Restorative Interventions and School Discipline Sanctions in a Large Urban School District.

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Graduate School of Social Work


Office discipline referral, Restorative intervention, Restorative justice, School discipline, Suspension


A large urban district (N = 90,546 students, n = 180 schools) implemented restorative interventions as a response to school discipline incidents. Findings from multilevel modeling of student discipline records (n = 9,921) revealed that youth from groups that tend to be overrepresented in suspensions and expulsions (e.g., Black, Latino, and Native American youth; boys; and students in special education) had similar, if not greater, rates of participation in restorative interventions than their peers. First-semester participants in restorative interventions had lower odds of receiving office discipline referrals (OR .21, p < .001) and suspensions (OR .07, p < .001) in the second semester. However, the suspension gap between Black and White students persisted. Implications for reform in school discipline practices are noted.

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