School Discipline: Dismantle the Pre-K to Prison Pipeline

Effective school discipline, positive school climate, and eliminating racial bias and critical factors in ensuring quality and excellence for students. 

Suspensions and expulsions often disengage and disconnect students from school, feed students into juvenile system and criminalize children at increasingly younger ages: instigating a Cradle to Prison Pipeline.  Harsh and punititive policies, including zero tolerance and the overuse of suspension and expulsion, can devastate the lives of children.  We are committed to educational equity and reform to ensure the highest quality education for all students.  

AASA works with school system leaders to examine racial disproportionality, bias, and the potentially harmful effects of school discipline, especially on students of color.    

“As superintendents and principals work to improve school climate and enhance the learning environment for students, addressing school discipline policies and practices are critical levers for meaningful change,” - AASA Executive Director Dan Domenech.

Case Studies: Discipline Reform for Equity: 

These case studies highlight school districts that were part of leading the charge to improve discipline policy and practice, reduce racial disproportionality, and improve school climate.


Click through the playlist to see all the videos.

Framework for Revising School District Code of Conduct: Code of Conduct Guide

Funding School Climate and School Discipline Reform: School Discipline Grant Opportunities

Six Tips Communicating Changes to Codes of Conduct: Communicating Discipline Policy and Practice Changes

Restorative Justice Practices in Schools - An Introduction: Restorative Justice Overview

School Disciplines Organizations and Resources: School Discipline Resource Guide  

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS): PBIS Overview

In-School Suspension Best Practices

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) online resouces: PBIS Resource Guide

Restorative Justice Practices in Schools online resources: Restorative Justice Resource Guide


AASA and the Children’s Defense Fund partnered to survey 500 school superintendents to determine the state of district-wide school discipline policies and practices.  It examined how and why districts use out-of-school suspension, the revision and parameters of districts' discipline policies, outside partners districts seek in improving school discipline and efforts underway to create positive school climates to reduce discipline disparities. View Superintendent Survey Report and Summary of Key Findings.

Staff Contacts:

Bryan Joffe, 401-633-4074