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In U.S., 54% Say Teachers Unprepared to Handle Discipline

In U.S., 54% Say Teachers Unprepared to Handle Discipline

Less than half of U.S. adults (43%) believe teachers are "very prepared" or "prepared" to handle discipline issues in the classroom -- while a slight majority, 54%, say they are "unprepared" or "very unprepared."

Bar graph. Americans perceptions of teachers’ preparedness to handle discipline in the classroom.

When asked about six possible solutions to address discipline issues in schools, six in 10 Americans, the most for any solution suggested, say greater access to mental health services for students would be "very effective." Stricter disciplinary practices -- more detentions, suspensions or expulsions -- are viewed as least effective among these six solutions.

How U.S. education leaders choose to address significant discipline issues in school systems today is important given the national trend of students being pushed out of school by punitive discipline practices. This trend has been coined the "school-to-prison pipeline," as students who drop out are 3.5 times more likely than high school graduates to be arrested.

The specific policies that will most effectively address the significant discipline challenges teachers face in the classroom are being tested nationally -- but importantly, the U.S. public believes teachers require more training and support to handle these challenges.

Bar graph. Americans’ perceptions of the effectiveness of six potential solutions to addressing discipline issues in schools.

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