“Judging School Discipline”

by Ted Frank on November 14, 2003

The new book Judging School Discipline : The Crisis of Moral Authority argues that the hundreds of lawsuits challenging school disciplinary procedures has undermined the quality of public education. The book claims to examine every case involving student discipline through 1992, and the authors plan to release updated data through 2003 next month. “‘Clearly, just the threat of lawsuits restrains teachers and administrators from taking charge in their classrooms and schools,’ said [Richard] Arum, chair of the Humanities and Social Sciences Department at The Steinhardt School of Education. ‘Rather than reaffirming civil liberties, litigation has prevented schools from enhancing educational opportunities for all.'” (James Devitt, “Richard Arum Argues that Flood of Lawsuits Hinders Education”, NYU press release, Oct. 10).