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School Discipline Consensus Report: Strategies From the Field To Keep Students Engaged in School and Out of the Juvenile Justice System

NCJ Number
Emily Morgan; Nina Salomon; Martha Plotkin; Rebecca Cohen
Date Published
July 2014
462 pages
This report breaks new ground by integrating some of the best thinking and innovative strategies in the fields of education, health, law enforcement, and juvenile justice in order to reduce the number of students suspended from school and/or expelled and arrested.
The central thesis of this report is that achieving these objectives requires a combination of positive school climate; tiered levels of behavioral interventions; and a collaboration among leaders in education, law enforcement, and the courts. The intent of such cooperation should be to prevent youth from being arrested or referred to the juvenile justice system for minor misconduct in school. This report presents numerous policy statements that guide multidisciplinary approaches that meet the needs of both youth and educators while addressing student misconduct; and it contains about 60 recommendations on how to implement these policies. The report reflects a consensus among professional groups with a stake in how school discipline policy is implemented; and the guidance provided is based on the input resulting from extensive outreach to practitioners and policymakers serving youth, as well as the latest research. In addition, it provides examples of how communities are implementing constructive change. Although the report does not present a sweeping mandate for how to address the complex issues underlying disparities in the administration of school discipline, many recommendations address the disproportionate impact of school discipline on students of color and other distinctive groups of students. The policy statements and supporting recommendations in this report are organized into four main chapters: "Conditions for Learning," "Targeted Behavioral Interventions," "School-Police Partnerships," and "Courts and Juvenile Justice." Appended example of student support team protocols and a discussion of how the courts have interpreted "reasonable suspicion" and "probable cause"