Use discipline policies based on principles of nonviolence and restorative justice and investigate how discipline policies are doled out.

  • Respect your students, help them grow, and reduce the impact of school-to-prison pipeline through culturally-aware classroom discipline policies.
  • Suspensions, used as the universal consequence for behavior incidents, further alienates at-risk students and often fail to address the root of a student’s behavioral problems
  • Research has shown minority students and students with disabilities, receive suspensions and expulsions at rates alarmingly disproportionate to their rates of enrollment.
    • According to a 2014 report from the US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, black students represent 15% of students, but 35% of students suspended once, 44% of those suspended more than once, and 36% of those expelled.
  • Use a positively framed and prevention-focused system to approach behavior management, like restorative justice. The system you implement should offer an effective strategy for reducing behavior problems, improve school climate, and increasing student achievement.
  • Question how your school doles out discipline.
    • Do your school’s policies have elements of racial bias that can contribute to the school-to-prison pipeline?
  • Leverage the power of your community by gathering educators and community members together to adopt positive behavioral intervention practices and support restorative justice to strengthen schools as safe and supportive environments.
    • Restorative justice aims to address conflict, improve school climate, and build a positive culture where students feel included and connected to the school community.
    • For help getting started, take a look at New York’s efforts to use restorative justice.
      • They’re putting clear support structures into place, like student justice panels, peer mediation programs, "restorative circles," and more.