Recommendations To Guardians
a. Being a parent isn’t easy. Trying to make sure your kid eats their vegetables, does their homework, and goes to bed on time can be exhausting.
b. You also know that you are your child’s best advocate at home, and at school – when, many times, unnecessary harsh discipline policies can put your child’s future at risk.
c. Many studies show that displacing students from the classroom interferes with their opportunity to get a proper education and diminishes their chances for a successful future.
d. Many times, students singled out for discipline develop perceptions of themselves as “bad,” leading to a damaging cycle of low-self esteem that can affect them for the rest of their life.
e. We know that parents want the best outcome for their kids.
f. Knowledge is power. The most important thing you can do is learn and understand the discipline policies and rights of students at your child’s school. Knowing what rights apply when students interact with school administration and law enforcement will help negate too-harsh and too-frequent punishments.
g. Schools should clearly explain behavior expectations and disciplinary procedures to students and families. If anything is ever unclear, school administration should be asked to clarify.
h. Reviewing school policy is key to identifying any potential issues such as the use of vague language in describing behavior expectations or punishments that often create disparities in outcomes.
i. It is also incredibly important to make sure a school’s use of law enforcement officers and their policies on restraint and seclusion are appropriate.
j. Families should learn how to appeal a school’s disciplinary action and understand how this process might be unique for students with disabilities, in case a student is unfairly or disproportionately disciplined.