School suspensions cause more harm than good

Kathryn Sweeter, Journalism Student

Every year millions of students receive a type of school suspension. These suspensions occur for a variety of reasons. Some students are suspended for minor offenses such as being a disruption to the classroom, talking back to a teacher or using their cell phone in class. Other suspensions are for far more serious reasons; violence, bringing weapons to school or using illegal substances, such as drugs or alcohol.

Both in-school suspensions and out-of-school suspensions are ineffective and have many negative effects on students. Suspensions are viewed as a problem by many due to the effects it has on individual students, as well as the school as a whole. The negative effects of these suspensions outweigh the few positives, which is why high school students should not be suspended from school.

One of the many negative impacts of high school suspension is the racial discrimination that is created. The discriminations occur due to a large difference in the number of black students suspended and the number of white students suspended.

A research report was done on the number of suspensions and the racial factors of these suspensions in the public schools in Washington D.C. According to The Washington Post, “More than 10 percent of black students in the city’s schools were suspended at least once, compared with fewer than one percent of white students.” This is problematic because students are receiving suspensions because of their race, gender or social status, not for the disobedient act they are committing.

Another negative effect of high school suspensions is the harm it has on the students’ futures. According to The Washington Post, “Experts say there are links between punitive disciplinary actions and increased chances of students’ dropping out and entering the criminal justice system.” Suspensions make it more likely for students to be criminals when they are older.

Along with increasing the chance of students committing illegal acts, suspensions can dramatically lower achievement scores. When students are suspended from school, they are unable to be in the classroom, which causes them to fall even further behind. The decline in grades makes it more likely for students to repeat a grade and even drop out of school.

Instead of suspending high school students, teachers should show extra care towards these students. An alternative to school suspension is counseling. Students could be required to go to a certain number of sessions with a school counselor instead of being suspended. Another option would be making the student spend time before or after school cleaning up the school.

There are many alternatives to high school suspension. Schools should use these alternatives instead of suspending students from school. The several negative effects of high school suspension harm the students and the environment around them.