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Journal of Catholic Education








School discipline has traditionally endorsed the use of exclusionary practices (i.e. suspension and expulsion). Such practices can have a negative short- and long-term impact on student lives, and tend to be enforced disproportionately with certain student populations. Although public school discipline policies have received increased scrutiny in recent years, Catholic school policies have received very little attention. This study presents the results of a content analysis of the written discipline policies of 33 Catholic secondary schools from two dioceses within a major metropolitan area. Results suggest that although variability exists in the types of behaviors included in formal written policies, schools in this sample rely heavily on exclusionary practices as possible consequences to many behaviors, even relatively minor ones. Further, they include positive or restorative consequences minimally, if at all. Suggestions for future research related to discipline practices in Catholic schools are made.


Author Posting. © The Authors 2017. This article is posted here by permission of Loyola Marymount University for personal use, not for redistribution. The article was published in the Journal of Catholic Education, vol. 21, no. 1, 2017,

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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