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Education Policy

Ending Harmful Discipline to Create Safer Schools

All students deserve safe and welcoming schools that do not use harmful discipline and school police to punish young people. 

To achieve this, schools must be able to invest in the people and programs that build strong campus climates and foster the relationships that keep everyone safe.    

Learn more about IDRA’s work to build safe and welcoming schools for all students below.

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Ending the School-to-Prison and School-to-Deportation Pipelines

IDRA works to make sure schools do not push students out of the classroom through school policing and exclusionary discipline, like suspensions, alternative school placements, expulsions and corporal punishment. These approaches do not work. They limit student success, are costly and disproportionately harm Black students, Latino students, students with disabilities and LGBTQ students. Instead of pushing young people out, schools must invest in strategies to pull them in.  

Using Effective Strategies to Create Safe and Welcoming Schools for All Students

Safe and welcoming schools are community-oriented, with families, school staff and students taking a leadership role in shaping educational policy and practice. They are well-staffed with trained counselors, social workers, nurses and other critical personnel.  

IDRA trains and supports families, teachers, students and district leaders, focusing on research-based strategies and programs like restorative practices, culturally sustaining pedagogy and ethnic studies courses. 

Learn more about IDRA’s policy recommendations for Texas.


Changing Policy

School Policing Hub with resources for advocates and school leaders 

Breaking the School-to-Prison and School-to-Deportation Pipelines – IDRA Texas Legislative Priority Brief

IDRA School Policing letter to school district leaders 

Article: An Overview of School Policing in the South 

Joint Testimony by the Educational Justice Coalition: Response to Public Interim Charge 1(f) to the Texas House Public Education Committee, September 30, 2020

Testimony: Implementation Rules for Texas school safety legislation 

Testimony: Use Effective Discipline, Not Zero Tolerance

Testimony: Clearly Define the Role of Law Enforcement in Schools – Officers Should Not Be Called on to Handle School Disciplinary Matters

Testimony: African American Studies Course Will Have a Significant and Positive Impact on Students Across Texas, November 13, 2019

Acting on Research and Data 

Eradicating the School-to-Prison Pipeline through a Comprehensive Approach to School Equity, Arkansas Law Review

Ethnic Studies – IDRA Services: African American Studies; Mexican American Studies; and IDRA Equity Connection – An Online Community of Practice

E-bookSchool Discipline Policy and Practice Resources 

Study: Zero Tolerance Discipline Contributes to Higher Attrition Rates 

Engaging Communities

Coalition letter re mental health supports and threat assessments 

National Coalition: Principles for School Safety, Privacy, and Equity 

Coalition letter to Austin ISD to divest from school policing 

TLEEC police brutality statement 

IDRA EAC-South Assists Virginia Commission on African American History Education in the Commonwealth

TLEEC Letter Supporting African American Studies Courses 

Communicating Effectively 

Why Some San Antonio Students Want an End to School Policing, Texas Public Radio

Austin Groups Call for Divestment from School Police 

For more resources, see IDRA’s Fair Discipline that Keeps Children in Safe Schools site.