Attached, “Deprived of Dignity: Degrading Treatment and Abusive Discipline in NYC and LA Public Schools,” (2007).
The report uses a human rights framework to document the use of suspensions, law enforcement and other punitive disciplinary strategies that ignore students’ educational and emotional needs. Schools with the most repressive policies are overwhelmingly under-resourced, overcrowded and primarily attended by low-income students of color.
The report calls on the Department of Education in NYC and the Los Angeles Unified School District to take a holistic approach to school climate and safety by reducing overcrowding, increasing resources for teachers, and guaranteeing the participation of students and parents. Schools should view discipline and the teaching of behavioral skills as an essential part of education and prioritize counseling and mediation. The criminalization of discipline and use of police in schools must stop.