrapped around electrical chords, tree branches, belts, slashing down on legs, arms, buttocks and flesh as children cry and plead and scream out in agony.

When students get suspended from school for a few days, they may not be the only ones who miss out.

A report released today by UCLA's Civil Rights Project tries for the first time to quantify the full social cost of so-called "exclusionary discipline."