Clarke County schools are grappling with a discipline issue that's common among schools across the country: How to stop disproportionately disciplining black students.
It's a complex issue, said Richard Welsh, a College of Education assistant professor who served this past year as a district-wide professor-in-residence with the Clarke County School District. Welsh recently presented his research to the Board of Education, which showed that while African American males comprise about a quarter of enrollment, those students accounted for slightly more than half of all discipline cases logged between 2014 and 2017.
For students with disabilities, the disparity is even greater—they account for 6 percent of the school population but receive 18 percent of disciplinary actions.
In a recent Athens Banner-Herald article, Welsh described student discipline as a "very complex phenomenon," noting that schools across the nation are trying to find a middle ground between punitive and restorative methods while also trying to reduce the amount of time students are removed from the classroom.
Related links: Department of Lifelong Education, Administration, and Policy