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Alternatives To Suspension

Alternatives To Suspension

Why should I do it:

  • Suspending kids is very unproductive for academics
  • Some kids get suspended on purpose to get out of work or away from something they do not want to cope or deal with
  • Suspensions are not an effective deterrent for many kids, who do not see it as a significant consequence or negative stimulus
  • Providing alternatives to suspensions can be much more effective in getting students’ behavior to change
  • There are many alternatives that motivate students better than suspending them

When should I do it:

  • When a student gets into trouble and suspended frequently
  • When a student is trying to get suspended on purpose or to get out of something
  • When students really need the instruction but a consequence or discipline is warranted
  • When suspensions do not seem to be doing anything and are ineffective

How do I do it:

  • There are various alternatives to suspension and ways to carry them out.
  • Always use a neutral tone and do not allow yourself to be drawn into power struggles.
  • Alternatives may be discussed with a student or students before implementing them
  • Some common alternatives include:
    • in-school suspension
    • school service (for example, assisting custodial staff with after school clean-up, lunch clean-up, etc)
    • mini course
    • parent supervision
    • counseling
    • community service
    • behavior monitoring
    • restitution
    • problem solving or behavior contract
    • alternative programming
    • loss of privileges (like lunch, recess, social time, etc)
    • time out
    • detention (before or after school)
    • mentoring (with a teacher, counselor, or other staff member before or after school)
    • behavioral contracts
    • send homes
    • referral to community mental health services
  • Refer to the resources below for more ideas and implementation

Resources & Support for technique:
(Items with footnotes link to external websites)

Footnotes:

  1. McEvoy, C., Mendola, R. Alternatives to Suspension. [http://www.resa.net/downloads/positive_behavior/alternative_to_suspension_20120725_110927_5.ppt].
  2. North Carolina Child Advocacy Institute. (2005). Some Example Alternative to Suspension Programs in North Carolina Sponsored by Public Schools and Community Initiatives, North Carolina Child Advocacy Institute. [http://www.njjn.org/uploads/digital-library/examples.pdf].
  3. Peterson, R. L. Ten Alternatives to Suspension. [http://ici.umn.edu/products/impact/182/over5.html].
  4. Rosch, J., Iselin, A. Alternatives to Suspension. [http://www.childandfamilypolicy.duke.edu/pdfs/familyimpact/2010/Alternatives_to_Suspension.pdf].
  5. Advancement Project. Alternatives to Suspension, Expulsion, and School-Based Arrest. [Originally located at but no longer available at http://www.stopschoolstojails.org/sites/default/files/alternative%20solutions%20pdf%20updated%206%2024%2009.pdf]. [http://www.pbisworld.com/wp-content/uploads/Advancement-Project-Alternatives-to-Suspension-Expulsion-and-School-Based-Arrest.pdf].
  6. David Crockett High School. Welcome to In-School Suspension Home [http://www.wcde.org/education/staff/staff.php?sectiondetailid=21624&linkid=nav-menu-container-4-150991].
  7. Hrabak, Mary., Settles, Doris. Effective In-School Suspension Programs. [https://www.kycss.org/pdfs-docs/clearpdf/issuesbriefs/iss.pdf].
  8. Education World, INC. In-School Suspension: A Learning Tool. [http://www.educationworld.com/a_admin/admin/admin329.shtml].
  9. The Melissa Institute for Violence Prevention and Treatment. ALTERNATIVES TO OUT-OF-SCHOOL SUSPENSION. [http://www.teachsafeschools.org/alternatives-to-suspension.html].
  10. NC Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention – Center for the Prevention of School Violence. (2003). Project EASE: (Educational Alternatives to Suspension and Expulsion), Promising Strategies Document. [https://www.ncdps.gov/div/JJ/toolkit/project_ease.pdf].
  11. Journal Sentinel Inc.. Suspension alternative. [http://www.jsonline.com/news/opinion/126360893.html].
  12. Demand Media, Inc. Alternatives to Expulsion, Suspension and Dropping Out of School. [http://www.ehow.com/info_7863307_alternatives-suspension-dropping-out-school.html].
  13. National Association of School Psychologists. Zero Tolerance. [http://www.nasponline.org/resources/listingz.aspx].
  14. Morales, P., Mission, S., Miller, S. Alternative to In School Suspension (I.S.S.). [http://www.character-education.info/Articles/Wisdom_Search_Alternative_to_ISS.htm].
  15. Martinez, S., Sandomierski, T. (2010). Alternatives to Suspension. [http://flpbs.fmhi.usf.edu/pdfs/Alternatives%20to%20Suspension%205.13.10.pdf].
  16. TRU Toolkit. Alternative To Suspension Referral Form. [http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=72&ved=0CDEQFjABOEY&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.trutoolkit.com%2FIdeas%2520You%2520Can%2520Use%2FATS%2520Referral08.doc&ei=fH7tTpz5MqfX0QGE4-28CQ&usg=AFQjCNEg0JjRdqqjPUlj3GHJ86YTwoa3ZA].
  17. Otter, J. D. (2011). Alternatives to Suspension. [http://fehb.org/CSE/CCSEConference2011/Alternative-ModificationsToSuspension2011.pdf].