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Alternative Strategies for Effective School Discipline
Instead of Suspension:
Research on the Effects of Suspension
Four key research findings:
Suspensions make the learning environment less safe and less productive
For the suspended student, out-of-school suspension significantly increases the likelihood of negative life outcomes
Suspension disproportionately affects male, African-American students and students with disabilities
Suspensions are used for many minor offenses
Suspending children from school for violations of school rules should be the last resort
Suspension generally is not only less effective than had been hoped, but potentially harmful not only for students receiving the suspension but to the broader school community.
Nationally, more than 3.8 million students, about nine percent of the school-age population, are suspended annually. (2015 Duke Center for Child and Family Policy and Duke Law School)
Data Quest Suspensions and Expulsion Rates for Manteca Unified 2014-2015
San Joaquin County Total
Manteca Unified Report Defiance and Suspension and Expulsion
Defiance Suspensions (In School)
Defiance Suspensions (Out School)
Other Suspensions (In School)
Other Suspensions (Out School)
Hispanic Or Latino Of Any Race
American Indian Or Alaska Native, Not Hispanic
Asian, Not Hispanic
Pacific Islander, Not Hispanic
Filipino, Not Hispanic
African American, Not Hispanic
White, Not Hispanic
Two Or More Races, Not Hispanic
Data Quest Suspensions and Expulsion Rates for Manteca Unified 2013-2014
Data Quest Suspensions and Expulsion Rates for Manteca Unified 2012-2013
11 Effective approaches to student misconduct that minimize exclusion of children from school: Some are proven, others are promising. All have potential to foster better school climates and better student outcomes.
1. Positive Behavior Intervention and Support
2. Safe and Responsive Schools
3. Professional Development and Support for Teachers
4. Limiting the Role of School Resource Officers
5. Objective Threat Assessment
6. Restorative Justice/Practice
7. Community Service Programs
8. Community-school Partnerships
9. Substance Abuse Interventions
10. Alternative Schools
11. Policies Reducing the Use of Suspension as a Discipline Tool
Well-chosen alternatives to suspension can simultaneously diminish the negative outcomes of harmful discipline policies, boost student achievement, reduce student misconduct, and maintain safe and orderly schools.
They rely on professional development to allow all staff to work together to implement positive behavioral interventions and instructional strategies to replace more punitive measures. The best known and most thoroughly researched of these programs are Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support (PBIS) and Safe and Responsive Schools (SRS.)
Most aim to help students avoid future misconduct, and some rely on community partners. Examples are Restorative Justice, Substance Abuse Treatment, Community Service, Community-Service Partnerships, and Alternative Schools.
**Identifying alternatives to suspension is a critical step in preventing and reducing suspensions, but it is only the first step!**
The following slides summarizes each of the 11 effective approaches. It provides details of each program
*Rigorous, faithful program implementation is critical to successful outcomes.
When schools and school districts pursue alternatives to suspension with seriousness and rigor, the results can be dramatically positive, both for individual and for the school community.
Examples of SRS in schools
Life skills: 10 key life skills taught once a week during class
High school students paired with elementary students who may benefit from mentoring relationship
Bullying prevention: bullying survey, prevention and awareness week at each school
Examples of SRS in schools continued
Safe schools TV show: videotaped role-plays based on Second Step, violence prevention curriculum; topics: anger management, drugs, and conflict resolution
Civility code: 4 principles to guide student behavior for school with rewards, etc
Workshop before start of school year for all faculty members featuring presentation on national school discipline strategies
Out-of-classroom intervention: cool down time for students instead of office referral; students complete problem-solving form
SRS uses instructional rather than a punitive approach to school discipline issues. Focus on students who require explicit instruction and structure to learn school’s expected behavioral norms.
Defiance Suspensions (In School)
When schools and school districts pursue alternatives to suspension with seriousness and rigor, the resu