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Old 09-13-2019, 12:14 PM
Manda JO is online now
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Join Date: Jul 1999
Posts: 11,432
Originally Posted by SlackerInc View Post
What is your response if I say that it looks to me like you are conflating correlation with causation, and that what is much more likely is that people who are troublemakers get in trouble in school when they are young and then get in trouble with the police when they are older?
I think everyone understands that there are complex confounding variables here. But if the role of discipline is to help, suspensions seem dramatically ineffective. The paper I cited earlier reported that:

For instance, a longitudinal study of Florida ninth graders found that each suspension decreased studentsí odds of graduating high school by an additional 20% and decreased their odds of enrolling in postsecondary schooling by 12% (Balfanz, Byrnes, & Fox, 2015). Moreover, a Texas statewide study found that students suspended or expelled for a discretionary school violation were about three times more likely than other youth to have contact with the juvenile justice system in the next school year (Fabelo et al., 2011).
It's hard to see how suspending students is helping.

Furthermore, while correlation doesn't inherently imply causation, it can serve as evidence, when their is a plausible mechanism of causation. In this case, it's quite plausible that being banned for 2-5 days of school at a time creates an incentive for misbehavior, decreases a student's sense of engagement, distances a student from social networks that might help, and serves as a band-aid that lets schools off the hook for finding effective ways to address the behavior.

In the same way, while yes, the correlation between race and suspensions doesn't inherently imply racism, again, there's a quite plausible mechanism by which implicit bias on the part of adults and even students is an important element. This is like me saying "Ice cream melts faster when it's hot outside" and you saying "Well, just because they are correlated doesn't mean heat causes melting". It's pretty strong evidence that it might.

Finally, I swear to God, if suspensions were a new idea, conservatives would Lose Their Shit over what a crazy idea that was. "Reward kids with a vacation after they are bad? Just let the school kick them out so they don't have to deal with them? How on earth is that suppossed to help anyone? That's the craziest thing I ever heard!"