School Discipline Guidance Issued by Two Federal Departments

In 2011, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) formed a collaborative project—the Supportive School Discipline Initiative (SSDI)—to address schools’ discipline practices. SSDI has just released a guidance package to assist states and schools in improving school climate and discipline practices to ensure that schools are welcoming and safe, yet maintain fair, nondiscriminatory policies for misbehavior. The components, including a guidance letter, the guiding principles of the action steps, a directory of resources, and a collection of school discipline laws, are located at www.ed.gov/school-discipline.

At this same website, you can sign up to receive an e-Digest for Supportive School Discipline. It includes research summaries, examples of effective practices, announcements, and relevant upcoming events, such as the webinar series. The webinar series explores topics, including current school discipline philosophies; truancy and absenteeism; the role of school resource officers (SROs); the importance of youth, family, and community engagement; and the need for professional development for all stakeholders. To register for the January15th installment of the Supportive School Discipline Webinar Series, which will overview the resource package, go to http://safesupportivelearning.ed.gov/events/webinar/overview-school-discipline-guidance-package.