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In the U.S., discipline policies—in both creation and enforcement—result in re-segregated learning environments , the inequitable penalization of marginalized students , and limited access to learning  for historically marginalized students. Research demonstrates harsh discipline has significant financial costs on our economy  and shows the nefarious ways the prison industrial complex incentivizes  and dehumanizes  people. Given these dynamics, there is a question I have begun to urgently ask myself.
This question encompasses rather than minimizes the realities of US discipline policies disproportionally affecting students on the margins broadly, including students from working-class backgrounds, , students of color , students of color with dis/abilities , and gender non-conforming students . This question also attempts to fiercely surface, rather than make invisible, my complicitness in participating in harsh discipline practices—writing frequent office referrals as a classroom teacher and signing notice of expulsion letters as an administrator— but also reflecting on my belief, at the time, that the power of control, enforcement, and authority was my right as an educator and in the best interest of the students I served. The question I ask has evolved from: what can I do? To: what must I do? What must I do to contribute towards transformative systemic change towards equity ?As I reflect on what I have learned from the Midwest & Plains Equity Assistance Center (MAP Center) and pulling from a great wealth and network of equity scholarship, the following asset-based systemic shifts to discipline systems (i.e. policies, programs, practices, and people)  are instructive:
Furthermore, supporting the asset-based systemic shifts above, coupled with the requisite considerations below have also been helpful:
 Skiba, R. J., Michael, R. S., Nardo, A. C., & Peterson, R. L. (2002). The color of discipline: Sources of racial and gender disproportionality in school punishment. The urban review, 34(4), 317-342.
 Skiba, R. J., Horner, R. H., Chung, C. G., Rausch, M. K., May, S. L., & Tobin, T. (2011). Race is not neutral: A national investigation of African American and Latino disproportionality in school discipline. School Psychology Review, 40(1), 85.
 Townsend, B. L. (2000). The disproportionate discipline of African American learners: Reducing school suspensions and expulsions. Exceptional children, 66(3), 381-391.
 Rumberger, R.W., & Losen. D.J. (2017). The high cost of harsh discipline and its disparate impact. In The Civil Rights Project Online. Retrieved from: https://www.civilrightsproject.ucla.edu/resources/projects/center-for-civil-rights-remedies/school-to-prison-folder/federal-reports/the-high-cost-of-harsh-discipline-and-its-disparate-impact
 Hirschfield, P. J. (2008). Preparing for prison? The criminalization of school discipline in the USA. Theoretical Criminology, 12(1), 79-101.
 Freire, P. (2014). Pedagogy of hope: Reliving pedagogy of the oppressed. Bloomsbury Publishing.
 Morris, E. W. (2005). “Tuck in that shirt!” Race, class, gender, and discipline in an urban school. Sociological Perspectives, 48(1), 25-48.
 Howard, T. C. (2008). Who really cares? The disenfranchisement of African American males in preK-12 schools: A critical race theory perspective. Teachers College Record, 110(5), 954-985.
 Tefera, A., Thorius, K. K., & Artiles, A. J. (2014). Teacher influences in the racialization of disabilities. Handbook of urban education, 256-270.
 Mitchum, P., & Moodie-Mills, A. C. (2014). Beyond bullying: How hostile school climate perpetuates the school-to-prison pipeline for LGBT youth. Washington: Center for American Progress.
 Transformative Systemic Change—Pursuing shifts toward equity at all levels by redistributing quality educational opportunities for all students, recognizing and valuing all students’ differences, and cultivating spaces for families and students to meaningfully participate in the decisions that affect their learning trajectories (Fraser, 1997, 2008; Waitoller & Artiles, 2010; Waitoller & Kozleski, 2013, p. 28).
Fraser, N. (1997). Justice interruptus: Critical reflections on the “postsocialist” condition. New York: Routledge.
Fraser, N. (2008). Abnormal justice. Critical Inquiry, 34, 393-422.
Waitoller, F. R., Artiles, A. J., & Cheney, D. A. (2010). The miner’s canary: A review of overrepresentation research and explanations. Journal of Special Education, 44, 29-49.
Waitoller, F.R., & Kozleski, E.B. (2013). Understanding and dismantling barriers for partnerships for inclusive education: A cultural historical activity theory perspective. International Journal of Whole Schooling, 9, 23-42.
 Warren, C., & Kyser, T.S. (2015). Ensuring civil rights in education: Planning for alternatives to zero tolerance policies. EquiLaern Webinar. The Great Lakes Equity Center. Retrieved from: https://www.greatlakesequity.org/resources.html
 Bal, A. (2018). Culturally responsive positive behavioral interventions and supports: A process-oriented framework for systemic transformation. Review of Education, Pedgagogy, and Cultural Studies, 1-31
 King, K.A., Harris-Murri, N.J., & Artiles, A.J. (2006). Proactive Culturally Responsive Discipline. In National Center for Culturally Responsive Educational Systems (NCCRESt) Online. Retrieved from http://www.nccrest.org/Exemplars/exemplar_culturally_responsive_discipline.pdf
 Bal, A., Thorius, K. K., & Kozleski, E. (2012). Culturally responsive positive behavioral support matters. Tempe, AZ: The Equity Alliance
 Skager, R. (2013). Beyond zero tolerance: A reality-based approach to drug education and school discipline. In Drug Policy Online. Retrieved from: http://www.drugpolicy.org/sites/default/files/DPA_Beyond_Zero_Tolerance.pdf
[17 ]Coomer, M.N., Jackson, R.G., Kyser, T.S., Skelton, S.M., & Thorius, K.A.K. (2017).
Reframing the achievement gap: Ensuring all students benefit from equitable access to learning. Equity Dispatch. Midwest & Plains Equity Assistance Center (MAP EAC). Retrieved from: https://www.greatlakesequity.org/resources.html
 Fordham, S. (2010). Passin’ for Black: Race, identity, and bone memory in postracial America. Harvard Educational Review, 80(1), 4-30.
 Pearce, Nick., Coomer, M.N., Dagli, C., Skelton, S.M., & Thorius, K.A.K. (2017).Empowering students to become agents of social change. Equity Dispatch. Midwest & Plains Equity Assistance Center (MAP EAC). Retrieved from: https://www.greatlakesequity.org/resources.html
 Annamma, S., Morrison, D., & Jackson, D. (2014). Disproportionality fills in the gaps: Connections between achievement, discipline and special education in the School-to-Prison Pipeline. Berkeley Review of Education, 5(1).
 Office for Civil Rights, OCR (2014). Civil Rights Data Collection Report, March 2012. Office for Civil Rights, US Department of Education, Washington, DC.
 Diamond, J. (2008). Focusing on student learning. In M. Pollock (Ed.) Everyday antiracism: Getting real about race in school (pp. 254-256). New York, NY: The New Press.
Dr. Kyser is the Associate Director for Engagement and Partnerships at the Midwest and Plains Equity Assistance Center (MAP Center) within the Great Lakes Equity Center. In this role, Dr. Kyser leads the coordination of technical assistance support and collaboration with the MAP Center’s service provision team to plan, direct, and manage supports and professional learning experiences offered to state and local education agencies throughout the MAP Center’s thirteen-state region. Prior to joining the MAP Center, Dr. Kyser served as a Language Arts Inclusion teacher, Governance & Leadership Analyst for the City of Indianapolis, and as Chief of Staff for Tindley Accelerated Schools. Dr. Kyser has received executive training at Harvard, Stanford, and Indiana Universities. She is a graduate of Culver Girls Academy of the Culver Academies. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Education, a Master of Arts in English, and a Ph.D. of Philosophy in Urban Education Studies from Indiana University.
Dr. Kyser’s work, ideas, and research are focused on policy implementation in urban school communities—how individuals interact around and through policy; further, how interactions converge and impact neighbors, educators, parents/caregivers, and students. Specifically, exploring the ecologies (Weaver-Hightower, 2008) between city and school with particular concentrations in three areas: 1) how marginalized students and groups of students are represented and framed by dominant narratives (Harry, Rueda, & Kalyanpur, 1999) in policy implementation, 2) community stakeholders’ learning via transformative professional learning (Macey & Radd, 2013) towards equity, and 3) critical collaborative problem solving.
Keywords: discipline, discipline systems, equity, equity alliance, equity alliance blog, Equity Assistance Center, inclusion, Kyser, school discipline, systemic change