A social work scholar researches why school suspensions disproportionately affect students from certain groups and what can be done to change that.
Analysis shows most suspensions in SA in 2019 were given to Indigenous students with a disability, followed by children with a disability living in care. These children need support, not dismissal.
There is conclusive evidence that in most cases, suspension only reinforces negative behaviour.
Research shows punishments like suspension and expulsion further disadvantage already vulnerable students and could result in long term criminal and anti-social behaviour.
Some school districts are moving to cut back on the use of suspensions. But if school discipline reforms are not implemented in a thoughtful way, classrooms may become harder to manage.
Many schools claim that when students attend in uniforms, it improves discipline, and leads to academic gains. But does it?