*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on Phys.org.
About 3.5 million students are suspended each year, and school punishment has been tied to a variety of negative outcomes. A new study took a longitudinal look at how school suspensions are related to offending behaviors that include assault, stealing, and selling drugs. It found that rather than decreasing subsequent offending, school suspensions increase this behavior.
The study, by researchers at Bowling Green State University and Eastern Kentucky University, is published in Justice Quarterly, a publication of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.
"Our findings suggest that suspending students from school can serve as a negative and harmful turning point in adolescence that increases offending over time," according to Thomas James Mowen, assistant professor of sociology at Bowling Green State University, who led the study. "Intensifying disciplinary strategies—what some have called the criminalization of school discipline—may do more harm than good and could result in more crime in schools, neighborhoods, and communities."