How Lafayette Schools Leveraged CPI Training for Success


April 13, 2023

The Lafayette (LA) Parish Schools were struggling. For 28 years, Carleen Doucet, who oversees the Special Education Alternative Site School for at risk-youth, had seen many attempts to introduce meaningful education reform.

An Answer to a Decades-Long Struggle in Education

As the school system’s Crisis Intervention Specialist, Doucet experienced a marked increase in the attention schools must pay to disciplinary issues and the impact of class disruptions in the learning process.

Yet each attempt to address needed education reform was unsuccessful. She shared, “I became frustrated with the incidence of students and teachers involved in physical altercations.”

After looking for a solution herself, Doucet found Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI). Using training and the support from CPI, Doucet was able to create a comprehensive program to train virtually anyone with student contact in the following:

  • How to safely address aggressive behavior through verbal interventions techniques and strategies.
  • Nonharmful restraint techniques to reduce the risk of injury to everyone involved in a potentially violent situation.

To do this, five staff were selected to become CPI Certified Instructors: Carleen Doucet, Leah Arcenaux, Mary Landrave Meche, Lorna O’Connor, and Vanessa Adamson.

Together, these five Certified Instructors trained nearly 5,000 individuals throughout the districts’ 45 schools in just four years. Now parents, teachers, bus drivers, custodians, and more all have training to better care for the needs of students.

And they are on a mission to do even more. Doucet explained, “We want to build a relationship with anyone who has contact with a child.”

Case Study: Lafayette Parish School System

See the results of what happened when the Lafayette Parish School System introduced CPI training to all staff.

View case study

How CPI Training Supported a Positive Shift in Classroom Culture

Lafayette Parish has seen measurable results since instituting their training.

  • There was a more than 50% drop in the number of restraints employed.
  • Staff saw a significant reduction in the number of school suspensions due to assault on teachers.
  • And there was a noticeable decrease in Workers’ Compensation claims arising out of classroom injuries. But that’s not all.

Doucet also believes that the training has positively impacted student achievement levels.

“I see a correlation between the recent gains in student achievement and the implementation of the CPI training. You can't learn in a classroom where there is tension and conflict. The de-escalation skills keep everyone on an even keel and allow teaching to proceed uninterrupted.”

The Lafayette Parish School System leadership has endorsed a policy of providing a safe environment for students, faculty, and staff through the use of CPI training materials. “The training we provide is a missing component in teacher’s college curriculum,” Doucet noted.

“Many teachers have acknowledged that they would have had a far more difficult time making It through confrontational situations if they had not been properly trained. Teachers emerge from the CPI training with a greater sense of confidence that translates into more successful teaching and learning.”

Originally published in 2010.

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