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ERIC Number: EJ873653
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Mar
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0013-127X
Pushed Out
Brownstein, Rhonda
Education Digest: Essential Readings Condensed for Quick Review, v75 n7 p23-27 Mar 2010
Significant numbers of students are being pushed out of school as a result of "zero tolerance" school discipline policies. While nobody questions the need to keep schools safe, teachers, students, and parents are questioning the methods being used in pursuit of that goal. Zero tolerance policies were initially aimed at making schools safe. The best way to prevent serious violence at school, the theory went, was to ban any and all weapons or threats of violence, and to accept no excuses. Over the past decade, however, many school districts have enacted harsh disciplinary consequences--suspensions, expulsions, alternative schools, and referrals to law enforcement--for a broad array of student actions. As a result, suspensions and expulsions in public schools have increased dramatically. The consequences of these harsh disciplinary practices are devastating. Students who are repeatedly suspended, or who are expelled, are likely to fall behind their peers academically, paving the way to their eventual dropout. More than 9,000 schools across the country are trying to curb the pushout problem by implementing Positive Behavior Supports (PBS), an evidence-based, data-driven approach proven to reduce disciplinary incidents, increase a school's sense of safety, improve attendance rates and support improved academic outcomes. PBS is just part of the solution to the pushout problem. School administrators need alternatives to exclusionary school discipline practices, such as "behavior contracts," community service, after-school detention, loss of a privilege, in-school suspension, and a "Check & Connect" program. Fixing school discipline is not an impossible task. The first step, for teachers and administrators, is to recognize their own power. Working together, teachers, administrators, and parents can create safe and orderly classrooms where class time is spent on instruction, not wasted on ineffective discipline.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education; Middle Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A