Youth remain connected with school during and after disciplinary action

A sense of connectedness or attachment to school has been identified as a key protective factor for youth. Connectedness is the sense that others care about you as a person  and as a learner. Research shows that youth who feel this care and concern are much less likely to engage in risky behavior that often leads to school discipline and/or juvenile justice involvement.

When youth are able to stay connected with school (with both peers and educators) during and after discipline and/or involvement with law enforcement, they are less likely to reoffend. As such, it is critical that we work together to stop this downward spiral of disconnection during and after discipline.  By focusing our collective efforts on proactive support of reconnection with schools, peers and families, our youth will be more likely to pursue a new path of success.

The currently available school discipline data speaks only to the number of youth suspended and/or expelled from school. The goal is to foster additional clarity and collective action by shining a light on the importance of connection during and after discipline. We hope to use this additional data to invite the community to join with schools to increase the level of youth connectedness.

discipline data

Data Source: Oregon Department of Education. “Discipline Incidents.” Education Data Explorer. Accessed February 4, 2015.

References: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health and Human Services. “School Connectedness: Strategies for Increasing Protective Factors Among Youth.” (2009).

Fabelo, Tony, Michael D. Thompson, Martha Plotkin, Dottie Carmichael, Miner Marchbanks III, and Eric M. A. Booth. “Breaking School Rules: A Statewide Study of How School Discipline Relates to Students’ Success and Juvenile Justice Involvement.” Council of State Governments Justice Center, Public Policy Research Institute. (2011).