Alternatives to Traditional School Discipline: The Multi-Tiered Behavioral Health Prevention Framework

Event Type: 
Wednesday, January 23, 2013 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Online/By Phone









In July 2011, Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the creation of the Supportive School Discipline Initiative. The collaboration is aimed at targeting school disciplinary policies and practices that push youth out of school and many times into the justice system, also known as the school-to-prison pipeline. Research has consistently demonstrated the negative impact of punitive and exclusionary school discipline practices but has also highlighted successful, supportive alternatives.

To increase awareness and understanding of the issue and provide practical examples of school discipline practices that maintain school and classroom safety while ensuring academic engagement and success for all students, we are pleased to announce the Supportive School Discipline (SSD) Webinar Series.

Webinars in the series are open to anyone interested in dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline and will explore numerous topics, including current school discipline philosophies, policies, and practices, and emerging alternatives; addressing truancy and absenteeism; professional development across all stakeholders; the promise of trauma-informed practices; the role of school resource officers (SROs) in supportive school discipline; and the importance of youth, family, and community engagement.

This second Webinar in the joint U.S. Departments of Education, Justice, and Health and Human Services SSD Webinar Series provided the knowledge that school, district, residential facility, and court staff, law enforcement, and community stakeholders need to better understand how the use of discretionary discipline practices focused on prevention and early intervention can transform all schools into supportive learning environments for all students. Research has demonstrated that the most effective tool to address problem student behavior is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. Further, prevention and intervention efforts more closely tailored to address students’ specific behavior issues are more effective than blanket policies and practices.

C. Michael Nelson, Emeritus Professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Kentucky, and Kristine Jolivette, Associate Professor in the School of Education at Georgia State University, described the multi-tiered behavioral health prevention framework and discussed how schools in multiple settings have applied the framework to create more supportive discipline policies and practices. Then, Virginia Dolan, PBIS Program Facilitator for Anne Arundel County (MD) Public Schools, shared the experience of implementing multi-tiered preventative approaches in the district's public schools and the resulting decrease in major behavior incidents and referrals. Finally, Miguel Fernandez, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, and Audrey Armistad, Associate Superintendent of Educational Services, from the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice, discussed implementing positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS) across the State’s secure care residential facilities, highlighting the impact on safety and overall student and staff performance and well-being.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES: As a result of participating in this session, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the multi-tiered behavioral health prevention framework
  • Identify the positive impacts of such frameworks on safety, student engagement and achievement, and overall student and staff well-being
  • Plan how to apply the framework in multiple settings using examples from some jurisdictions

AUDIENCE: This Webinar is appropriate for school district superintendents and allied staff, community- and residential facility-based school administrators and support staff, school climate teams, student support personnel and teachers, school resource and security officers, probation/parole officers, law enforcement, judges and court administrators, and family members, youth, and community stakeholders.

RECORDING: View the archived recording of this event (FLV)

U.S. Departments of Justice, Education, and Health and Human Services