Formal suspension hearings were promoted by school reformers in the 1970s as a method of reducing both the overall number of suspensions and the disparate impact of the punishment on minority children. However, in the four decades since suspension hearings were introduced in the United States, suspension numbers have increased and continue to fall disproportionally on black and Latino students. This article explores the history and current practice of New York City’s Department of Education as a case study for why procedural protections against suspensions have failed to meaningfully affect school discipline policy. I conclude by offering recommendations for a new student discipline system which could conform to legal standards while better meeting the concerns of the main stakeholders in the education process.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/charles_gussow/1/