The Teachers' Scrounge

News and comments from the world of public education. A middle school math teacher shared what he learned today.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Hurricane Katrina and student discipline

An article in USA Today looks at data from Mississippi that indicates students displaced by Hurricane Katrina have had increased discipline problems -- ostensibly due to the trauma of being displaced. "School discipline rates escalate after Katrina," reports that Mississippi students who were displaced by Katrina were suspended or expelled at a rate nearly TWICE that of other students. The only student I've had to restrain because of violence was displaced by Katrina.

This absolutely makes sense. There is plenty of focus on rebuilding New Orleans schools, even a state-created "Recovery School District" to take over many of the area schools, but the displaced students need attention too. The Children's Health Fund estimates that 40,000 - 50,000 students are still displaced from Louisiana and Mississippi even three years after the tragedy. I think many of us who work with displaced children assumed they were doing alright because that was so long ago. This research says those kiddos still need help and we still have work to do!

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