According to the California School Board Association, research shows that harsh discipline measures fail to improve school safety or student success. Suspensions and expulsions result in an increased risk of students dropping out of school, grade repetition, lower test scores and increased detention in juvenile justice facilities, all of which contribute to the school to prison pipeline. These discipline policies disproportionately affect minorities and students with disabilities.
Students in California with disabilities lose far more days of instruction due to suspensions than their peers. During the 2016-2017 school year, students with disabilities lost an average of 22 more days of instruction than those without disabilities due to these policies.
Positive Behavior Interventions
In an effort to stem the tide of suspensions and expulsions, in recent years, school districts in California have adopted Positive Behavior Intervention Strategies, also know as PBIS, which are school-wide prevention strategies for improving student behavior and school climate.
For children whose behavior remains a problem under school-wide positive behavior strategies, they may receive more individualized interventions.
For children who qualify for special education services, individualized behavioral strategies and supports, based on the student's unique needs, may be written into their IEPs. These behavioral strategies may include a myriad of supports such as: