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Vol. 1 No. 2 (2014): The Equity and Social Justice Issue

Alternative Discipline Structures: A Comprehensive Approach to Changing Behavior

  • Jennifer Lisa Moradian Watson
March 4, 2014


School violence and poor morale is prevalent in many schools. Although Zero Tolerance policies and character education have become every day practices, schools still struggle with student behavior.   Research points to disproportionate discipline consequences among racial groups therefore new approaches to intervention are needed.  A high performing elementary school in Central California has taken a comprehensive approach to addressing student behavior with promising results.  With the implementation of a combined structure of socio emotional learning, school-wide positive behavioral supports, character education and leadership structures, one diverse campus of kindergarten-6th grade students has kept it positive in lieu of a punitive only discipline model.  Valley Oak has developed an alternative discipline system, choosing to use suspension and punitive measures as a last resort, not a first response.


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