Article Analysis Essay on The Social Structure of Criminalized and Medicalized School Discipline

Paper Type:  Article review
Pages:  3
Wordcount:  654 Words
Date:  2022-11-17


The article, "The Social Structure of Criminalized and Medicalized School Discipline", by Ramey focuses to analyze how the difference in ethnicity influences the district schools in the implementation of either criminalized or medicalized disciplinary action. The research was conducted by collecting a large set of data from 60,000 schools in 6 different districts. According to the results, Ramey finds out that schools with relatively larger populations of poor and minority groups were likely to implement criminalized disciplinary.

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According to research, Schools failed to implement the correct form of disciplinary action due to the influence of racial discrimination in school districts. Ramey supports the argument by claiming that minority groups are usually exposed to the punitive environment compared to the whites. As a result, young blacks have often been associated with a series of criminalized misconduct and misbehavior. In district schools, children from poor and minority groups are usually exposed to a criminalized form of discipline. According to Ramey, most children are not criminalized due to their behavior but due to racial discrimination in the district schools. Additionally, criminalization of children from minority groups has also been contributed by strong law enforcement conducted in minority communities. The research also shows that medicalization of students from minority groups remain low among the Hispanics and the blacks.

Consequently, schools districts with less economic advantage influence how they conduct disciplinary action to disorderly students. According to Ramey, the laws and acts requiring all children to attend schools have disadvantaged the school districts economically. The economic constraints in some school districts have forced them to rely on financial help from well-wishers and non- governmental organizations. Additionally, the district schools are comprised of students from different races. However, the federal government expects the district schools to create a safe environment for every child. The pressure to maintain a safe learning environment has forced the school district to prefer criminalized form of disciplinary action as opposed to medicalization.

Thirdly, racial discrimination in offering appropriate disciplinary action has been influenced by poor centralized decisions in the districts. The centralized policies to implement in the schools have always disadvantaged the school districts. According to Ramey, disadvantaged school districts are mainly comprised of students from poor and minority groups. Most of the students in such schools are of section 504 enrollment. However, schools with high economic advantage have high rates of students from IDEA enrollment. The difference in IDEA and 504 student enrollments in American schools create a gap between the district schools which eventually reflect racial discrimination. Additionally, the centralized authorities in the districts require the schools to execute disciplinary action that offers a safe environment of learning. As a result, the less disadvantaged schools are forced to apply a criminalized form of disciplinary action.

I support Ramey's research and arguments about racial discrimination in offering disciplinary action in district schools. Even today, schools with majority minor groups have always been disadvantaged. I think the best way to determine an appropriate form of disciplinary action should be determined by studying the child's behavior. Some students require mental health assistance as opposed to a criminalized disciplinary action. However, the authorities and school management have generalized the disciplinary action especially in schools with minority groups.

Additionally, I think that the economic disadvantage in some schools districts has largely contributed to racial discrimination in offering an appropriate disciplinary action. I think that the difference in funding the school districts equally has created a gap in IDEA and 504 student enrollments in schools. The move has created an opportunity for some schools to use criminalized disciplinary action while some apply medicalized disciplinary action.


In conclusion, racial composition in district schools has influenced how they conduct criminalized or medicalized disciplinary action. Often, the minority ethnic students usually receive a criminalized disciplinary action, while the whites are exempted to such punishments. Additionally, schools with less economic advantage are more prone to criminalizing their students during disciplinary action compared to economically advantaged schools.

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Article Analysis Essay on The Social Structure of Criminalized and Medicalized School Discipline. (2022, Nov 17). Retrieved from

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