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Reducing Suspensions and Rethinking Discipline

As the new school year sets in, you’re probably hearing and talking a lot about creating a more supportive school climate than ever this year. A climate where students and staff can keep the focus on learning and teaching, where everyone’s safe, and everyone’s needs are met.

To help schools do just that, the US Department of Education has released an online guide to school climate and rethinking discipline. The site’s focus is reducing suspensions, because

“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.”

Check out the DoED’s School Climate and Discipline page for stats and guidance, plus tools for supporting school staff. You can also watch The Hidden Cost of Suspension with Michael Yudin of the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services and three experts on equality, administration, and dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline.
DoED quick facts about suspension:
  • Suspension impacts everyone—even preschoolers.
  • Suspensions are linked to lower academic performance, failures to graduate on time, and higher dropout rates.
  • Successful alternatives to suspension include school-wide and individual interventions that focus on prevention, address the underlying causes of problem behaviors, and reinforce positive behaviors.
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