"That was the anomaly year!": An Exploration of School Discipline and Disproportionality During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Jonah Kadens

Name: Jonah Kadens
Major: The Sociology of Education
Advisors: Dr. Anne Nurse, Dr. Kevin Zayed
School discipline in the US is racialized. Previous research has clearly demonstrated that Black students, especially Black boys are more likely than their white peers to be punished for their behavior in school (US Department of Education, 2005; US Government Accountability Office,2018).Previous research has also found that school resource officers contribute to this racialized discipline(Homer and Fisher, 2019; Weisburst, 2019). Covid-19 has completely changed the American education system causing many schools to switch to virtual schooling. How has this affected discipline?Using a combination of secondary data analysis and interviews, this project helps fill this gap through an exploration of how virtual schooling has impacted school discipline. Through my interviews, I found that schools are using new technologies to monitor student behavior and enforce school rules. I also found out that school codes of conduct have not adapted to address problems specific to virtual schooling. Finally, I found an extreme lack of data on school discipline during virtual schooling. Suspension and expulsion rates in schools are dropping, but students are still being removed from their online classes, even for days at a time. Schools are not coding these removals as suspension which makes it harder for the public to access disciplinary data. I was very excited to have the opportunity to investigate school discipline during virtual schooling and fill a large gap in existing research. I hope that my study will inspire future studies about disciplinary disproportionalities during virtual schooling and how covid-19 has impacted school discipline.

Jonah will be online to field comments on April 16:
10am-noon EDT (Asia: late evening, PST: 6-8am, Africa/Europe: late afternoon)

Posted in I.S. Symposium 2021, Independent Study.

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