Document Type


Publication Date


Series Title

Arkansas Education Report

Series Number

Volume 19 Issue 6


Student infractions, consequences, disorderly conduct, insubordination


This report examines student discipline in the Arkansas public schools. Using ten years of de-identified student- and infraction-level data from 2011-12 to 2020-21, provided by the Arkansas Department of Education, our research identifies a number of key trends and outcomes related to student discipline in the Arkansas public schools. This work builds upon prior versions of this report.1 While the data are only limited to the infractions and consequences reported by schools, and while we do not estimate causal effects of any policies or programs, this work includes some key findings relevant for educators and policymakers in the state.

An important caution for interpretation is that the 2019-20 and 2020-21 reported counts of disciplinary incidents are much lower than typical, largely due to the closure of Arkansas schools beginning in mid-March of 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as continued use of hybrid schooling in approximately 14-15% of schools throughout the 2020-21 school year (COVID-19 School Data Hub, n.d.). However, we also find that some elementary schools in the state simply did not report any discipline data in 2019-20 and 2020-21, which may be a reaction to Act 1059 which limited suspensions and expulsions in grades K-5, and may or may not reflect actual declines in misbehavior