Fix School Discipline Toolkit for Educators - Page 7

How does this harm all of us and our communities? There is little evidence that suspension and expulsion benefit students or their communities. Psychologists have found that exclusionary discipline policies can increase “student shame, alienation, rejection, and breaking of healthy adult bonds,” thereby exacerbating negative mental health outcomes for young people.22 Behavioral problems among school-age youth are associated with high rates of depression, drug addiction, and home-life stresses. For students with these mental health concerns, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has found that suspension can increase stress and may predispose them to antisocial behavior and even suicidal ideation.23 Removing students from school through disciplinary exclusion also increases their risk of becoming the 22 American Psychological Association Zero Tolerance Task Force (2006), Are Zero Tolerance Policies Effective in the Schools: An Evidentiary Review and Recommendations. 23 American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on School Health. (2003), Po