Publication Date

Winter 2018


While the charter school movement has gained traction and grown extensively throughout the United States, its disciplinary practices are controversial. The “zero-tolerance” policies used in charter schools, which include exclusionary disciplinary methods such as suspension, causes damage to the student’s self-esteem, reputation amongst their peers, academic performance, and attitude toward attending school. Studies and statistics show that charter schools disproportionately punish Black students more than any other race. This article explores: a brief history of the charter school movement and charter school law, general disciplinary practices within charter schools, and how the law allows black students in the charter school network to be disproportionately disciplined. It will conclude with recommendations for how to better protect Black charter school students from over-discipline.


The author would like to thank her loving parents, family, and close friends who continue to uplift her during her law school career. She would also like to thank her supportive professors, mentors, classmates, and the Pipeline to Justice Program. Mikailla would like to acknowledge the Black youth and their families who are fighting so hard to pursue an education. Their obstacles, tenacity, and strength inspired her to write and complete this article. Finally, she would like to express her gratitude to the 2017-2018 CUNY Law Review Board.

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