Racing to Punish: Examining Intersections of Race, Class, and Gender in School Discipline

Grants and Contracts Details


One of the most troubling disparities in education is the racial gap in school discipline. Research has consistently revealed that African American students disproportionately receive punishments, including classroom reprimands, office referrals, suspensions, and expulsions. Persistent discipline has damaging repercussions, increasing the risk of school dropout, encounters with the criminal justice system, and academic underachievement. Black boys from disadvantaged backgrounds in particular bear the brunt of punishments, indicating the interactive roles of race, socioeconomic status, and gender in school discipline. This study employs an intersectional framework to the quantitative analysis of school discipline to make detailed comparisons of student subgroups and to examine whether the effects of race differ across gender and socioeconomic groups. The dataset contains four consecutive academic years of school records on every student in one school district (N=55,482 students), and strong, multidimensional measures of disciplinary outcomes and other relevant factors, permitting the most comprehensive examination of racial, socioeconomic, and gender disparities in school discipline to date. This approach can provide crucial clarity and points for intervention into educational inequality.
Effective start/end date4/1/133/31/15


  • Spencer Foundation: $39,955.00


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