Laws & Guidance GENERAL
School Climate and Discipline


Rethinking Discipline

Teachers and students deserve school environments that are safe, supportive, and conducive to teaching and learning. Creating a supportive school climate—and decreasing suspensions and expulsions—requires close attention to the social, emotional, and behavioral needs of all students.

Administrators, educators, students, parents and community members can find on this site tools, data and resources to:

  • Increase their awareness of the prevalence, impact, and legal implications of suspension and expulsion;

  • Find basic information and resources on effective alternatives; and

  • Join a national conversation on how to effectively create positive school climates.


Featured

Watch  #RethinkDiscipline: Youth, Parent and Educator Perspectives

Join Assistant Secretary Michael Yudin, U.S. Department of Education, for a live discussion focusing on the perspectives of youth, parent and educator advocates working to promote school discipline reform. Discussion will cover recent successes in changing policy and practices, as well as current priorities for grassroots advocates. Michael Yudin will be joined by:

Hashim Benford
Director, Power U Center for Social Change, Miami, FL
Jessica Black
Parent Organizer, Black Organizing Project, Oakland, CA
Carlil Pittman
Youth Advocate (Graduated), Voice of Youth in Chicago Education (VOYCE), Chicago, IL
Sarah Johnson
Youth Advocate (Graduated), Voices of Youth in Chicago Education (VOYCE), Chicago, IL
Anna Bean
Campaign Coordinator, Teacher's Unite, New York City, NY

Event Details:

Date and Time:
April 21, 2016 at 1:30 p.m., EDT.
URL:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=HizHTyC7UJM&feature=youtu.be
Live Captioning:
www.streamtext.net/player?event=042116DSU

Comment Equity in IDEA, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM)
The nation's special education law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) aims to ensure fairness in the identification, placement, and discipline of students with disabilities. Yet disparities persist. Students of color remain more likely to be identified as having a disability and face harsher discipline than their white classmates. The U.S. Department of Education took a critical step towards addressing these widespread disparities in the treatment of students of color with disabilities by proposing a new Equity in IDEA Rule. This NPRM has a comment period that ends in 75 days (05/16/2016).

 Read and comment on the Equity in IDEA NPRM in the Federal Register

 Download the Equity in IDEA NPRM (PDF, 532KB)

 Read the NPRM Press Release

View a Presentation on How to Comment on the NPRM:


Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Special Education
A Multi-Year Disproportionality Analysis by State, Analysis Category, and Race/Ethnicity

This report provides a set of tables showing the number and percentage of school districts that would be identified with significant disproportionality if ED's example risk ratio thresholds were adopted by all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

 Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Special Education (PDF, 3.1MB)


 #RethinkDiscipline: What Communities Should Know about School Resource Officers
Watch Assistant Secretary Michael Yudin, U.S. Department of Education, and Deputy Assistant Attorney General Eve Hill, U.S. Department of Justice, in a December 17, 2015 live discussion with experts and practitioners regarding school resource officer programs. Panelists will discuss the training needs of law enforcement officers in schools, as well as the appropriate role of officers in school safety.

YouTube YouTube


2014 Discipline FAQs Translated into Vietnamese, Khmer, and Lao
Three new versions of ED's Discipline Frequently Asked Questions—translated into Khmer, Lao and Vietnamese—provide an overview of:

  • a Dear Colleague Letter that explains how public elementary and secondary schools can meet their legal obligations to administer student discipline without discriminating on the basis of race, color or national origin;

  • Guiding Principles that describe three key principles to guide efforts to improve school climate and school discipline; and 

  • Various tools, including a Directory of Federal School Climate and Discipline Resources and an online Compendium of School Discipline Laws and Regulations.

Language Versions:

 English:

School Discipline Guidance Package FAQs
[PDF, 394KB]

language assistance Espanol:

Paquete de Orientación Sobre la Disciplina Escolar, Preguntas y Respuestas
[PDF, 394KB]

language assistance Khmer:

សំណួរដែលគេសួរជារឿយៗ (FAQs) សម្រាប់កញ្ចប់ឯកសារនៃសេចក្ដីណែនាំអំពីវិន័យសាលា
[PDF, 486KB]

language assistance Lao:

ຄຳ​ຖາມ​ທີ່​ມັກ​ຖາມ​ສຳລັບຊຸດ​ຄຳ​ແນະ​ນຳ​ເລື່ອງ​ລະບຽບ​ວິ​ໄນ​ໃນ​ໂຮງຮຽນ
[PDF, 614KB]

language assistance Vietnamese:

Những câu hỏi thường gặp về Tài Liệu Hướng dẫn Kỷ luật Nhà trường
[PDF, 355KB]


Supporting and Responding to Behavior:
Evidence-Based Classroom Strategies for Teachers

This document summarizes evidence-based, positive, proactive, and responsive classroom behavior intervention and support strategies for teachers. These strategies should be used classroom-wide, intensified to support small group instruction, or amplified further for individual students.


Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports:
Implementation Blueprint and Self-Assessment

The Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports Implementation Blueprint is a guide for leadership teams in the assessment, development, and execution of action plans. The outcome is the development of local capacity for sustainable, culturally and contextually relevant, and high fidelity implementation of multi-tiered practices and systems of support.


#RethinkDiscipline through Teacher Leadership
alt="OSERS Assistant Secretary Michael Yudin moderating the #RethinkDiscipline in Early Childhood Settings Google Hangouts discussion"
Assistant Secretary Michael Yudin, U.S. Department of Education, and Associate Director Lisa Thomas, American Federation of Teachers, will co-host a live online Q&A session for teachers nationwide on November 19, 2015 5:30 pm ET. We encourage teachers to tweet (with first name, city, and #RethinkDiscipline), or post by YouTube comment, questions regarding classroom management practices, alternatives to suspension and office referrals, and the role of teachers in reforming school discipline. The hosts will be joined by:

Jeffery Camarillo
Founding Director, Luis Valdez Leadership Academy, San Jose, CA
Aman Dhanda
2015 Washington Teaching Ambassador Fellow (6th Grade Teacher, Woodland Prairie Elementary School)
JoLisa Hoover
2015 Washington Teaching Ambassador Fellow (4th Grade Teacher, River Ridge Elementary School)
Brandi Simonsen
Associate Professor, University of Connecticut

Please watch the discussion on:

Google+ Google Hangout    YouTube YouTube


The Hidden Cost of Suspension: 
How can kids learn if they're not in school?

Click on image below to explore three interactive maps illustrating out-of-school suspensions, by district. Zoom in and find your community!

The Hidden Cost of Suspension: How can kids learn if they’re not in school? Link to interactive maps 


Suspension 101

Suspension impacts everyone

  • In 2011-2012, 3.45 million students were suspended out-of-school.
    (Civil Rights Data Collection, 2011-2012)

  • Of the school districts with children participating in preschool programs, 6% reported suspending out of school at least one preschool child.
    (Civil Rights Data Collection, 2011-2012)

  • Students with disabilities and students of color are generally suspended and expelled at higher rates than their peers.
    (Civil Rights Data Collection,2011-2012)

Suspensions don't work—for schools, teachers, or students

  • Evidence does not show that discipline practices that remove students from instruction—such as suspensions and expulsions—help to improve either student behavior or school climate.
    (Skiba, Shure, Middelberg & Baker, 2011)

Suspensions have negative consequences

  • Suspensions are associated with negative student outcomes such as lower academic performance, higher rates of dropout, failures to graduate on time, decreased academic engagement, and future disciplinary exclusion.
    (Achilles, McLaughlin, Croninger,2007; Arcia, 2006; Christle, Jolivette, & Nelson, 2005; Costenbader & Markson, 1998; Lee, Cornell, Gregory, & Fan, 2011; Raffaele-Mendez, 2003; Rodney et al., 1999; Skiba & Peterson, 1999)

There are effective alternatives to suspension

  • Evidence-based, multi-tiered behavioral frameworks, such as positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS), can help improve overall school climate and safety.
    (Bradshaw, C., Koth, C.W., Thornton, L.A., & Leaf, P.J., 2009)

  • Interventions, school-wide and individual, that use proactive, preventative approaches, address the underlying cause or purpose of the behavior, and reinforce positive behaviors, have been associated with increases in academic engagement, academic achievement, and reductions in suspensions and school dropouts.
    (American Psychological Association, 2008; Christle, Jolivette, & Nelson, 2005; Crone & Hawken, 2010; Liaupsin, Umbreit, Ferro, Urso, & Upreti, 2006; Luiselli, Putnam, Handler, & Feinberg, 2005; Putnam, Horner, & Algozzine, 2006; Skiba & Sprague, 2008; Theriot, Craun, & Dupper, 2010)




   
Last Modified: 04/18/2016