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From Rigid To Responsive: Better Approaches to School Discipline COSEBOC Webinar Series December 5, 2012 Jason Sinocruz Advancement Project.

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Presentation on theme: "From Rigid To Responsive: Better Approaches to School Discipline COSEBOC Webinar Series December 5, 2012 Jason Sinocruz Advancement Project."— Presentation transcript:

1 From Rigid To Responsive: Better Approaches to School Discipline COSEBOC Webinar Series December 5, 2012 Jason Sinocruz Advancement Project

2 A GENDA 1.What is Advancement Project? 2.Background Information on Zero Tolerance and the School-to-Prison Pipeline 3.Advancement Project’s Local Work 4.National Attention on School Discipline Reform 5.What Can You Do?

3 W HAT IS A DVANCEMENT P ROJECT ?  Racial justice civil rights organization based in Washington, D.C.  Ending the Schoolhouse to Jailhouse Track Project  Work with grassroots groups to end the school-to-prison pipeline in their communities.  Aim to change the national conversation on STPP.  Provide resources and best practices on school discipline.  Active in more than a dozen sites, including (but not limited to) New York, Pennsylvania, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, and Colorado.

4 A GENDA 1.What is Advancement Project? 2.Background Information on Zero Tolerance and the School-to-Prison Pipeline 3.Advancement Project’s Local Work 4.National Attention on School Discipline Reform 5.What Can You Do?

5 1980s: “Zero Tolerance” drug policies O RIGINS OF “Z ERO T OLERANCE ” 1990s: Columbine tragedy – “zero tolerance”

6 R E -C HARACTERIZATION OF S TUDENT B EHAVIOR “Battery”Pushing & shoving Swiping headphones Talking back “Theft” or “robbery” “Disorderly conduct”

7 B ILLION $ OF W A $ TED D OLLAR $

8 DEFINITION: The policies and practices that are directly and indirectly pushing students out of school and on a pathway to prison. DEFINITION: The policies and practices that are directly and indirectly pushing students out of school and on a pathway to prison.

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12 W HO ARE WE ARRESTING ?

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14 A GENDA 1.What is Advancement Project? 2.Background Information on Zero Tolerance and the School-to-Prison Pipeline 3.Advancement Project’s Local Work 4.National Attention on School Discipline Reform 5.What Can You Do?

15 A M OVEMENT E MERGES … – Parent and student resistance – District reform – State legislative reform – Federal attention In response, there is now a national movement around the elimination of these harsh policies and practices.

16 C HICAGO P ARTNER : V OICES OF Y OUTH IN C HICAGO E DUCATION (VOYCE) In the last year: 1.Brought attention to overly punitive disciplinary fines imposed by prominent charter network. 2.Edited discipline code with following key provisions: 1.Reduced number of days students could be suspended for certain minor acts. 2.Eliminated automatic 10 day suspension for worst offenses.

17 P HILADELPHIA P ARTNER : Y OUTH U NITED FOR C HANGE (YUC) In the last few years: 1.Published report on zero tolerance problem within local schools. 2.Revised discipline code with following provisions: 1.No more out-of-school suspensions for unreasonable behaviors (e.g. dress code violations). 2.Added protections for gender expression.

18 D ENVER P ARTNER : P ADRES Y J OVENES U NIDOS In the past five years: 1.Rewrote the discipline code. 2.Implemented restorative justice program. 3.Passed statewide law on “Smarter School Discipline.” 4.In the process of: 1.Rewriting the memorandum of understanding between police and district. 2.Aligning the new discipline code with new state law.

19 D ENVER P UBLIC S CHOOLS School Year 10,161 Out-of-School Suspensions School Year 6,076 Out-of-School Suspensions DOWN40%

20 B ALTIMORE P UBLIC S CHOOLS Suspensions New Discipline Code DOWN63%

21 S TATE OF F LORIDA Referrals DOWN12,000 Between and

22 A GENDA 1.What is Advancement Project? 2.Background Information on Zero Tolerance and the School-to-Prison Pipeline 3.Advancement Project’s Local Work 4.National Attention on School Discipline Reform 5.What Can You Do?

23 N ATIONAL A TTENTION ON S CHOOL D ISCIPLINE R EFORM IN 2012  Advancement Project Regional Action Camps  School-Justice Partnership Summit  Department of Justice lawsuit in Meridian, Mississippi  Dignity in Schools Campaign – call for moratorium on out-of-school suspensions  Ed Week series on school discipline  Senate Subcommittee Hearing on School-to-Prison Pipeline by Senator Durbin (D-IL)

24 A GENDA 1.What is Advancement Project? 2.Background Information on Zero Tolerance and the School-to-Prison Pipeline 3.Advancement Project’s Local Work 4.National Attention on School Discipline Reform 5.What Can You Do?

25 W HAT C AN Y OU D O ? Learn more about the School-to-Prison pipeline. Visit the Digital Library at

26 W HAT C AN Y OU D O ? Look to the Advancement Project Action Kit for models of good discipline policy and examples of how to collect good data. See for more information

27 Collect and report disaggregated and thorough school discipline data. Use the data to track successes, areas for improvement, and develop alternative practices. 27 W HAT C AN Y OU D O ? U.S. Department of Education Civil Rights Data Collection: Visit to look up information on your area

28 Create or revise the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between your schools and local law enforcement agencies. W HAT C AN Y OU D O ?

29 Seek changes to applicable local, county, and state laws and policies Reduce/end overuse of suspensions, expulsions, and arrests in schools

30 25 C LASSROOM & I N -S CHOOL A LTERNATIVES TO S USPENSIONS, E XPULSIONS, AND A RRESTS Reminder and/or re-direction Re-teaching of expectations and skills Student/teacher conference Loss of privileges Role-play Written apology Mini-course/training on topics such as conflict resolution, anger management, social skills, or appropriate behavior Time-out/chill-out period Reflective essay or other reflective activity Independent study Parental outreach Student/teacher/parent conference Detention Referral to after-school program Saturday School Restorative practices, such as peace circles Referral to support staff, such as guidance counselor, social worker, or nurse Self-charting of behaviors Daily report card on behavior, task completion, and achievement Referral to an in-school suspension center or support center Restitution Community service Mentoring Modified/adjusted schedule, including changes to the student’s overall schedule or course content Referral to community-based services

31 Leverage budgetary authority Divert funding used for law enforcement personnel and security infrastructure to: W HAT C AN Y OU D O ? – Prevention and intervention measures such as restorative justice. – Social workers, school psychologists, and guidance counselors.

32 Listen to and prioritize input from community members, parents, and especially youth. Create regular and productive opportunities for administrators, parents, and students to engage in meaningful dialogue about school discipline. W HAT C AN Y OU D O ?

33 A GENDA 1.What is Advancement Project? 2.Background Information on Zero Tolerance and the School-to-Prison Pipeline 3.Advancement Project’s Local Work 4.National Attention on School Discipline Reform 5.What Can You Do?

34 F OR M ORE I NFORMATION... Go to:   Contact info:  Jason Sinocruz, Staff Attorney


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