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School Discipline and Racial Disparities in Early Adulthood

Despite interest in the role of school discipline in the creation of racial inequality, previous research has been unable to identify how students who receive suspensions in school differ from unsuspended classmates on key young adult outcomes. We utilize novel data to document the links between high school discipline and important young adult outcomes related to criminal justice contact, social safety net program participation, post-secondary education, and the labor market. We show that the link between school discipline and young adult outcomes tends to be stronger for Black students than for White students, and that inequality in exposure to school discipline accounts for approximately 30 percent of the Black-White disparities in young adult criminal justice outcomes and SNAP receipt.

school discipline, race, transition to adulthood, school-to-prison pipeline
Education level
Document Object Identifier (DOI)

EdWorkingPaper suggested citation:

Davison, Miles, Andrew M. Penner, Emily Penner, Nikolas Pharris-Ciurej, Sonya R. Porter, Evan Rose, Yotam Shem-Tov, and Paul Yoo. (). School Discipline and Racial Disparities in Early Adulthood. (EdWorkingPaper: 21-434). Retrieved from Annenberg Institute at Brown University:

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