The first paper discusses a secondary data analysis of California state-level school discipline data to explore the prevalence and characteristics of expulsion in California's elementary schools and districts. Specifically, the paper uses multilevel modeling to investigate the extent to which expulsion rates were explained by compositional and structural characteristics within/between schools and districts.
The second paper uses multilevel modeling to examine the extent to which the relationship between race and disciplinary records for kindergarten through 8th grade students is accounted for by their level of social emotional competence (SEC). Although SEC is a negative predictor of office discipline referral (ODR), Black students were still far more likely than their white counterparts to have an ODR even after accounting for age, gender, and SEC.
The third paper involves a secondary data analysis of school discipline data from Denver Public Schools, the largest school district in Colorado. The study examines student outcomes after disciplinary incidents and found that schools failed to provide restorative practices equitably to students across racial groups.
Finally, the fourth paper brings an intimate illustration to the transformative promise of a turn away from punitive discipline and toward justice through the Just Discipline Project. Through in-depth interviews with teachers, we learn the meaning and method of ″just discipline″ within a promising pilot program.
The quantitative and qualitative research projects presented in this symposium invite discussion on how discipline and justice are re/defined and enacted in schools. In addition to robust quantitative analyses such as the first three papers, qualitative and mixed-methods approaches as discussed in the fourth paper are essential to building a compelling evidence base for prevention and implementation sciences. Action research methodologies and school social work practices with teachers, students, administrators, kin, community members, and policymakers are part and parcel to transformative, safe, democratic, liberatory, and just public education.