Rule violations are expected in schools, and assessments of the severity of those violations and the appropriate disciplinary responses are a significant aspect of educators’ responsibilities. While most educators and policy makers reject rule violation as a permissible behavior in schools, is such a categorical rejection always a suitable response, and are there circumstances that might merit an alternative response? In this article, A. C. Nikolaidis and Winston C. Thompson argue that under unjust circumstances, noncompliance with school rules may be permissible and even desirable. Building on a contractual framework placing systemic injustice at the center of inquiry, they show that under unjust conditions schools forfeit their ability to hold students accountable for role-dependent violations.

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