And so I was glad to read an article in today's Washington Post called More schools rethinking zero-tolerance discipline stand, which correctly noted that LCPS has been implementing better approaches to discipline for years. I've pulled the Loudoun citations:
One widely popular strategy, known as positive behavior support, uses structured methods for teaching behavior, with prompting, practice and intervention. Suspensions still occur, but the goal is to keep problems from happening in the first place. Nationally, 14,000 schools are involved — including schools in the District and in Loudoun, Alexandria, Fairfax, Montgomery, Prince George’s and Prince William counties.
Fairfax also is proposing expanding a pilot program on “restorative justice,” which emphasizes recognizing mistakes and repairing harm. And several years ago, it enlisted researchers from U-Va. to bring in threat-assessment techniques — so that threats of violence are handled according to the danger they pose.
This approach is used in Loudoun schools, also.
“It’s the antidote to zero-tolerance,” said Cornell, lead designer of the program.
In Loudoun, positive-behavior support has “really changed the way in which we’ve dealt with behavior,” said John Lody, director of diagnostic and prevention services. The approach, now in 45 of 80 schools, “is one of those concepts that is really simplistic and obvious on the surface,” he said, “but almost never practiced in school.”