The SSD Webinar Series is coordinated by STTAC and our partners:
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.The importance of continued commitment to reforming our Nation’s school discipline practices was most recently underscored in The White House’s January 2013 plan to protect children and communities and its call to identify and share best practices on school discipline polices and equitable implementation.
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 and will explore numerous topics, including current school discipline philosophies, policies, and practices, and emerging alternatives; addressing truancy and absenteeism; infusing restorative justice principles; the role of school resource officers (SROs) in supportive school discipline; the promise of trauma-informed practices; the importance of youth, family, and community engagement; and the need for professional development across all stakeholders.
Below is the most up-to-date information about the upcoming and past Webinars in the series.
July 24, 2013
This seventh Webinar in the series provided the knowledge that school, district, and court staff, law enforcement and legal personnel, youth, families, and other community stakeholders need to better understand the impact of exposure to trauma on youth behavior, how some discipline responses can traumatize or re-traumatize youth, and trauma-informed alternatives. In addition, the behavioral impact of trauma on youth with disabilities will be explained. By better understanding the impact of trauma, and the inter-relationship of trauma and disability, schools can use discipline practices that support students, foster their success, and keep them out of the justice system.
The Webinar featured Dr. Joan Gillece, Ph.D., Project Director for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) National Center for Trauma-Informed Care, Ms. Barbara Trader, MS, Executive Director of TASH, and the young people of the documentary film, Restraint and Seclusion: Hear Our Stories.
May 29, 2013
This sixth Webinar in the series will provide the knowledge that school, district, and court staff, law enforcement and legal personnel, youth, families, and other community stakeholders need to better understand how the use of youth courts in schools can ensure offender accountability while offering fair and restorative consequences for discipline infractions. By directing lower level cases away from the formal justice system, youth courts can be an integral part of a school’s supportive disciplinary process, serving as an alternative to traditional disciplinary measures such as suspension and detention.
The Webinar featured Ms. Nancy Fishman, Project Director for the Center for Court Innovation’s Youth Justice Programs, Ms. Lorrie Hurckes, Assistant Director and Youth Court Coordinator with the Dane County TimeBank, and Ms. Kate Spaulding, who oversees the Pima Prevention Partnership’s (Tucson, Arizona) Teen Court in the Schools (TCIS) program.
April 24, 2013
Leading up to the most recent school tragedy and the subsequent call for increasing the number of school resource officers (SROs), growing evidence indicates the need for (1) improved school climate and (2) supportive school discipline policies and practices. It is critical, then, that we take what the field has learned and apply it to the development of high quality partnerships between SROs and America’s schools via thoughtful planning, training and practice.
This webinar featured experiences, practices and strategies as seen through the lenses of a national organization, technical assistance entity and a community that is working towards an effective SRO and school partnership focused on maintaining a safe environment that promotes positive youth outcomes. Presenters included Mo Canady, Executive Director of the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO), Lisa Thurau, founder of Strategies for Youth, and Moses Robinson, School Resource Officer with Rochester, NY Police Department, and Alicia Zipp-Mclaughlin, Principal of East High School in Rochester, NY.
March 20, 2013
This fourth Webinar in the series provided the knowledge that school, district, and court staff, law enforcement and legal personnel, youth, families, and other community stakeholders need to better understand how restorative justice principles, when applied to school discipline practices, can stem the school-to-prison pipeline. With the potential of teaching conflict resolution skills, fostering understanding and empathy, and building stronger relationships in schools and communities, restorative justice has proven to be an effective alternative to punitive and exclusionary responses to problem student behavior.
The Webinar featured Dr. Mara Schiff, Associate Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida Atlantic University, Ms. Rita Alfred, Co-founder of the Restorative Justice Training Institute, and Ms. Lorraine Stutzman Amstutz, Restorative Justice Coordinator for the Mennonite Central Committee U.S.
February 27, 2013
After years of study, the research is clear: (1) The impact of truancy on students, schools, communities and society is profound and (2) It is critical to take a multi-faceted approach to prevent and reduce truancy. This webinar featured positive and collaborative approaches to addressing truancy. Specifically, it showcased characteristics of effective truancy prevention and intervention programs that have encouraged students to attend school consistently and take increased ownership in their education.
Presenters for this webinar included Cecelia Leong, Associate Director of Attendance Works,Justice Bobbe Bridge, former Washington Supreme Court Justice and CEO of the Center for Children and Youth Justice, Leila Curtis of the King County’s Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and Models for Change Truancy Project Coordinator, Larry Bush, Principal of Spokane Valley High School, Martin Kolodrub, Truancy Specialist Spokane County Office of Juvenile Justice, and Kathryn Meyer, Staff Attorney for the Center for Children’s Advocacy.
January 23, 2013
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. This second 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.
The Webinar featured presenters C. Michael Nelson, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Kentucky, Kristine Jolivette, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the School of Education at Georgia State University, Virginia Dolan, PBIS Program Facilitator for Anne Arundel County (MD) Public Schools, and Miguel Fernandez, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, and Audrey Armistad, Associate Superintendent of Educational Services, from the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice.
January 16 and 17, 2013
As a result of the growing body of evidence demonstrating the alarming relationship between widespread school suspensions and expulsions and involvement in the justice system, today’s schools, courts, and communities require new thinking about how to positively approach discipline when children violate boundaries and policies in school. This Webinar provided the knowledge that school, district, and court staff, law enforcement, and community stakeholders need to better understand the issues surrounding traditional school discipline practices and examples of how communities have shifted their disciplinary approaches.
Presenters on this Webinar included Russ Skiba, Ph.D., Professor of Counseling and Educational Psychology at Indiana University, the Honorable Steven C. Teske, Chief Judge, Juvenile Court of Clayton County, Georgia, and John E. Hudson, Supervisor of Attendance, Truancy, Dropout Prevention and Recovery for the Waco Independent School District in Waco, Texas.
 The White House. 2013. Now Is The Time: The President’s plan to protect our children and our communities by r educing gun violence. Washington, DC: Author. Available online at http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/wh_now_is_the_time_full.pdf.