More than three million students — from early grades to high school — are suspended from school every year. These suspensions disproportionately target Black and Latino students, causing them to miss critical learning time as well as other school services and opportunities, contributing to the achievement gap and the pushout and dropout rates for these students.

As educators and policymakers seek to create healthy learning environments for all students, a moratorium on out-of-school suspensions should be a high priority. Despite compelling research that reveals that suspensions reinforce rather than lessen negative student behavior, too many schools continue to use them as a default disciplinary tool. Contrast this to the positive climate in schools that use restorative justice practices to foster safe learning environments through community building and constructive conflict resolution.