What are the Sources of School Discipline Disparities by Student Race and Family Income?

In the United States, low-income students and students of color are suspended and expelled from school at much higher rates than their peers. These disparities are concerning both because of what causes the disparities (e.g., various types of discrimination) and because exclusionary discipline practices are at least correlated with numerous negative outcomes for students. In this study, we examine differences in suspension rates and durations by race and family income in the state of Louisiana. Our key findings are: Black students are about twice as likely as white students to be suspended, and low-income students are about 1.75 times as likely as non-low-income students to be suspended. Discipline disparities are large for both violent and nonviolent infractions. Disparities in suspension rates are evident within schools (black and low-income students are suspended at higher rates than their same-school peers) and across schools (black and low-income students disproportionately attend schools with high suspension rates). While across-district differences account for a small portion of the disparities, within-school and across-school differences each account for a sizable share of the disparities.

Parenting Matters: Timely lessons

One of our greatest hopes is that our children will grow up to be kind and good people. When your child is given an opportunity to help others, we hope he will. We certainly don’t want him to be cruel, intolerant, or prejudiced. But how do we get this all to happen? The good news is that kindness can be learned. The primary way that most children learn most behavior is by watching those around them. As a parent, you have the opportunity to teach your child by example. A child’s brain is especially mold-able. If you want to encourage your child to be a kind person, you have the ability to do it. With all of the difficulties the world has been experiencing in this last year, you still have an opportunity to teach kindness in a practical way. Floods, hurricanes, shootings, and the everyday problems of poverty are all opportunities to talk about ways to help and to be kind.

Rate of self-harm among teen girls rose 68 percent from 2011 to 2014

Teen girls are much more likely to self-harm than boys, and the dangerous practice is on the rise. That's the conclusion of a new British study that also found a strong link between self-harm -- practices such as cutting or burning oneself -- and a higher risk of suicide. Researchers reviewed information from nearly 650 general practices in the United Kingdom. The records had data on almost 9,000 patients aged 10 to 19 who self-harmed between 2001 and 2014. The investigators compared those children to more than 170,000 kids who didn't self-harm, matched for age and gender. The rate of self-harm was about three times higher among girls than boys. The rate rose 68 percent among girls ages 13 to 16 from 2011 to 2014. Referrals to mental health services within 12 months of self-harming were 23 percent less likely for children in the poorest areas, even though the rates of self-harm were higher in these areas. The researchers also found that children and teens who self-harmed had a nine times increased risk of death from non-natural causes. The risk from suicide and alcohol/drug poisoning was especially pronounced.

Here’s An Idea: Let’s Stop Forcing Kids To ‘Clean Up’ All The Time

Consider this: If you had spent an hour hard at work, focused on something that meant a lot to you (writing, knitting, drafting a proposal, creating a spreadsheet, whatever it may be) and you were either close to being finished or completely in your “groove,” how would you feel if someone abruptly closed your laptop, took your pen, or stole your knitting needles and then told you to stop now and move on? A bit frustrated? Disrespected, perhaps? Reluctant and unwilling to comply?

Alarming rise in children hospitalized with suicidal thoughts or actions

The percentage of younger children and teens hospitalized for suicidal thoughts or actions in the United States doubled over nearly a decade, according to new research that will be presented Sunday at the 2017 Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting. A steady increase in admissions due to suicidality and serious self-harm occurred at 32 children's hospitals across … Continue reading Alarming rise in children hospitalized with suicidal thoughts or actions