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This web-based document has been prepared from a report prepared for the Canadian Association of Principals under a grant provided by the Youth Justice Policy Division Department of Justice, Government of Canada. That report, Zero Tolerance Policies in Context: A Preliminary Investigation to Identify Actions to Improve School Discipline and School Safety, was used to create these resources that can help schools to develop their plans and policies. Executive Summary Principals’ Perceptions of Zero Tolerance and School Discipline Review of the Research on Zero Tolerance and School Discipline Analysis of Provincial/Territorial Guidelines School Board Policies/School Codes of Conduct: Analysis and Guide References
Zero Tolerance Policies in Context: A Preliminary Investigation to Identify Actions to Improve School Discipline and School Safety Prepared for the Canadian Association of Principals By Mary M Shannon and Douglas S. McCall of Shannon & McCall Consulting Ltd Executive Summary The purpose of this investigation is to assess four sources of information to identify potential actions that can be taken by schools and justice authorities to ensure that school discipline policies are effective and coordinated with justice/law enforcement and community resources. The Canadian Association of Principals (CAP) conducted four activities to obtain relevant information.
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a focus group discussion with practicing school-based administrators a brief review of the published research and “grey” literature an analysis of the policy guidelines or directives established by education ministries in Canada a collection and preliminary analysis of a convenient sample of school district policies
In summary, this assessment has found that: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Zero tolerance policies are poorly understood by many Canadians and educators. Policies stipulating automatic suspensions for serious offenses in school need to placed and understood within the context of other potential sanctions, sound school discipline policies/codes of conduct, positive school climates and comprehensive approaches to safe schools as well as safe communities. School-based administrators are more concerned with what happens before (preventive actions) and after an incident in school (support to the student and school) than rigid or prescriptive procedures to handle the crisis or to impose the sanction. There is no reliable, welcoming and appropriate source for school-based administrators to access and share practical advice on school discipline. It is not likely that there is deliberate tolerance for any misbehaviors in schools. However, there is a growing perception or uneasiness about the current situation in schools that cannot be confirmed or denied because there are no reliable and regular sources of data on prevalence of problem behaviours, nor of relevant policies, programs and services. If there is a problem, the source may not be a lack of written policy statement. The serious problems may be more attributable to the social contexts surrounding schools. The minor problems may be attributable to the diminished capacity and commitment of the adults in the school to play an active role outside of their formal duties. There is a lack of evaluative and descriptive research on several topics examined in this review. Further, policy makers may be making decisions with very little data on the current situation in their schools and how they compare to other school systems.
A policy-making model should be developed that recognizes the tri-level (ministry, school board, school), open, loosely coupled nature of the school systems as well as the need for shared decision-making practices among educators, police and other agencies> Shared decision-making should guide schools, police departments, youth court officials and social welfare agencies in how they work together relative to the school. 9. Consistent with earlier research, local school board policies appear to continue to be narrow in scope. However, recent education ministry guidelines have been adopted that have directed schools in different jurisdictions to go in apparently different directions. Many of those new directives are far more comprehensive in scope. Whether this makes a difference in the nature of school-level decision-making and implementation of school discipline remains to be studied. 10. One of the emerging research trends and questions is that no single basic choice of approach to school discipline and safety may be appropriate for all schools. Urban schools, rural schools, suburban schools all face different circumstances, resources and constraints. As well, the local neighbourhood, parent attitudes, school staff norms and the students themselves all mix together to establish a context that may require choice from among three alternatives: universal, selected or intensive response. This differentiated approach is worthy of further exploration. To follow up on this preliminary assessment, the following activities should be explored to support schools at the grass roots level.
An interactive web site should be used to offer a schools a comparative school assessment which is able to publish a confidential report to the school on how well they are prepared and functioning in respect to school discipline and safety. This report should offer comparisons to other, similar schools or to all schools in the country or in their province. The school assessment component could be linked to tailored web-based documents to assist schools in their research to identify suitable planning and other resources. The database of school responses should be opened up to researchers and policy makers (on an anonymous basis to enable them to ask pertinent questions about the reality of schools. The site should also enable school principals to exchange information with similar schools in a manner that does not conflict with strong social/professional norms in schooling that one cannot lose control of their classroom/school. should be developed for school principals and school resource officers in cooperation with universities, CAP and police associations. The course should use the latest instructional design to incorporate text, video and audio so that role-plays and real life scenarios could be examined and discussed. Academic credit should be arranged with cooperating universities so that participation in such a course would be maximized. A national, comparative, descriptive study, documenting the current situation in schools and the policies and programs being used to respond to those situations, is urgently needed. Such a study should examine all three levels in the school system as well as the corresponding levels of the youth justice and law enforcement systems in the country.
Principals’ Perceptions of A Report on Focus Group Discussions Method:
As part of a regular meeting of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Association of Principals, 19 practicing school-based administrators were asked to discuss six questions relating to zero-tolerance policies and school discipline. Subsequent to the meeting, a summary of the discussions was prepared and sent to participants with a request for further comments. This report summarizes the findings of this consultation with the education professionals who are truly in the frontline of applying school discipline policies. Summary of Discussions:
There was considerable variance in the interpretation of the term “zero-tolerance”. Participants struggled to develop a consistent definition of zero-tolerance policies. They were unclear as to whether or not such zero-tolerance policies were always accompanied by predetermined consequences for noncompliance with expected behaviours. As well, participants were not comfortable in simply grouping certain offences by their severity and thereby stating that it was appropriate to have predetermined consequences for serious offences. Further, participants noted that the severity of the incident was open to different interpretation, both by individuals having different experience levels with infractions and by the context in which the incident occurred. Currently, there is little tolerance for any misbehaviour in schools. However, the interpretation, community support, parental support, school capacity to respond and the consequences may vary. Most participants reported that their school or school board have well-established school discipline/student conduct policies that stipulate consequences for student misbehaviours. In almost all cases, there is no tolerance for such behaviours within the school. The problems arise from things other than the definition of a predetermined consequence. They come from three directions: First, participants noted that the capacity of the school to prevent such misbehaviour is constrained by their community context, parental support, the availability of services from other agencies, the resources available to the school, the willingness and ability of their staff and the general social climate in the school.
Second, participants also felt that the time and resources required to ensure due process and the right to appeals, etc. were significant. The process has become more complicated and confrontational. Third, participants were not certain that expelling or suspending students were the only consequences that should be considered. However, alternatives such as in-school suspensions, diversion programs, student courts, community service, etc. all require resources and staffing. School-based administrators want discretionary authority to respond to the needs of their students. Generally, participants were not comfortable with lockstep disciplinary procedures. They want to be able to match their responses to their school, to their students and to individual students. While not disagreeing with significant consequences for severe infractions, school principals also want to exercise their professional judgment. Participants noted that some students need more help than others. Incremental consequences need to be applied for some individuals. Zero-tolerance is good for some students and not for others, depending upon family factors and individual circumstances. School administrators are aware of alternatives to suspension and expulsion of students. However, they are also aware of the practical steps and resources that need to be in place for these alternatives to be successful. Participants were able to identify several alternative consequences to infractions that could be used instead of suspending or expelling students. These included alternative schools and classes, behaviour management programs, loss of privileges, inschool suspensions, partial attendance, home schooling, etc. However, participants also noted that such alternatives require resources. For example, in-school suspensions require that there be suitable space in the school with staff or volunteers to supervise it. Teachers have to supply alternative work to the student, some of which may be difficult to coordinate with ongoing class activities. Administrators were concerned about the possibility of unintended consequences of zero-tolerance policies (i.e. inappropriate suspension for a minor or single infraction) but were not aware of widespread misuse of such policies. Participants expressed concern about the possibility of inappropriate use of zero-tolerance policies but did not identify any examples of where this had happened in their experience.
Zero Tolerance, School Discipline and School Safety: Report on Preliminary Review of the Research Literature Purpose It should be recognized that this research literature review is preliminary in nature, seeking to identify relevant areas for further inquiry only. This review, when coupled with the practical concerns of school-based administrators, a review of provincial/territorial guidelines and a contents analysis of a sample of school policies on student conduct, helps us to understand where theory can help practice on this critical topic. However, each component of this review is worthy of a full investigation. This is well beyond the scope of this preliminary review. Method A keyword search for research documents was done for this project in the following databases: Canadian Business and Current Affairs/Repere, Criminal Justice Abstracts, Access to Justice Net, Medline, CINAHL, PsychInfo and ERIC. Where possible, searches were limited to entries published after 1995. Search words were used in various combinations and included: violence prevention, school environment, schools and conduct problems, suspensions, violence repression, school discipline, juvenile delinquency and education, zero tolerance, conduct problems, behaviour problems, expulsion, discipline problems, in-school suspensions, academic probation, withdrawal education, sanctions, discipline policy. Further analysis and research would be useful but was beyond the scope of this inquiry. As well, an Internet search using several search engines was used to identify online documents. Several thousand entries were located. A limited selection was made from those entries in order to answer the questions identified at the beginning of the study. Limits: This preliminary search did attribute any specific weight or detailed analysis to the research evidence identified in this review. Metaanalyses were identified whenever they were found. However, this review did not critically examine case studies for methods such as random sampling, equivalence at baseline, accounting for non-participation, duration of effects, fidelity of implementation, and multi-site replication of the program or approach. This type of analysis should be done in future work A Framework for this Review A specific question for this inquiry is to assess the impact of zero-tolerance approaches to student misbehaviour in school. For the purposes of this project, a zero-tolerance policy is one that assigns predetermined consequences/sanctions (suspension) for selected serious offenses. However earlier research (Day et al, 1995; Gabor, 1995) has noted that definitions and understandings of the zerotolerance approach may vary.
This investigation of zero-tolerance policies was accompanied by an examination of their potential impact on the rights and responsibilities of students, parents and educators, as well as, the fairness of the procedures associated with such policies. Further, this review sought evidence of the effectiveness of school imposed sanctions as well as related procedures to reintegrate offending students back into school. Further, this investigation examines zero-tolerance policies (or its counterpart, discretionary policies) within the context of a sanctions/punitive approach, then a behavioural expectations (school discipline) approach. Moving outward, such school discipline policies are also considered within the context of school efforts to improve the school’s social climate through prevention and intervention strategies. These efforts would provide support for appropriate behaviours through rules and procedures affecting the behaviours of students in the school, on playgrounds and buses and in classrooms. However, instructional strategies (e.g. conflict resolution) and other strategies such as mentoring and peer mediation are not reviewed here. The following diagram illustrates the concentric nature of this investigation. However, while looking at the diagram, one should note that the two outer rings (safe schools and safe communities) are not examined in this review. This literature search is discussing only behavioural rules, norms and the application of sanctions or policy-oriented preventive or remedial measures.
This categorization of approaches is similar to that used by Day et al (1995), where their typology included four categories: response/sanction, behavioural, identification/prevention and community. Similarly, Gottfredson (1998) organized school-based interventions into two categories: environment change strategies and individual change strategies. Coben et al (1994) categorized school violence prevention efforts in four categories: educational, environmental-technological, regulatory and combined. Zero-Tolerance or Discretionary Decision-Making The choice to introduce a zero-tolerance approach is usually targeted at significantly harmful behaviours within the school (National Center on Education Statistics, 1998). This review will assess the rationale for assigning predetermined sanctions for these behaviours, the implications of this new approach on the fairness of procedures used to implement this approach, the immediate impact of the zerotolerance choice on all students and the offending students as well as the long-term impact on the safety of the community. This review sought to determine if research had answered these questions. Do the trends or statistical evidence in levels of unacceptable or inappropriate behaviours in Canadian schools indicate that traditional approaches to school discipline/student conduct need to be modified? Are there more or less incidents, serious incidents, suspensions or expulsions? What is the current level of use of zero-tolerance in Canada and elsewhere?
Is there any evidence suggesting that giving discretionary authority to school principals or school authorities results in too lenient or inconsistent sanctions? Does the predetermination of consequences/sanctions for selected unacceptable behaviours result in more effect in: a) improving the safety/school climate for all students either in removing the students causing problems or acting as a deterrent (immediate output)? b) c) correcting the behaviours of offending students (immediate output)? enhancing the overall safety of the community (long-term outcome)?
Is there evidence suggesting that some unacceptable behaviours are better suited to a zero-tolerance (non-discretionary) approach? Does the introduction of predetermined consequences/sanctions abrogate the rights of alleged offenders? (Right to due process, natural justice, punishment to fit the crime, individual case, etc.) Is there evidence suggesting that predetermination of consequences results in the application of inappropriate sanctions for some students or in some cases? The Effect of a Sanctions Approach A school can impose a variety of sanctions to correct behaviours of offending students, act as a deterrent to others, improve the safety and discipline of all students and help to maintain an ordered learning environment. Again, this review sought to locate research that reported on these three effects for the following sanctions: Does the sanction improve the school climate for all students? (output) Does the sanction correct the behaviours of the offending students? (output) Does the sanction enhance the overall safety of the community? (outcome) The sanctions to be examined are:
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reporting misbehaviour to parents additional assignment of school work detentions restitution to victims/restorative justice measures mandatory service to school or the community in-school suspensions short-term suspensions (5 days or less) long-term suspension (to end of term or year) transfer to a different regular school/class placement in an alternate class in same school placement in an alternate school sending to bootcamp/challenge program expulsion from regular school/placement in institution with alternate education
Prior to looking for evidence of the effect of these sanctions, we looked for research evidence and professional consensus on how these sanctions should be developed and implemented. Specific questions relating to these implementation issues are: What support/involvement is required from parents/guardians/caregivers? How can this support be encouraged? What support is needed from teachers” What support/involvement is required from police? law enforcement? the courts? What support/involvement is required from other publicly funded agencies? What support/involvement is beneficial from community volunteers or organizations?
social worker. this review examines how various preventive programs and rehabilitation interventions can maintain a positive school climate. this review sought research evidence indicating that these comprehensive or singular prevention or intervention programs had an impact on three levels: improving the safety of all students (output) correcting the behaviours of offending students (output) enhancing the safety of the community (outcome). Interventions aimed at rehabilitating and reintegrating offending students are also considered. including individual education plans. we sought to identify research that told us: What topics should be covered in such policies? How should these school discipline/student conduct policies be developed and implemented? Are “good” school discipline/student conduct policies in place in most schools in Canada? elsewhere? What professional skills/practices are needed among teachers and school administrators to implement these policies effectively? Are the most appropriate roles of classroom teacher. police protocols. Again. truancy prevention. school psychologist. others) What support is required from senior school administrators and school trustees? What involvement is needed from teachers outside of their classrooms? What support/involvement is required from parents/guardians/caregivers? How can this support be encouraged? What support/involvement is required from students? How can this be encouraged? Are there good examples and models of “good” school rules in Canada? elsewhere? The Effect of Positive School Climate In this final section.What support is required from senior school administrators and school trustees? Are there good examples of effective use of sanctions in Canada? elsewhere? The Effect of Behavioural Expectations (School Discipline/Student Conduct Rules) Once again. Comprehensive preventive programs aimed at improving the school climate (such as Effective Behaviour Support. guidance counselor. early identification and referral procedures. school security measures. As well. Specific questions in this regard include: . We also examined specific prevention activities such as improving classroom management/teaching. school principal clearly defined? Are there adaptations of such policies for sub-populations of students? (students with emotional or behavioural disorders. school uniforms. this review sought to identify research that suggested three types of effects that might be attributed to the use of school discipline/student conduct rules: Do the rules improve the school climate for all students? (output) Do the rules correct the behaviours of offending students? (output) Do the rules enhance the overall safety of the community? (outcome) Prior to discussing the potential effects of school discipline/student conduct policies. crisis intervention/aftermath procedures and coordinated case management. this review sought research to indicate that policy-makers and/or practitioners had developed agreements on how these programs and services should be implemented. Peaceful Schools or Anti-Bullying Programs) are considered.
The Canadian Paediatric Society (1996) has presented a positive. 1980) published two decades ago. we reread a publication of the American Association of School Administrators (Brodinsky. There is widespread consensus that the first definition should be followed. However. our conceptualization of the problem of school violence is critical.Is there agreement on what constitutes a positive behaviour support program such as EBS or Peaceful Schools? Is the use of these positive school climate approaches widespread in Canadian schools? elsewhere? Are there professional norms. As well. 1997. seeing discipline as an opportunity to teach social skills rather than punish wrongdoers. Gabor (1995) and Thompson (1994) have commented on this lack of clarity. muddled and multiple set of conceptions and perspectives. She also shows. instead. Slee (1997) has presented the theories underlying professional approaches to discipline and behaviour management that show punitive approaches to discipline are self-limiting in their effect on children and youth. It is this latter definition that is discussed in this review. accompanied by an assurance that there will be a consequence for each infraction. MacDonald and Da Costas. MacDonald (1997. Differing perceptions and multiple realities may cause conflict and confusion in schools and homes over discipline. 1998. 1999. it is appropriate that we begin this review with a short discussion of the conceptualization of discipline for children. backed by research. in a practical way. students may have come to see such behaviour as “normal” and. The second definition is the subject of controversy which this review will explore In beginning this review. (MacDonald. on good practices in implementing the specific prevention or intervention strategies mentioned above? What support is required from senior school administrators and school trustees? What support/involvement is required from students? How can this be encouraged? What support is needed from teachers? What support/involvement is required from parents? How can this be encouraged? What support/involvement is required from police and the youth court? What support/involvement is required from other publicly funded agencies? What support/involvement is beneficial from community organizations? Introduction The disciplining of our children is inextricably linked to the basic values we hold as human beings. The contents of that manual offer an interesting insight. with no discretion on the nature of the punishment. this review has found that the term “zero-tolerance” has unfortunately become a confusing piece of rhetoric. how the conceptualization of discipline and violence influences the behaviour of school principals. While educators. argues against “chasing the storm clouds: and. 1996). Teachers and administrators tend to conceptualize the problem of unacceptable behaviour in schools as a community problem (Pietrzak et al. Situated within this potentially murky. and often in the United States. parents and others may see the levels of violence in school as disturbing. one of the key influencers in the school process. 1998). automatic consequence for serious infractions. the term “zero-tolerance” has come to mean there will be a predetermined. can help us to avoid that punitive and short-term approach. be unwilling to report the majority of incidents for fear of reprisals or being outside the prevailing norms. Other studies (Sewell & Chamellin. Many Canadians understand the term to be “no tolerance for unacceptable behaviours”. We note that several of those 1980 topics that are still with us . The National Crime Prevention Council (1995) has taken this positive philosophy in its paper. 1996) report that there are some significant differences in the perceptions held by students. The importance of conceptualizing discipline in a positive way is underlined by some of the research located in this review. teachers and administrators about school violence. 1997). that stays focused on long-term goals and the mutuality of the process. There are a variety of perspectives about parenting and schooling that will influence the development of school discipline plans (Wyness. Clear Limits and Real Opportunities: The Keys to Preventing Youth Crime. 1997a). Fox (1987) tells us how a thoughtful approach. 1999) in her study of junior high schools in Alberta. This basic truth has been explained well in the research (Leonard. McCarthy. recently in Canada. Those values will guide us in the writing of our laws and in the codes of conduct that we establish in schools. consequently. healthy view of discipline which was often supported in the research reviewed for this project. Consequently.
. Efforts to situate the school within a safe and caring community need to be made. insufficient to ensure that a school is safe and caring. to the extent that policy-makers are responding with new legislation or policy directives. It should be discarded in future policy discussions. • • • • • • getting tough is enough focusing on the different looking for a quick fix finding one powerful trick believing someone else has the solution believing more is better Hopefully. including school board policy. if we are going to use a comprehensive approach to preventing school violence. However. School policy will not be enough. There is no regular. This strategy has been recommended for decades and we still do not have data on the prevalence of its use. In reviewing the research measuring the effect of sanctions. we should be using comprehensive measurement tools. a student code. student-parent-teacher training. parent action and community policing programs is needed for schools. reliable data collection in Canada. Key Findings There is considerable confusion over the term “zero-tolerance”. programs to maintain a positive school climate or to ensure the management of students with behaviour disorders There appears to be a significant gap in the supervision of hallways and playgrounds at school. Gottfredson (1998) has noted that researchers are now trying to measure these direct and indirect effects through studying delinquent and violent behaviour in schools. Without these things. Immediate research on the prevalence of inappropriate and unacceptable behaviours in schools is needed. gangs. Little research has been done on what strategies are most effective. weapons. measures to ensure an active staff response to minor incidents and ways to encourage students to report their concerns are required. We suggest using “automatic suspensions for serious offenses” There is little evidence that the prevalence of anti-social behaviour is increasing or decreasing in schools. educators and parents. Several provinces/territories.S. we sought to identify research that reported on three types of effects. sanctions. as we begin this discussion. school codes of conduct. we need to be careful that we do not fall into these traps identified by Horner et al (2000). codes of conduct and prevention/intervention strategies. However. That leads us to our final introduction note. Two decades ago. instead of the problem behaviour of vandalism and smoking we now talk of violence. states and other countries have recently revised or introduced legislation or regulations to require schools to establish codes of conduct. More research on the implementation of in-school suspensions is required to determine the barriers to its use. There is a remarkable consensus in the materials reviewed that zero-tolerance. in school suspensions and suspension/expulsion. There is little evidence that a non-discretionary approach to serious offences is more or less effective than a discretionary one. on the behaviour of offending students and on the overall safety of the community. These six strategies will all likely lead to problems. The number of serious offences that occur in schools is very small and the solutions to them are multidisciplinary in nature. Social support. 1999) and it did include students who had dropped out of school. school rules will be insufficient to protect children. Only one study was found (Education Testing Service. policies and prevention/intervention programs used in Canadian schools. There is no regular.today. in the form of peer programs. More research on lighter sanctions is required. We conclude these introductory remarks with this thought. We also note the growing trend in Canada and the U. this was left to school boards and schools. public and professional perceptions indicate a concern. on the safety of all students. reliable data on the sanctions. by themselves. As well. and drugs/alcohol. to the benefit of students. There is little evidence about the efficacy of the sanctions most often used by schools to respond to minor offences with the exception of extensive research on alternatives to suspension and expulsion. Instruction to develop student skills. student handbooks. beliefs and knowledge is required. school discipline or even efforts to improve the school climate are. In other words. that provincial/territorial or state governments are stipulating what will be in student codes of conduct. this preliminary review will help us avoid those traps. In particular. curricula to support rules. withdrawal from school. the prevalence of conduct problems in the community and the prevalence of low self-esteem among individual youth.
(McCreary. Is there evidence that the level of unacceptable behaviours in schools is increasing? A related question will also be asked: Has there been an increased number of suspensions or expulsions? Is there evidence that administrator/school discretion has been too lenient or inconsistent? Does the automatic suspension or expulsion of students lead to safety for all students.C. drugs or threats. As well. 1998). unless they are accompanied by long-term. The proportion of youth charged with crimes under the criminal code declined from 26% in 1992 to 20% in 1997. Zero-Tolerance: An Answer? A Distraction? An Understandable but Misdirected Reaction? This examination of the potential value of “zero-tolerance approach”. teacher and administrator attitudes/beliefs and practices relating to school discipline. correcting the behaviour of offending students and/or greater safety in the community? Is there evidence that some behaviours are better suited to a zero-tolerance (automatic) response? Does the application of automatic suspensions/expulsions result in the abrogation of student rights? Is there evidence that the application of zero-tolerance policies lead to unintended or inappropriate sanctions? The next section of the paper will address the efficacy of various sanctions.Proven promising programs have been developed and are being implemented in many schools that deliver school-wide effective behaviour support to all students. The roles of different levels of authority and their appropriate scope of action in school discipline needs to guide our analysis. their specific roles need to be clarified and evaluated for effectiveness. (2000). 1999). Are Inappropriate and Unacceptable Behaviours Increasing in Schools? There are no regular. in its survey of teachers. reliable and national surveys of the prevalence of serious or non-serious offenses in schools (Shannon & McCall. educators and police. reported that a number of aggressive behaviours had increased among elementary and secondary students. A. However. 2000). parents. 18% of girls). We need studies of parent. students reported that. use of weapons. will examine six related questions. The Auditor-General of B. However.C. Fifteen per cent of those crimes occurred on school property (Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics. A small number of Canadian research studies have some data on in less serious school aggression. Research is needed on how effective partnerships can be formed among students. In B. This research needs to also examine the corresponding levels of authority in police and youth justice sectors. appropriate and intensive services to the student and family as well as appropriate well-resourced alternative education programs. Research into differentiated policy choices among schools experiencing dramatically different levels of violence needs to be done. it should be noted that there is considerable evidence showing that suspensions/expulsions from school are ineffective in changing the behaviour of young offenders. This investigation should differentiate between serious and non serious offenses. promote peace or prevent violence or bullying through school-wide approaches or that deliver positive behaviour support to students with special needs. where there are automatic suspensions or expulsions for serious student infractions such as physical assault. between 1992-1998. student. including: (These behaviours were reported as occurring “often”) Elementary swearing or trash talk (other) rough play (other) verbal abuse (threats) physical abuse (fighting) drinking/drug use vandalism/theft 14 27 19 13 1 3 Secondary 52 19 33 9 41 15 . these data do not capture other less serious forms of aggression. there was no change in the proportion who had been involved in fights (42% of boys.
Gomes et al (2000) reported these prevalences of aggression at school: property damage theft something taken by force threatened slapped/punched/kicked something thrown at them threatened with a weapon attacked by group or gang someone exposed themselves sexually touched against will someone said something sexual 15.8 22. including. This has occurred in the UK (Department for Education and Employment. school codes of conduct. The legal responses have included automatic suspension/expulsion for serious offenses. 1999) and across the U. schools between 1990-1991 and 1996-1997 . The Education Testing Service Study (1999) showed that . gang prevention. 1999). staff assault. (Education Commission of the States. 1998). Calgary Herald. Day (1995) found similar educator concerns. mandatory school safety plans.0 5. There are levels of inappropriate and unacceptable behaviours in schools that need to be addressed. In 1993. 1997). In the U. increased awareness of civil liability and less lenient attitudes towards bullying.. However. school-wide plans to prevent violence and special measures to ensure that students with behavioural disorders are managed properly. the media reports. 91% for other weapons.S. This report showed that 98% of students are not truant. found a similar pattern when comparing U. An American analysis (Education testing Service. This is not to say that the public and professionals are not concerned.0 8. approximately three-quarters of schools have automatic expulsion policies for serious offenses (94% for firearms. Cloud 1999. it should be noted that serious crimes such as weapons or gangs have not increased in Canadian schools. This review identified a number of similar references in the years after Gabor’s report (Education Monitor.3 22.6 3. an Environics Poll reported that violence was the top concern for schools (MacDougall. 43% of boys and 35% of girls said that they had been victims of bullying. suggests that the increased concern may be due to several factors.In Alberta. Leschart.7 An international study done for Health Canada (Health Canada.3 21. 11% for fighting and 5% for harassment. weapons or theft. Ninety-five per cent (95%) of school pupils in those elementary schools said they have never had to deal with drugs.1 4. Only 5% of students in that survey had ever been suspended from school.8 10. 2000. mandatory school codes. 88% for drugs. Dalton (2000). Gabor (1995) reported on the sharp increase in the coverage of youth crimes in the Canadian media. 1999) found that 56% of boys and 40% of girls in grades 6 and 8 admitted that they has bullied someone that year. The John Howard Society (1998) has summarized various reports on youth crime. 1998. 1998. Relatively large proportions of students (29%) felt it was “ok” to commit some minor offenses but only 3% said it was ok to bring a weapon to school.5 2. As well. Gabor (1995) in his surveys and focus groups with educators. 79% for violence and 79% for tobacco use). using the data from the 1998 National Education Longitudinal Survey (NELS) found that students were “bipolar” in their attitudes towards a range of behaviours. notification of student records. new laws requiring automatic suspensions/expulsions. 1999). 1993). Canadian Press. Skiba & Peterson (1999). police and youth.S.serious crime rates in schools either stayed the same or declined.4 1. Governments have responded to increased concern with new laws and regulations requiring schools to establish zero-tolerance policies. The above reports should be a source of concern. Once again.S. the downward trend in youth crime generally was reported. Canadian elementary schools were seen to be safe in an analysis of the first cycle data of the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (Frank & Lipps. in discussing the contradiction between declining youth crime and increase concern about school violence. pressure from human rights legislation. reported that they collectively perceived that most offenses were committed by a small minority of students (between 1% and 10%). Only 28% were disciplined for verbal conflict. firearms prohibition and alternative education.
In British Columbia.K. He also reported that all three groups felt that sanctions were not preventing the “hard core” from misbehaving in schools. in her study of five schools in Alberta. carrying a weapon (51%) and buying drugs (54%). Students need to be encouraged to report their concerns. but were more likely to be lenient with first offenses for less serious infractions. an advisory committee to the Minister is preparing a submission. One small exploratory study (O’Brien. for the Youth Justice Board (Market and Opinion Research International. Without these services. violence in the media and poor rule enforcement. They are still less safe than the schools without zero-tolerance policies. enforced or understood by only 77% of school administrators. but unpacking the data. He also suggested that school staff should always conduct the initial investigation.American school administrators were likely to follow these policies immediately for serious offenses. to be discussed later in this review. These troubled students are more likely to find more trouble in the streets. In contrast. Does professional discretion in the application of discipline result in overly-lenient or inconsistent sanctions? Gabor (1995) reported from his surveys and focus groups that police officers. That study also found that schools with zero-tolerance policies had more incidents of a less serious nature. Day & Golench (1997) reported from their 1995 survey that most Canadian schools saw suspension and expulsion within a more preventive approach. Gabor (1995) called for some sort of “middle ground” in resolving the zero-tolerance vs. the survey done for that report noted that BC secondary school codes were “mostly” supported. 41% of staff. 1996). predictable yet flexible. unless there was an immediate threat to safety. This was true. . In Canada. Finally. A survey done in the U. (She also noted that early data showed an increase in the number of reports of less serious crimes such as verbal threats. They favoured consequences that were consistent. School staff need to consistently follow-up to make it clear that the codes will be enforced. 2000) reminds us that we need to measure the impact of zero-tolerance policies in the community as well as the school. Nova Scotia. Skiba & Peterson (1999) point out that suspending a student is one way that schools “push out” students from schools. Alberta and British Columbia. Lipsett (1999). Do Automatic Suspension/Expulsions for Serious Offenses Work? The introduction of automatic suspensions/expulsions for serious offenses in schools has generated considerable debate in Canada and elsewhere. peer pressure. (Again. shoplifting (60%). not knowing students. originally from the Scarborough School Board that introduced the first zero-tolerance policy. 72% of students who were in school had committed no offense. the study showed that severe penalties were correlated with fewer serious incidents in urban and public schools. over the rights of the minority causing the problems. Recent changes to provincial/territorial guidelines and policy support documents have been made in Newfoundland. automatic suspension for serious offense) appeared in Canada in 1993 (MacDonald. noted that students were not satisfied with the responses from school staff to violence and misbehaviour. Expectations and consequences need to be made clearer. zero-tolerance policies can only shift the problem from the school to the community. we need to return to our earlier point about the efficacy of suspensions/expulsions that are not accompanied by alternate education. They also favoured the protection of the majority. However. Ontario. erosion of the school’s authority. 33% of parents and 69% of students.e. the Superior Council of Education. intensive and multiple services and other supports. family breakdown. The Education Testing Service (1999) analysis of longitudinal data shows that schools with more severe penalties had few incidents of serious infractions. The reasons were: too busy. Skiba & Peterson (1999) use that NCES data to show that the use of zero-tolerance policies has not made those schools safer. That survey showed that 72% of students who had been expelled from school admitted that they had committed serious offenses. show that zero-tolerance policies increase the number of students who are suspended or expelled from school. 1998) asked teachers why they did not intervene with unruly students in hallways (but did so effectively in their classes). New Brunswick. The reasons for this were: youth offender laws. reported that the implementation of the policy was accompanied by 50% reductions in the average number of serious incidents reported by schools. the Auditor-General (2000) reported that appropriate student codes of conduct had been developed by all schools and school districts. including vandalism (69%). MacDonald (1997). if necessary. He suggested identifying automatic sanctions well in advance and stipulating clearly when the police would be notified. but more often than British schools. In Quebec. educators and students were increasingly concerned with school discipline problems. For example. Other studies. despite being in place for four years. Oppenheimer & Zeigler (1990) found that suspensions were used less frequently in Toronto schools than their American counterparts. please note that school dropouts were not in this sample. discretion option. viewing misconduct as typical and lack of support from administration or other teachers. adherence to those codes varied significantly. on average. The first zero-tolerance (i.) The National Center on Education Statistics (1998) also reported that schools with lower rates of crime were less likely to use zero-tolerance policies.
but this methodology did not locate any. Evidence Suggesting That Some Behaviours Should Lead to Automatic Suspension/Expulsion There appears to be a policy consensus among the proponents of zero-tolerance policies that they should only apply to serious offenses like weapons. PA was suspended for possession of nail clippers (National Post. Zero-Tolerance and Inappropriate Sanctions A number of media reports were identified in this search that indicate that zero-tolerance policies are causing inappropriate sanctions for some students. Courts have been divided in their decisions about student rights under searches and seizures. 2000. 2000) indicate that zero-tolerance policies and suspensions may disfavour minority students. There may be jurisprudence being established on zero-tolerance laws. 2000).Findings: • • There is not sufficient evidence to say that automatic suspension for serious offenses is a serious deterrent to school violence. Antonucci. the Australian Drug Foundation (1998) has stated that zero-tolerance policies in their schools have interfered with their “harm reduction” approach to reducing drug abuse. drugs and assault. He also referred briefly to the automatic suspension for carrying a firearm. However. Only Antonucci (1994) referred to zero-tolerance and the reference was brief. A review by Education Week (Portner. zero-tolerance policies were getting a second look. Rohr (1998) and Keel (1999) have outlined the steps that should be taken and criteria to be met when a student is suspended from school. Beyer. As well. 1999) reviewed those stories and reported that zero-tolerance policies were inflexible and ineffective. Obrien & Pietersema. 2000. Also. A USA Today report (Cauchon. Keleher. Zero-tolerance was not discussed. Schwartz (1997) has noted that the U. The introduction and implications of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Dennis. this search found no research showing that this automatic sanction approach was effective for any specific behaviour or crime. As well. Timelines. NS will be suspended (Smithson. However. 1997) reported that. 1998) has expressed concern that zero-tolerance policies have increased the number of expelled or suspended students and that the policy may be counterproductive. However. The Connecticut State Comptrollers Officer (Commins. 1998. appeals and procedures were all discussed. nd. 2000) and the Young Offenders Act (Jaffe & Baker. as a consequence. 1996. An non-authored website was identified in this search (www. Recent Canadian case law (Alberta Teachers’ Association. Harte & McDonald 1996) has initiated analysis and discussion. Automatic use of suspensions/expulsions requires that additional resources be made available to other agencies and families to support youth who are expelled from school. Zero-Tolerance and the Rights of Students A review of several reports and articles available in the databases searched for this review were analyzed for this section. corporal punishment (Rettig. Green. 1997. 1994. no search was done on legal databases. these reviews did not refer to zero-tolerance. Finding • There is no research-based evidence to suggest that automatic sanctions are more effective in deterring any particular misbehaviour. That website had a link related to case law.tso4u. 1996) were reviewed in this search. these sources did not include any references to zerotolerance.com/lphs_expell) that lead us to several media articles on abuses to student rights. A limited number of American sources (Beyer. 1999) have both prompted legal and other advice. U. Curwin & Mendler (1999) and Skiba & Peterson (1999) have made similar complaints about zero-tolerance policies. 2000). these students were not being provided with alternative education or support services. but unfortunately the website is no longer functioning. Students who “high five” each other in Fall River. 1996) has sought to clarify the rights of students. Education Law Reporter. Skiba & Peterson (1999) have documented several examples of inappropriate sanctions being applied. On a more scholarly note. 1999. 1999. However. A boy in York. 2000). There is a sizable and stable set of knowledge and case law that has been established in Canada regarding student rights and school discipline.S.S. 1990. Other reports (Civil Rights Project. Department of Education. Edulaw. One Cape Breton school board suspended 2000 students in 19981999 (Canadian Press. . He discussed the liability of a principal who does not suspend a student when authorized to do so. The rate of suspensions in that state quadrupled between 93-94 and 96-97.
However. “threats” or “harassment” may be subject to interpretation. we need to know if light sanctions. are there ways to apply light or medium strength sanctions that are more effective in deterring misbehaviour? . are able to deter students from more serious misbehaviour. Effectiveness and Use of Sanctions Approach Oppenheimer & Zeigler (1990) reviewed several options in the use of sanctions.) Sanctions and Deterrence This section of this review addresses the effective uses of various school-based sanctions. they focused on the use of alternatives to suspension. In some zero-tolerance policies. not only media reports. community organizations and the senior administrator/school trustees of school boards.Jay (1997) in a study of 59 student codes in the U. may not be necessary. adult presence in the school and in encouraging students to report their concerns.) No case law or legal advice was identified that indicated the rights of students were being abrogated under zero-tolerance policies. Some reports indicate that some principals may chose to err on the cautious side under pressure of liability claims and suspend students for inappropriate reasons. We begin this section with a general outlook at these sanctions. found that the wording was often not clear. how they can and are being implanted and any general evidence that a sanctions focused approach can be effective. there has been little research that has differentiated the types of sanctions to be able to describe their impact (Educational Testing Service. Findings • • • • • • B There appears to be little change or even declines in the number of serious youth crimes. the interpretation of terms such as “weapons or objects used as weapons”. For example. Increased public and professional concerns about the levels of unacceptable behaviours in schools may be due to a number of factors. the police. These partners include the students. Again. These concerns should be addressed in public policy. Automatic expulsions for these offenses. However. Provincial/territorial responses in Canada indicate that different choices are being made in different jurisdictions.) More attention needs to be paid to ensuring an active. particularly with terms such as foul language. on offending students and on community safety in general. Consistent and visible follow-up is also required. in schools or in the community. We searched for research evidence on how to best engage the partners in the sanction process. (These are not addressed by automatic expulsion for serious infractions. such as detentions or additional assignments. There may be inconsistencies in the application of school discipline in respect to non-serious offenses. but no evidence to that effect was located in our search. These concerns are primarily aimed at less serious. Zero-tolerance policies are resulting in inappropriate sanctions for some students. from a lay person’s perspective. (There were no sources identified in this search showing that these errors could be rectified in the appeals process. Zero-tolerance policies are only one of several policy options being exercised by governments in several countries. parents/guardians/caregivers. However. which are not increasing. Training may be effective in eliminating these subjective interpretations. including assigning a punishment commensurate with the offense and individual circumstances. less serious offenses may be increasing and appropriate remedies need to be developed or implemented. Like most others. we were seeking to identify information on the effect of these sanctions on all students. it seems that natural justice principles imply that each case should be judged on its own merits. The following sanctions were the subjects of our investigation: • • • • • • • • • • • • • reporting misbehaviour to parents additional assignment of school work detentions restitution to victims service to the school or community in-school suspensions short-term suspensions (less than 5 days) long-term suspension transfer to another regular class or school placement in an alternate class in the same school placement in an alternate school placement in a temporary challenge program (boot camp/widerness camp) permanent expulsion and delivery of alternate education/incarceration in institution. 1999). in Canada and elsewhere. (See analysis in this project.S. Very few sources were identified under these headings so we have consolidated them under the school discipline/behavioural expectations section of this review. Also. health/social/employment agencies. but apparently increasing levels of student misbehaviour.
teacher. sanctions and discipline policies should be conducted. 2% to destroy school property. Findings • • • • Research on student. They analyze student attitudes towards a range of offenses as well as the different types of sanctions used by schools in the U. (The concepts of detention. Here are their findings. However. Research is needed to determine if this policy is widely used. participants at a national meeting on safe schools (Shannon & McCall. Schools Note: This chart also shows that in-school suspensions were rarely used as sanctions. etc.) . Research on the Effects of Specific Sanctions We now attempt to analyze the behavioural impact of specific sanctions. the ones used most often by schools. transfer for discipline.C.S. The Education Testing Service (1999) also described the sanctions and discipline policies used by American schools. Research into the differentiation of policy/program responses to non-serious and serious offenses should be done. despite decades of researchers and experts promoting its use. Only 3% found it “sometimes or often ok” to bring a weapon to school.) and the appropriateness of sanctions and specific school rules should be conducted. If it is not.(urban. Research into the relationship between the characteristics of the school. Little Research on Impact of Light Sanctions This search did not locate any research on several forms of lighter sanctions. additional assignments. SES. 1% to abuse teachers. these policies did not have any impact on serious offenses or drug use. Research needs to determine if violence is a stepby-step continuum or if there is a direct pathway to serious offenses. parent and administrator attitudes/beliefs about a range of offenses.S. document was cited in the review by the Auditor-General of BC (2000) that presented misbehaviours as a continuum. rural. If this highly recommended strategy is not widely used. They found that schools that used preventive policies such as hall passes were associated with lower levels of non-serious offenses. This analysis suggests that policy and program responses might be better if they strongly differentiated between serious and nonserious offenses. 2% to drink. ranging from disrespect to pushing and fighting to gangs or hate crimes. 2000) were not comfortable in using that continuum in a joint statement. suburban. However. then the research should identify the barriers to its use. Research should be conducted into the prevalence of use of in-school suspensions. then research should also describe the barrier to its use and how they can be overcome. 1% to sue drugs at school. Common Discipline Policies and Sanction in U. A B. community service for sanctions were not even found in the ERIC Thesaurus of search terms.The Education Testing Service (1999) analysis of the 1988 National Education Longitudinal Survey is the only analysis of this type identified in our search for this review. They found that sizable minorities of American students felt it was “sometimes ok” or “often ok” that students misbehaved in these ways: • • • • • • • • • cutting classes (29%) copying homework (29%) talking back to a teacher (16%) disobeying rules (16%) cutting class (16%) cheating on tests (11%) making sexist remarks (9%) making racist remarks (5%) having a physical fight (8%) They also found that American students were far less tolerant of serious misbehaviour in school.
full support from the principal and parent involvement from the start. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (1995) review of research indicates that short-term suspensions are not an effective deterrent to student misbehaviour. However.S. In-School Suspensions/Alternatives to Suspensions This approach has been well discussed in the research literature. 1995. has a similar list of important elements for success. A survey of head teachers in Scotland (Munn et al. 1980) referred to in-school suspension as “the top alternative of the 1970s”. Abitibi (Polyvalente de la Forêt. planning for reintegration and opportunities to build new skills. suspensions do not provide a way for the offending student to change their behaviour. including. a philosophy of clearly stated rules. Oppenheimer & Zeigler. Sheets (1996) has classified in-school suspension under four categories. nd).This absence of research needs to be addressed quickly if schools are to be enlightened about how these strategies can be used effectively. provide a consequence. 1994). Cortez & Montecel (1999) reviewed such alternate classes in Texas and found them to be “dumping grounds” for undesirable students. 20 years ago. 1985). Kingston (Kingston Police. Many case studies of successful ISS programs were identified in this search. a coordinator. although the research evidence on their effect is somewhat mixed. The Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory (nd) suggests that ISS programs include guidance support. adequate resources. shared decision-making and continued academics. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (1995) has also identified several promising programs. referrals for serious offenses only. They also found that students were not provided additional support once they were placed in these classes. nd). Canadian examples were found in Calgary (Jones. He suggests that ISS programs can modify student behaviour. nd) and North York (North York General Hospital. suggests that reorganizing classes and regrouping students into alternate classes or “schools within schools” is a promising practice. Strategies for which we did not locate any research are: • • • • reporting misbehaviour to parents detentions restitutional service to school or community transfer to another regular class or school Restitution is Effective Gottfredson et al (1996) reviewed several school and community-based restitution programs and concluded that this approach was effective in correcting the behaviours of young offenders. O’Reilly & Sargent (1994) report that suspensions can protect the rights of other students. in a review of the literature. Schwartz (1997) says these programs can be effective as long as their goal is to return the student to regular class as soon as possible. 1999). a student stay of at least 10 days. academic and individual. 1997) found similar views to those of Canadians. act as a deterrent and communicate seriousness to the parents. parental involvement. is awarding $10 million for demonstration projects that provide alternatives to suspension. reports that in-school suspension programs can be effective if they are accompanied by counseling. may jeopardize the student’s academic progress and may jeopardize the community as the expelled youth roams the neighbourhood. Placement in an Alternate Class in the Same School Gottfredson (1998). problem-solving. 1993. For example. continuous program and intake monitoring. Short-Term Suspensions (less than 5 days) Gabor (1995) cited research studies that indicated that short-term suspensions can be effective if students agree to stipulated conditions and if parents are involved. Long-Term Suspensions (until the end of year or term) Several reviews of the research (Day et al. 1990) have reported that long-term suspensions are not effective in correcting student misbehaviour. Gabor (1995) reported that Canadian educators and police saw long-term suspensions and expulsions as a last resort. Day et al (1995) cite several sources that describe the value of in-school suspensions or alternatives to suspension/expulsion (Aleem & Moles. protect the learning environment and protect the community. in a comprehensive review of school violence prevention strategies. A new federal program in the U. punitive. Etobicoke (Zammit. Ontario Ministry of Education. an American guide on school discipline (Brodinsky. . A review done for the Leon County School Board (nd) in Florida. Guindon (1992).
relative autonomy. Department of Education (1999) found that residential programs can reduce court appearances and eliminate continual suspensions from school. Temporary Challenge Programs (boot camps. Similar findings were reported on wilderness camps from other reviews (Stiffman et al. multisystemic therapy. A 1997 report from the John Howard Society of Alberta reached the same conclusions after reviewing the literature and discussing examples in Alberta. were implemented faithfully and used mental health professionals rather than juvenile justice personnel. psychological counseling. Expulsion from School/Educational Delivery in an Institutional Setting Most of the evaluations of residential programs that delivered high quality alternative educational programs as part of the treatment program for young offenders were positive. an expanded role for the teacher into caregiving. carefully selected and trained staff. Henggeler & Shoenwald (1994) and Mackenzie & Souryal (1994). active family involvement. in reviewing several programs funded by the U. including a student choice to be involved. The U.S. good relations with other parts of the school system as well as other agencies. Effective programs provide anger and impulse control training. 1986. Stiffman et al (1996). counseling. they also report that they found that several programs that are currently widely used in the U. Sherman et al (1998) in their review of effective crime prevention programs for the National Institute of Justice. guidance and ongoing support when the student returns to regular school. The Southwest Regional Educational Laboratory (1995) has identified similar characteristics of the effective alternate schools. a focus on the whole student. parent training. Manitoba and Ontario. She concluded that the program content and goals were too varied to form a conclusion about the effectiveness of alternative schools. Cornell (1999) suggests that such programs can be effective with young offenders. these programs reduced recidivism by 50% if they included counseling. Greenwood. a shared vision. Lipsey & Wilson (1997).Royer (1996) has described several successful examples of these classes and “schools of the second chance”. report that boot camps are not effective in changing the behaviours of young offenders. They include: lower staff-student ratio. However. Garrett (1985).S. Alternate schools were often a big part of these programs. Gottfredson (1998) examined the various types of alternative programs funded by the Justice Department of the U. were not effective. They cite several studies including Cowles et al (1995). suggest that institutional programs are not effective with young offenders. Cox (19965). innovative presentation of course content. Most of these sources indicate that alternate schools for troubled youth can be effective if they are adequately supported. Placement in an Alternate School Several reviews of alternate schools were located in this search. Cronin (1994). 1993). Zachoriah (1996) also reviewed boot camps and found them to be ineffective. caring relationships. comprehensive program. 1996. Lipsey & Wilson (1997) reviewed wilderness camps as part of their meta-analysis of young offender programs and found them to be ineffective. Fitzsimmons (1998). suggests that it is in the interest of the entire community when these troubled students are served well with appropriate programs. in a meta-analysis of these programs. strong leadership. high expectations of students. links to agency services. wilderness camps) All of the reviews and meta-analyses of boot camps and wilderness camps indicate that the temporary “shock treatment” approach is ineffective in correcting youth behaviours. after reviewing several programs.S. vocational training.S. training programs. They suggest this is cost effective. Lipsey and Wilson (1997) synthesized the results of 117 studies of juvenile offender programs where the young offender was treated outside of an institutional setting. The Center for Prevention of School violence (1999) has a similar list of eight “lessons”. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (1996) describes the characteristics of effective programs. were longer than 25 weeks. Mulvey et al. links to local workplaces and intensive counseling and monitoring. Behavioural Expectations (school discipline/student conduct policies) . safe environment. found that they can improved academic and social skills but had little impact on delinquency. small size. a sense of community. C. Gabor (1995) reported that Canadian police and educators did not view boot camps as effective. separation from traditional schooling. Greenwood (1986) and Mulvey et at (1993) found that residential programs that focused on academic and vocational outcomes were successful with young offenders. On average. in a meta-analysis of 83 studies of residential treatment and education of young offenders found that recidivism rates were reduced by 12% on average. district-wide support. effective academic and remedial instruction. Office of Special Education.
school-wide planning and programs are required. teachers and parents in a school are to be truly engaged. congruent with instructional programs. clearly understood. as well as other partners such as police. Lots of Advice on Content There is no shortage of advice on what ought to be included in school codes of conduct. what should be included and how they can be and are being implemented.) Thompson (1994) has recommended both content and process. sanctions and maintaining a positive school climate. (See list in that part of the project report. have a community (what this project calls a safe schools) approach. other agencies in regards to zero-tolerance. what scope should they have at the school level to decide what the rules should say? Does it make sense to have the all rules. (These have been used in another part of this project so they are not reproduced here. If students. police officers. Short (1994) argues for an approach that helps students to develop their mental and moral capacities. with students actively engaged in discussing their rights and responsibilities. just and consistent manner respect democratic principles involve all students hold high expectations preserve the dignity of all have specific. Thompson (1994) suggests that these discipline rules and codes of conduct need to address the issues that are relevant to the school as well as combine content (the rules) and process (whereby students. Good teaching. Gushee. Once again. Consequently. Sherman et al. We then review the roles of each of the partners in the process of discipline/codes of conduct. This perspective suggests that researchers ought to consider the respective roles of government. 1996. the school board and the school in formulating these rules. 1995. Gottfredson et al. include supplemental consideration for aggressive and special needs students and address the root causes of violence. actively enforced behavioural expectations. Day et al (1995) have stated that those policies need to be internally consistent. predictable consequences for violations . we have consolidated what we found on these items in this section. other agencies. General Advice on School Discipline/Codes of Conduct There is a consensus among those that have reviewed school discipline/codes of conduct (Day et al. teachers and school administrators. for students and staff can be effective in protecting the safety of all students as well as in correcting the behaviours of offending students. comprehensive in scope. Little research was identified in this search in regard to the effective participation of students. Larson (1998) suggests that these codes or discipline policies be “judicious” in their approach. 1998. school district staff. We also look for policies that have been adapted to meet the needs of students with behavioural disorders and students who are at high risk of offending.) Gabor (1995) has listed some principles that should underline the policy content. The Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice (1998) has produced a model set of rules that recognize the perspective of the school principal.This section discusses the use of school discipline policies. parents and teachers become engaged in the rules). community-based voluntary organizations. reporting on research on how they can be effective. sanctions. Gaustad (1992) has underlined the fact that good school rules are not enough. education ministries. strong administrative leadership and long-term. parents. or some rules. 1998. apply to all schools? Finally. school discipline/codes or promoting positive school climates. we are looking for immediate outputs in regards to a safer school for all students an din correcting or deterring the behaviour of offending students. We are also looking for the long-term outcomes of a safer community. 1984) that school policies that set reasonable. Day et al (1995) have listed 35 policy components. They also go on to list the criteria for effective policies: • • • • • • • • • • policies need to be seen as only one major step in policy prevention achievable goals clear rules and procedures foster positive school climate be implemented in a fair. justice ministries and other ministries. Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice. students. We begin the section with a general outlook at discipline rules/codes. school district administrators/trustees. We also discuss their respective roles in zero-tolerance. Education ministry documents in almost all jurisdictions contain recommended or obligatory content. student conduct rules or school codes of behaviour. teachers and administrators and parents.
OSS 1992. sanctions (s). include implementation activities such as class discussions. These over arching behaviours can include things such as: be safe. student government. 1981. B. Horner et al (2000) suggest that schools should identify. guidelines for intervention incidents.• • • rarely use punishment consequences are commensurate with the infraction rules are developmentally appropriate. developed in collaboration with the community. Saleh. B. school assemblies. school rules (sr). purpose. consequences are commensurate with offenses. positive school climate (psc) or safe schools (ss) approach) • Provide guidelines to all personnel • Provide funding and administrative support to schools • Train staff • Set up formal agreements with local agencies. guidelines for prevention programs. intervention Provide funding to local agencies to implement policies Monitor programs and impact Education Minister/Ministry • Consult and decide upon basic policy choices for all schools (i. negative consequence is accompanied by positive activity to teacher appropriate behaviour and zero-tolerance (automatic suspension) for weapons. This project has provided a beginning to an in-depth policy analysis. be kind. sanctions (s). reflect local values and the goals of the school. police . school rules (sr). They are too numerous to discuss here. to consider in developing school codes of conduct (Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation. teach and support a small set of expected behaviours rather than presenting students with a laundry list of unacceptable behaviours. inform all stakeholders. visitors to schools. fair rules. for schools and school districts. define. Principals Association. Their list includes: high expectations and support. procedures and reporting forms. Alberta Teachers’ Association. 1999). As well. but an interactive online resource that provides both policy development and implementation advice should be considered. Safe School Centre. A logic model needs to be developed that reflects the actual capacities of the four levels of authority in the school system. 1996. be responsible. A very rough model is presented here to illustrate the type of logic model required: Possible Roles for Education Authority on School Discipline/Codes of Conduct Policies Government • • • Establish interministry policy for prevention. Department of Education (1998). In Canada. the National School Boards Association (1995) has online samples and advice to offer. require or recommend zero-tolerance (zt). reinforce positive behaviour/highlight sanctions against aggressive behaviours. in cooperation with many of the education and justice organizations in that country. school board and school. nd. Perron. positive school climate (psc) or safe schools (ss) approach) • Approve funding to implement that policy choice • Monitor progress and impact School Board/District Administrator • Supplement or select basic policy choice (i. include statements on harassment and violence. are communicated clearly.e. Pritchard. Thompson (1994) has suggested a set of headings for such policies including: philosophy. 1990. government. 1990.S.e. They also suggest that school districts develop specific policies for students who consistently violate behavioural expectations. two online policy sample collections exist (Canadian Education Policy and Administration Network) and a larger collection being published as part of a document collection on safe and healthy schools (Canadian Association of Principals). broad-minded.C. Research on Roles and Policy Choices at Different Levels One issue that has not been adequately considered in the research is the respective roles of education authorities in the development and adoption of school discipline rules and codes of conduct. be respectful. 1995.C. references to legislation. both Canadian and elsewhere. 1994. Thom & Thom. have specific consequences. drugs or alcohol with support provided to suspended or expelled students. clear. There are numerous sources. terms. require or recommend zero-tolerance (zt). has also described the characteristics of effective policies. student participation in discipline teams. The U. education ministry.
They found that schools had these policies: • • • • • • • • school uniform policies (3%) closed campus/restrict visitors to school (80%) controlled access to buildings (53%) conducted drug searches (19%) random metal detection (4%) metal detectors at entrances (1%) police officers for more than 30 hours/week (6%) formal school violence prevention program (78%) The Education Testing Service (1999) analysis of 1988 school data found these results: • • • • • • visitor signs (97%) forbid some types of clothing (91%) hall passes to office.C. To date.C.8%) of these policies had sanctions/response approach. Here are the survey results: School Code/Rules Implementation The Auditor-General study also found that the education ministry and Attorney-General of B. The groupings of these responses were done in the analysis of responses to 35 policy items. etc. The Auditor-General of B. For example. loosely-coupled and bureaucratic” systems such as schools mean that it is virtually impossible for governments to simply establish policy without active consultation and ongoing support. parents. there has been little research into implementation issues in preventing school violence. selected or intensive/targeted” approaches to school discipline. These findings are consistent with the Education Testing Service (1999) analysis that urban public schools have different situations than suburban or private schools. One-third (30%) used a behavioural expectations approach. These policies were developed with input from students. 8. (83%) permission required to leave school during day (78%) bans on gangs (78%) school uniforms required (5%) . research evidence should be used to develop an adequate policy-making model. teachers Cooperate with police officer/other professionals Monitor progress and impact Research into the efficacy of a model like this should be done in the context of descriptive studies analyzing how school discipline policies can be best implemented. However. has reported on school discipline policies. studies on other topics (McCall et al. 1999) have shown that implementation and roles in “open. Consequently. followed or enforced.7% were using a comprehensive. Regular data collection and analysis of teacher referrals should guide this choice. They reported that a majority (48. Day et al (1995) conducted a survey of Canadian school board policies. The National Center on Education Statistics (1998) in the U. that survey found that these codes of conduct are not always understood.S. particularly by secondary students or staff. Little Research on Implementation Only two references were located in this search that described implementation approaches in Canada.3% used a prevention/intervention model and only 3. SR. had published suitable guides and documents and that 70% of school principals had reviewed these guides. (2000) found that all school districts and schools in that province have established appropriate codes of conduct. Sprague et al (1999) and Linquanto & Berliner (1994) have developed analyses and models that suggest that each school should make policy choices about “universal. staff and parents. counseling.• Monitor programs and impact Shool/School Principal • • • • Supplement or select basic policy choice (ZT. community approach. RSC or SS) Engage students. S.
What Support is Needed from Partners? For school discipline policies to be effective. 1996. Boder. These partners include students. 2000. specific policies need to be developed for disruptive students. emotional or other disorders has emerged as a concern in Canada and other countries (Steffanhagen. Sgro et al (2000. Altschuler & Armstrong. 7) include parent education and family therapy. replicated studies. other ministries. 10) be fair. 6) be developmentally appropriate. 1996. however. Noguera. Some documents describe actions that these partners should undertake. has passed a law stating that all schools receiving federal funds for students with disabilities are required to implemented PBS and FBA procedures. police.S. school-based administrators. the federal government in the U. However. There are several reviews and sources that were found in this search that suggested that there are two appropriate policies to respond to these needs: Positive Behaviour Support and Functional Behaviour Assessments (ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education. in a survey of school boards in Ontario. 1996. An example of this can be found in B. 1996. Clark. corrective and instructional strategies. nd. maintaining positive school climates or maintaining safe schools. Project SOAR. Council for Exceptional Children. This review. Wager. Other sources were found that elaborated on these options and their legal ramifications (Osborne. nd. Kupper (1999) in her review of programs for students with chronic behaviour problems had a similar analyses. Rutherford & Welson.Special Policies for Students With Behaviour Disorders The need to develop specific policies and procedures for students with behaviour. Sinclair et al.6% of students had been diagnosed as Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disordered. Project Student Assistance. not only in discipline but in implementing sanctions. 1999). In Canada. Miller & Sonner. but few researchers have evaluated their efficacy in specific terms. Thorban. 1995. nd. 1992. 1991). Shamsie & Hluchy. each partner in the process needs to be involved. Council for Exceptional Children. 1998. 4) ensure the sustainability of the programs. Department of Education. 3) address a constellation of related factors as well as the behaviours. some provinces have prepared or revised their guidelines for special education services. Policy should direct programs to 1) formally assess the student and follow through. efficient responses. 5) provide a coordination of proactive. 2) coordinate multiple interventions. 1996. Ministry of Education. 1997. not enough of this research has gone into critical examination of outcomes.C. Linker & Marion. 1996). This would be an urgent area of concern for most school systems. 1998. 1998). However. parents. 1995. nd. Shatz (1994). nd. Putnam County School Board. 1995. With respect to actively engaging students in discipline/crime prevention in schools. Winborn. nd).C. other agencies. school district administrators/trustees. 9) emphasize positive actions over punitive ones. Netolicky. high intensity support for high intensity behaviour problems and a “culture of competence” where schools are required to invest time in every student. 1996). 8) intervene in early childhood whenever possible. 1994. (B. They suggest that these policies and procedures include rapid. 1996) • • • • follow the school rules (and participate in the function of those rules) avoid harm at school (Be Safe) report incidents or concerns promote peace or prevent violence/bullying in voluntary school activities . Gregg. Stevens et al. 2000. Houck. 1995. researchers have yet to sort out the policy options for disruptive students and to test them in large scale. Special Policies for Students At High Risk of Offending Horner et al (2000) have suggested that alternative. consistent and free of racial bias. very little research evidence is available. 1993. Recently. has also elaborated on the policies and programs that should be established.S. 1999. Several case studies for students with chronic behaviour problems were identified in this search (Juvenile Justice Alternative Education Program. teachers. Wielkiewicz. The following roles could be ascribed to students (U. education ministry. found that 4. in a comprehensive report to the Saskatchewan School Trustees Association. 1997. Engaging Students There is a growing body of knowledge in Canada and elsewhere on how to engage youth in public policy (Shannon & McCall. Maloney. Canadian Mental Health Association. found very little evidence to describe the most appropriate roles for these partners and the most effective ways to engage these partners. Scott (2000) suggests that FBA procedures for these students require extensive training and support and should be exercised with caution.
National Crime Prevention Council. However. where students are able to report incidents anonymously. 1998. (2000) and MacDonald (1998) have noted that encouraging students to report incidents and concerns at school is difficult. where students are involved in school discipline teams. No meta-analysis or reviews of these school activity type programs was located. in noticing the difference between classroom and non-classroom enforcement of discipline by teachers. School activities were located in this search (Kelder et al. As well. that same BC report noted that the school rules were enforced “mostly” by only 41% of “other staff”.C. may be one answer (to be added) The Auditor-General of B. Twenty per cent (20%) said they used the single strategy of staying in a group.S. 1996). Department of Education.C. Gomes et al (2000). Little evidence was found on how students can be involved effectively in the development of school policies. School Watch programs. No research was located in this search on whether it is effective to tell or teach students to use these strategies. saw misconduct as typical and perceived a lack of support from administrators and teachers. Teen courts. One-half of grade 6-12 students indicated they do not use any of these strategies. (Please note peer mediation programs were considered to be outside the scope of this inquiry. Case studies describing successful student driven programs such as Peacebuilders. indicates that both elementary and secondary teachers understood the school rules and followed them.C. 1996. has described student strategies to avoid harm at school. 15. in a self-report survey of Alberta youth. Students were asked if they: • • • • • took a special route to school avoided certain places in the school building stayed away from school events stayed in a group while at school skipped school because someone might harm them. we can presume that there is an abundance of good research on this topic covered under the rubric of effective schooling.6% reported that they had brought a weapon to school in the past year. No data was located in this search about effective ways to engage teachers (and other school staff) in the development and adoption of school discipline or conduct policies.• • • • support peers in resolving conflict (peer mediation) support peers in preventing other risks (peer helper programs) learn about and how to live peacefully participate in community safety activities and community service outside of the school. Macdonald & Martin. found that teachers did not actively enforce rules because they were too busy. 1996): • • • participating in the development and adoption of school discipline policies actively supporting and enforcing school rules outside of their classrooms promoting a positive school climate. in focus group discussions with youth. Only a few Canadian references were found that described how students felt about following the school rules (Auditor-General of B. 2000. little evidence was located in this search on how students can be involved effectively in the implementation of discipline policies. reported that 56% said they had engaged in at least one delinquent behaviour in the past year. nd). This section focuses on these non-classroom roles (U. However. Wiist et al. 25% reported they used a combination of these strategies. 1995) The National Center on Education Statistics (1995) in the U.) Support from Teachers Outside the Classrooms The role of the teacher in managing the discipline in their classroom and teaching effectively is discussed later in this review. including teachers. . The first three roles are within the scope of this review. They fear reprisals or non-action by school staff. Gabor (1995). reported that they perceived the application of the rules to be disorganized.S. may encourage students to report incidents. did not know the students. The Auditor-General (2000) study in B. O’Brien (1998). (Day et al.
voluntary or paid lunchroom or playground supervisors and even designated security staff all have a role to play in school discipline as well as sanctions and prevention. However. as well as. The only descriptive study we located (Auditor-General. (2000) found that playground and lunchroom supervisors were often untrained or were volunteers. 2000) reported that 95% of elementary school administrators and 99% of secondary school principals “mostly” or “often” enforced school codes of conduct. in and out of school. bus drivers. grades. MacDonald (1999) has shown how the perceptions of school administrators will lead them in different directions in responding to violence and enforcing school rules. Department of Education. In brief.Although many collective agreements stipulate that teachers are not required to supervise lunchrooms or playgrounds. curfews. Very few references were located in this search on the role and efficacy of using this personnel. the guidance counselor can act as a consultant (to teachers. Schwartz (1997) had practical suggestions for secretaries. The school psychologist plays an important role in the trauma and aftermath of a crisis or violent confrontation (Young et al. However. teachers went off a tangent about teachers not being willing to report on each other because of codes of ethics.) Do teachers actively enforce school rules when they interact with students outside of the classroom? That is the important question. extracurricular activities. establishing mutually agreed upon rules about homework. The Role of Guidance Counselors. 1996). 1994).S. 1996) • setting standards of behaviour. chaperoned parties and places that are off limits • teaching and demonstrating standards of right and wrong • discussing the school’s discipline policies with their child • encouraging their child to talk about school. it is likely that this information is buried in the professional literature describing the appropriate practices of these types of school personnel. This does not seem to be on point. (The Auditor-General (2000) study of B. limits and clear expectations for their children. meeting teachers and attending school functions • building a network of other adults to refer to in the event of discipline problems • volunteering in school activities when possible • monitoring the TV and video games that their children use . this review did not locate any descriptive studies showing how school principals actually enforce school discipline or which techniques are more effective in training or motivating school principals to do so. How they conceptualize violence and discipline will influence their decision-making. they suggest: • • • • • • maintaining a visible profile visiting classrooms often expressing positive feelings to students developing a good relationship with key student leaders (formal and informal leaders) developing a crisis management plan linking suspensions with rehabilitation. The Auditor-General of B. applying sanctions and promoting a positive school climate. These roles can include: (U. School Administrators Kadel & Foliman (1993) and Hill & Hill (1994) have described the critical role of the school principal in maintaining school discipline. Parents/Guardians/Caregivers The role of parents in supporting school discipline has been relatively well described in the literature. The social worker has an important role in locating the necessary support services for offending or atrisk students (TBA). secretaries. it seems reasonable that they be expected to enforce school rules as they walk through hallways.C. Other School Personnel The school custodial staff.C. students and parents) on school discipline issues (Bernshaff et al. bus drivers and custodial staff. Social Workers and School Psychologists The roles of these three professional positions were not well described in the searches conducted for this review. after school activities and their trips to school • being involved in their child’s homework. With regard to discipline.
Clancy (1992) and Rich (1985) have reflected upon parental perspectives about discipline. Kersey (nd) describe effective and ineffective strategies. Friesen-Ford (1995) surveyed parents in Saskatchewan about their opinions on student discipline. This report suggested that this strategy was not effective in fostering parental involvement in their children’s lives and tends to target poor families disproportionately. including police promoting a climate of peace in the community.• • encouraging their children to participate in safe. Salomon (1998). Parents in that study emphasized the need for a positive experience in initial sessions and for communications between sessions. This report will include an analysis of programs like Families and Schools Together (FAST). Moorish & Boyer (2000) suggest 12 keys to positive discipline for parents and teachers. Barth (1979) and Atkeson & Forehad (1979) report that programs to involve parents in reinforcing behavioural messages can reduce the number of problems. In Progress) will report on best practices in youth drug abuse prevention. Worrel (1997) provides a number of blunt suggestions to parents from an educator’s perspective. . School District Administrators/Trustees There has been some research on the policies that school boards should adopt in regard to school discipline and school violence. reported that parents of children with and without behaviour problems reported equal levels of support that they provided to their children. concluded and feedback provided to parents. students and the school staff • agreeing with the principal on how police investigations will be conducted in the school. including parents of at-risk youth. 1996). Flaherty (1999) has discussed how to recruit and retain at-risk parents in violence prevention training programs. A Health Canada project (Roberts et al. teachers and parents in violence prevention ensuring that serious incidents are promptly investigated. (2000) found that 91% of elementary school parents “mostly” or “often” supported school policies. McCarthy (1995) has described how messages from home and school can become mixed. in social development and health promotion (Negeow. However. No items were located in this search that examined the effectiveness of these activities in supporting school discipline policies or peaceful school climates. The John Howard Society (1997) reviewed the impact of parental liability laws. However. The Auditor-General of B. However. There is considerable research on how to involve parents. A considerable number of sources were identified in this search that have suggested positive and practical ways that parents can support school rules and instill discipline in their children. However. Shannon & McCall. that research is just beginning to be applied to violence prevention. healthy after school activities working with school parent groups to plan and implement safe school activities.C. There is also considerable evidence on how to involve parents in schools. Police Officers/Police Departments Police officers can be supportive of individual school discipline policies by: • • • assisting in truancy programs working with students. only 66% of secondary school parents did so. in a small exploratory study. there has been little analytical research on roles such as: • • • • actively supporting school personnel in implementing policies training school-based administrators and teachers negotiating and implementing agreements with other agencies. through schools. Freedman (1999) and the American Psychological Association (nd) give parents a number of strategies to avoid violence and deal with teasing. Reese et al (2000) describe the risk and protective factors that families can provide to their children. that make small financial claims on parents for the offenses of their children. 1999. the parents of non-violent children believed more strongly that they had to assist their children in times of trouble. There is likely to be legal advice to school district partners on liability and the student/parent appeals process. However. to involve parents in these ways. we need to be informed about parent views and perceptions about discipline.
A historical review of SRO development in the U. qualifications. a Quebec based coalition. A website for school resource officers (nd) has an archive of discussions that are helpful and practical. mostly American. Bartlett (1994) has described a similar model protocol statement to guide joint investigations. few evaluations of these programs were available and the report did not provide a critical framework. has published a lengthy guide. This search did not locate significant numbers of evaluative research studies on these roles. with both recommended principles and procedures. The Junior Police Academy and DARE. A case study from Houston. That review provides a clear definition of the SRO role from U. Silva. Ryan and Mathews (1995) presented an extensive list of school-based police programs offered by police departments. 1994. A case study of school resource offices located in this search (Scheffer. In Progress). Most student contact with police was through a police presentation at school (Gomes et al. Ringwalt et al. The Center for the Prevention of School Violence (nd) has published a report prepared for the U. healthy recreational and other activities for at-risk youth developing and implementing comprehensive community policy programs establishing an agreement with the school board on how investigations will be conducted and how information will be shared. Texas. student absenteeism was reduced. Case studies. showing that this program does not result in changed behaviours (Roberts et al. However. understanding the SRO assignment does not mean the school is unsafe the nature of SRO programs.S. Johns & Keenan (1997) suggest that schools and police clearly define when and how the police are to be notified. Most of the items either described unevaluated programs or outlined potential strategies. Little mention is made of the role that schools play in such community policing programs in this NCPC overview. They report on a North Carolina survey of school principals where 88% rated the SRO program as being effective. the Table provinciale de concertation sur la violence. Based on surveys. 1994) have been positive in their descriptions of the reach and the popularity of the program. The National Crime Prevention Council (nd) has described the importance of community policing. the Center attributes three key roles to SROs.Police departments can assist school districts and schools by: • • • • • offering school resource officers to all schools sponsoring or encouraging alternative diversion programs for offending youth sponsoring or encouraging positive. A US Department of Education (1999) guide recommends the use of School Resource Officers. law-related counseling/not counseling the officer. training. Gomes et al (2000) report that 53% of Alberta students in their survey had a school resource officer or an officer who regularly visited their school. are cited in that report showing that community policing policies and programs can reduce crime rates. counsel students and conduct investigations. . liability. (Houston Police. as well as a description of how they are deployed. les jeunes et le milieu scolaire (1999). knowing the difference between the law and school rules. overcoming turf wars. Schwartz (1997) notes that the law enforcement role of the SRO will dominate in violence-prone schools. This would accord with Ryan and Mathews (1995) assessment that three-quarters of police departments in Canada offered school-based police programs of some description. 1997) noted that when police officers assisted schools in truancy programs. Department of Justice on what is know about school resource officers. as well as the roles that school resource officers can play. training and evaluation of officers. There have been some evaluations of police-sponsored educational programs in schools. The Center identifies five key issues for future investigation: • • • • • communications. Most of the evaluations of the DARE program have been negative. federal departments. maintaining effective communications expectations.S. These include Magruff. A limited number of evaluative and descriptive studies were located. 1987) reported that SROs teach about safety and justice issues.S. Key issues identified were: student-officer relationships. is provided. funding. They note how those three roles will vary in response to the conditions in the school. Wagar (1999) has described school-based police programs in a general way. selection. law-related education and law counselor/advisor. law enforcement. officer selection procedures. 2000). current deployment relationships. However. many earlier reports (Carter. Hughes (1997) reports on a California investigation into the training provided to school resource officers. Similarly. 1995. guidelines for counseling troubled students.
Other Agencies/Other Professionals The search undertaken for this project did not locate resources on the roles that other publicly funded agencies should undertake in cooperation with schools to prevent violence. ON (Berry. One published case study (Well Community Council. 1997) was located. These include: • • • early childhood programs that promote good social development child welfare agencies that place youth in foster homes. field trips. Further research is needed on the relationship and cooperative programs that community and business groups can undertake in cooperation with schools. Business groups and local employers can: • • • • • adopt and support a school adopt policies that encourage parents to visit schools often cooperate in cooperative education activities such as job schooling. community-school alternative programs for young offenders or youth who are at greater risk. This search did not locate many descriptive or evaluative research studies on the role of community groups. group homes employment agencies and job training programs that should work closely with alternatives to schools and local employers to crate real opportunities for at-risk youth • justice/law enforcement/diversion programs that need to coordinate closely with school officials in rehabilitating and reintegrating young offenders • public health professionals and agencies that need to include violence prevention in their school-related and children/youth policies and programs. The Education Ministry A policy has already been tentatively described for the education ministry earlier in this paper. business groups/local employers or community-based youth justice coalitions. and internships promote awareness of career training opportunities sponsor fundraising events. No descriptive or evaluative sources were identified in this search on any of these roles that need to be played by such publicly funded agencies. policies and practices. Other program roles that should be described are: . if no one else. and school-based violence prevention. School personnel. Unpublished materials were also obtained from the Alternatives for Youth Coalition in Muskoka. Community-Based Voluntary Organizations The U. These coalitions can: • • • coordinate youth justice and crime prevention initiatives facilitate the coordination of services and programs on a voluntary basis seek funding for and then deliver comprehensive. job-seeking projects and community projects assist in creating safe routes for children traveling to schools organize alternative education/diversion programs for youth. Research is urgently required to evaluate the efficacy of such programs. 2000).S. Department of Education (1996) has described the roles that community and business groups can play in school discipline. A significant example of these two groups coming together can be found in the creation of community-based youth justice coalitions. need to articulate their needs to these agencies. Community groups can: • • • • participate on school or school district or safe school committees or plans sponsor extracurricular and cultural activities.
schools This project found no published materials on these or other roles that education ministries can play in promoting safe schools. The BC Safe School Centre was playing a facilitating and communications role reasonably well but need to upgrade its electronic capability. However. Other Ministries The roles of Justice. There is a shocking absence of descriptive or evaluative research on the role of students. teacher. ON. AB. Other work in this area has identified the fact that safe school coordinators positions had been created in several jurisdictions in Canada (NF. suburban. Once again. parent and administrator attitudes/beliefs and practices in regards to school discipline/codes of conduct. etc. prevention only type response.C. • Research is urgently needed on the roles that all partners can play in school discipline and violence prevention. BC. assuring the way in which provincial/territorial policies are implemented at the school district and school levels.) This section first addresses the notion of a positive school climate approach. other agencies and ministries. peace building and anti-bullying/anti-violence. several specific strategies for . In general. NT). while others may require intensive protection and intervention. with the exception of the Auditor-General’s (2000) report in B. others had not). • Research into different contexts and different types of schools (urban.• • • • development and publication of appropriate guidelines and resource documents to assist school districts and funding and dissemination of innovation and demonstration projects networking and sharing of information with school districts on safe school topics active collaboration and communication with other ministries. the police and law enforcement ministries. • Research is needed on the current student. one could reasonably expect such ministries to: • • establish policy to facilitate how local agencies work with schools on violence prevention train. Law Enforcement. The Minister of Justice/Attorney-General are likely to play a more active role than others. NB. preventive program strategies are briefly discussed. rural. assessing the impact of this approach based on research identified in this search. D. support and guide agencies in working with schools. the role of senior school district administrators/trustees. no descriptive studies of the role that might be played effectively by that personnel were located in our search. They form part of a broader safe school approach. • Research on implementation and the barriers to implementation needs to be done. improving school capacity. Then four types of comprehensive.) needs to be done to validate emerging hypotheses that differentiation of policy/program resources should be done. (Please note again that instructional and formal social support strategies such as peer mediation are not included in this review. They should likely play these roles: • • • • • ensuring that police-school protocols are in place training police staff in the implementation of these protocols co-funding joint materials and resources co-funding joint inservice training for police and educators funding community-based and youth organizations to work with schools. Social Services and Health Ministries in regards to working with schools has been largely ignored in any published works on school violence. NS. education ministries. Findings • More research is needed on the impact of lighter sanctions such as detentions or transfer to another regular school or class. Maintaining A Positive School Climate This final section of this review examines behavioural/discipline/security strategies to maintain a positive school climate. Third. parents. this search found no descriptive or evaluative studies on the roles that these ministries should be playing. Some schools may need universal. That report noted that several appropriate guides had been published (some had been used extensively by schools. effective school-wide behaviour support.
Zak. Gottfredson (1998) in a rigorous review of effective PSC programs for the National Institute of Justice. Aleem & Moles (1993) have emphasized that schools should emphasize academics. Office of Special Education. 1993. Suarez. security precautions. A recent study (McCall et al. To improve the climate and consequently the safety of the school. positive learning environment is an effective way to protect the safety for all students.S. The Auditor-General of B. Peplar et al (1993).C. 1999. Janosz. 1985. Gottfredson et al (1993) have emphasized that schools need a sense of order. Ducklow (1998) has described a prime example of the schoolwide Effective Behaviour Support (EBS) system. Safe School Centre. with his work on bullying in Norway.prevention (improving classroom management. Johns and Keenan (1997) list other components. 1997). 1996. 2000). The U. 1994. Battisch (1997) and Brian-Meisdelt & Selman. Oleweus (1991). (Canadian Association for School Health. school uniforms.S. 1998) and elsewhere (Howard et al. nd. firm/fair/consistent standards and an ethic of caring. sexual harassment guidelines. a program being used in many Canadian schools. Comprehensive anti-bullying and anti-violence programs have also been demonstrated to be effective. Fitzsimmons (1998) and Korinek (nd) have described the components and the impact of schoolwide discipline systems. Hindle & Sedo. working with police. This schoolwide and positive approach ensures that school rules are seen and understood by students in a positive light. Department of Education (1996) has defined the characteristics of a safe school. 1992). Walker et al (1990) argue that the school can play a central role in delivering these interventions. Staffs in those schools reported significant reductions in the numbers of incidents. Positive school climate strategies are an essential element of this approach. guidelines for legal searches. 1997) have all found this approach to be effective. 1994. Canadian Education Association. crisis management and multi-systemic treatment) are reviewed briefly. following conflict resolution principles.C. These elements reflect closely the findings of the research review (Cotton. Zeigler & Peplar (1993) and Cornell (1999) have reviewed the research on these programs and found them to be effective. was the pioneer in these programs. Jones. Longitudinal evaluations of examples of this approach have demonstrated their impact (Gottfredson 1986. 1998). crisis intervention for traumatic events and school security procedures. 1991) and case descriptions have been published (Baril. 1999. gang prevention. This effectiveness of the approach has been well documented in the research literature and a consensus on that approach has been established in Canada. anti-bullying/violence and peace building. The idea of promoting a positive school climate to promote positive behaviour has been discussed in education for several decades in Canada (Watson. school-based approach to promoting student well-being and health. a number of coordinated interventions are required. Dray 1994. overall school improvement. nd. 1987. as have other documents (B. School improvement or "invitational education" approaches to reducing school violence have been discussed in Canada (Conrod. A number of sources were identified in this search and have described the necessary components of these coordinated approaches to positive school climate. Positive School Climates Work Day et al (1995) have cited the work of Weissberg and Elias (1993) to argue the case for a comprehensive. 1998). There appears to be four similar ways in which these comprehensive approaches to improving school climate can be implemented in schools. There is clear evidence in the research that this comprehensive approach to promoting positive school climate is effective in reducing antisocial behaviours.3% of school board policies surveyed. (2000) reported that a comprehensive program (Effective Behaviour Support) has been implemented on a widespread basis in that province. The application of school climate improvement strategies to violence prevention has also been well discussed. combating truancy. procedures to deal with perpetrators. early identification and truancy prevention) and intervention (individualized programs. Cole (1999) has provided a framework to describe the . Sackney. 1999) reported that almost all education ministries and one-third of school districts explicitly support this approach. 1990). Schwartz (1997) has suggested that schools need a safety committee and coordinator. dress codes. 1990) on effective schoolwide discipline practices. 1996. Royal & Rossi. Brophy. 1996) has demonstrated the correlation to anti-social behaviours. Goldstein. deciding when police will be notified. 1999. 1998. Campbell. The New Brunswick (1999) Positive Learning Environment policy is an example of this approach. including a formal evaluation of the safety of the school. This EBS approach also ensures that staff are actively committed to and monitoring their school environment (Fitzsimmons. She also describes the necessary elements of the school’s capacity to do so. reports that building the school’s capacity to offer an ordered. Day et al (1995) reported that this "prevention/intervention" approach was stipulated in 18. Similar reviews of the research (U. Schwartz (1996) and Howard et al (1999) have reviewed the research and found school improvement strategies to be effective in reducing school violence. Positive Behaviour Support. ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education. A Website document (schoolwide PBIS) explains the components of this approach. 1989. Stiffman et al (1996) formed similar conclusions in their review. Schoolwide Behavioral Management Systems.
Practical advice to teachers is available from several sources identified for this review. This project has identified several examples of school uniform/dress code policies in Canada. 2000). as including cooperation. 1) no dress code. Bennett (1999) emphasizes the importance of this "everyday stuff" in the classroom where effective teachers. Other evaluations of similar "peaceful school" programs have been conducted by Haynes (1996). In Canada. The Muttart Foundation is coordinating a three year formative evaluation of the initiative. communication. school uniforms and dress codes appear to be making a comeback. That programs philosophy has been well articulated in foundation documents for that initiative. Isaacson (1998) has reviewed the arguments for and against this prevention strategy. 1996) and an assessment of bullying prevention programs in Scotland (Mellor. All showed positive impacts on student behaviour. Improving Classroom Management Several Canadian sources were located in this search that highlight the view that good school discipline begins in the classroom (Kruk. That National Crime Prevention Centre (nd) has described the important role of the school in responding to bullying. The "peaceful schools" model is another example of a comprehensive. Successful case studies of anti-bullying and antiviolence programs were also found in this search. good dialogue with students and well planned group work for students can be very effective. Gross-Davis et al (nd). Evertson et al (1994). Orpinas et al (2000). tolerance.g. The rigorous evaluation of case studies done by Gottfredson (1998) found that changes in teacher effectiveness resulted in greater attachment to the school. 1996) program. the Resolving conflict Creatively Program (Lantier et al. But the research evidence is mixed (White. 2000). mediation. a program evaluated by the Toronto Board of Education (Brown. PEI and Saskatchewan.S. . 2000) and Alberta (Suidal. Paliokas & Rist (1993) suggest they have no impact. Maintaining Order. Requirements for school uniforms are being established in Ontario (Canadian Press. Prevention-Oriented Supports to Positive School Climate Research in the following areas indicate that schools can support a peaceful school climate strategy through the use of several behavioural/discipline/security activities. understanding peacemaking. Six skill areas are also need to achieve a peaceful school. Department of Education. Day et al (1995) and Embry et al (1996). Bodine et al (1995) has reviewed the "peaceful schools". 1999). positive emotional expression and conflict resolution.S. 1980) showed that all children can become more supportive and respectful of each other.com (nd). nd). U. Lam et al. The U.S. McLean. including building a peaceful school climate. 1996) is often used to support the use of school uniforms. Canadian Education Association. 2000). 5) a mandatory school uniform policy. disciplinehelp. 4) a voluntary school uniform. ERIC Clearinghouse on Handicapped and Gifted Children (1990). She suggests three issues need clarification: Are these dress codes legal? Do they actually restore order? Are less restrictive dress codes (e. Despite the mixed evidence. Proteacher. 1996. including the London Family Court Clinic (Suderman et al. White (2000) reports on an American parent survey that reports that 18% of parents say their children are in school uniforms and that 56% of those parents support these policies. School Uniforms/Dress Code The research on the effectiveness of requiring school uniforms or dress codes is mixed. elementary schools have uniforms policies and an additional 15% are considering them. A very similar approach is being promoted in Alberta under the banner of "safe and caring schools". the League of Peaceful Schools (1998) is active in Nova Scotia. 1996. 1984. schoolwide approach to maintaining positive school climates. Gluckman (1996) suggests that dress codes can reduce gang activity in the school. Bickmore. Ontario is also introducing a requirement that student sing the national anthem (Canadian Press. 1999. A five year case study on the effect of improved classroom management (Solomon et al. including King (nd). Emmer et al (1994). preventing gang colors) more effective? Anecdotal evidence (Potner. (Mather. based on Kreidler‘s definition. Seven longitudinal studies were reviewed in this meta-analysis. The Education Testing Service (1999) quotes a NAESP survey of schools that reported that 11% of U. 1995). Department of Education (1999) has published an manual on how to use school uniforms. 2) dress code with general goals. negotiating and group problem solving. 3) itemized dress code throughout the school district. She also outlines five policy choices. 1996. Coben et al (1994) suggest that they do. 1998. understanding climate. 2000).com (nd).comprehensive nature of these anti-violence programs.
by itself. These guidelines form a beginning for this brief overview of interventions that schools can use to intervene so that troubled youth are well supported and positive school climate can be maintained. Early Identification of Potential Offenders The research evidence about effective and appropriate ways to identify students who may be at risk of offending is not limited to the U. in each case. 1991) use of on-site probation officers (Schwartz.S. 1988) identification of "danger zones" (Kneedler. However. Whitehouse et al. Centers for Disease Control. 1991. Fey et al (2000) and Lafee (2000) suggest caution against the use of police profiling techniques. 1993. designating a school safety coordinator (Trump.S. in preventing violence in schools. Baskin & Thomas. self-locking doors and other specialized equipment (Gilbert 1996. alarm systems. The U. this search did not locate sufficient evidence to evaluate the impact of such strategies. 1996). 1990. 1995) use of metal detectors (random or full-time) Harrington-Luecker. there were no definitive findings of research evidence that any particular precaution was effective. nd) school property cleanups and beautification activities. These principles are: • • • shared responsibility information to parents and listen to them maintain confidentiality and privacy . This search did not find any evidence to support either side of that debate. Positive School Climate Interventions The U. 1999. Blauvelt. U. Some argue that the introduction of these precautions into a school counteracts other efforts to create a positive school climate. nd) use of security cameras. These include: • • • • • • • • • • • • • conducting a formal school safety audit (U. professional and normal assessment done by caring teachers can be adequate to identify at risk students and refer them to intervention or support services. 1992. Carter & Stewin 91999). panic buttons. in an analysis of school violence in the Canadian context. Oleweus. 1997) closed campus/restrictions on visitors (Symons.Security Precautions A number of behavioural and security precautions can be taken to support a positive school climate and an ordered. 1993. Department of Education. 1986) searches of lockers and desks (Gaustad. 1997. Murdock & Gartu. program characteristics and principles for effective programs in truancy prevention. Others argue that some of these measures can support the safety of students (Hernandez. Junke et al (1999). U. Addiction Research Foundation. There were a number of sources identified for each of these items (noted above). Department of Education. California Department of Education.S. National Association of Secondary School Principals. Department of Education. Lumsden (2000) and Walker et al (1998) suggest that informal. 1999. However. Troup. 1999).S. 1996. Konshem. recognition of good attendance and parenting classes. two-way communications devices. 1999.S. 1992. Gullatt & Lemoine (1997) have reviewed evaluations of truancy prevention programs and conclude that such programs can be effective at reducing student absenteeism. Department of Education. Truancy Prevention John & Keenan (1997) suggest that truancy prevention should be part of a comprehensive approach to school violence. Kosar & Ahmed. 1996. Haworth-Roberts. nd) increased adult supervision of hallways and playground (U. 2000. have used a formal diagnostic tool to identify psychopathology among junior high male students. 1993) hiring of in-school security staff/training of adult volunteers/use of police officers (Schwartz. 1999) implementing school watch programs (Day et al.S.S. Such programs should be implemented through community coordination. Department of Education (1999) has defined a number of principles that should guide the efforts to intervene with students who are misbehaving at school. Department of Education. 1993. Security Lighting. That chapter provides examples.S. school discipline. Department of Education (1996) included a chapter on truancy prevention in its manual on safe and drug free schools. enforcement. 1991. 1989) adjusting students schedules to minimize hallway time (U.
Department of Education (1999) has detailed the things needed for such crisis response systems. Crisis Intervention (Aftermath (Postvention) The school needs to have immediate access to crisis response procedures and support teams in the event of a traumatic incident (Collison et al. (2000). The Canadian School Boards’ Association (1996) has published a guide on this issue and is implementing a national project that should provide substantive information. Coordinated Case Management The aspect of coordinated case management considered in this review is to the extent to which school staff are involved in the decision-making and communications about troubled youth. found that individualized reintegration programs that taught and counseled youth in anger management were effective in facilitating re-entry into school. Garrett (1985) found.S. As well. The Auditor-General of B. Similarly. in their review of what works in crime prevention. Schwartz (1997) suggests that these individualized plans should always aim to return the student to regular classes. They also report that intensive coaching of high risk youth is effective as the intervention. peaceful/caring schools and school improvement programs to ensure they are widely implemented. Ministry of Education (1999). Better information sharing is required between case workers and school staff. A Canadian example of such crisis response procedures can be found in B. found that case management is generally poor in that province. both evaluative and descriptive. More research is needed on the prudence of schoolwide behaviour support. students and families support students in being normal simplify procedures used for staff to request assistance for children make interventions as available and convenient as possible use multiple.C. that academically-oriented programs for at-risk youth were successful because they reestablished real opportunity for youth. in a meta-analysis. Safe School policies. 1987). These principles have applications to all of the following specific interventions. Research is required on the effectiveness of security precautions in schools and whether their introduction changes the perceived nature of the school climate for students. parents and teachers. Individualized Education/Behaviour Plans Sherman et al (1998). This partnership urgently needs to be examined in demonstration projects and meta-analysis. Descriptive studies should be done to determine the current state of school and classroom social climate in Canadian schools. . Findings • • • • More research is required on how schools can work effectively with social services. alternative and reintegration plans.• • • • • • • • develop the capacity of staff. Sherman et al (1998) found that individual and peer group counseling were ineffective in correcting the behaviours of troubled youth. in its review of B. 1988.C. O’Neill. needs to be done or gathered in how the agencies responsible for intervention services can work more effectively with schools. and juvenile court personnel in regards to the role of the school in diversion. There were no entries found in this search that evaluated or describe how coordination should occur or is occurring with juvenile court personnel. anti-bullying/anti-violence. That study found that 79% of teachers who sought information from case workers had difficulty in obtaining it. 1992). Peer group counseling may end up being counterproductive. More research. coordinated interventions analyze the contexts of school. The U. particularly for children who have been assigned resource workers from the Ministry for Children and Families. home and peer group for problems build on and coordinate internal school resources intervene early. aftermath or "postvention" services need to be available for victims and bystanders to reduce the lingering effects of such incidents (Braeden & Braeden. Stiffman et al (1996) found that vocational programs were successful.C.
The diagram below shows the different choices that can be made by education authorities. Further. Methods Policy documents were requested or retrieved from the websites of all 13 education ministries in Canada. Ministry policy documents were scrutinized to determine only general policy choices. (1995). automatic suspension or expulsion for serious offenses) from a “response/sanctions” approach. A more detailed analysis would be enlightening but was beyond the scope of the present inquiry. In comparing this analysis to that of Day et al. In a manner similar to Day et al (1995) as well as that of Gottredson (1998) and Coben et al (1994). The zero tolerance approach is relatively new and somewhat confused in its understanding across Canada. when linked with a repeat of the work done by Day et al (1995) and with a national survey of current existing school codes of conduct/approaches to school violence. Education ministries are taking divergent paths in determining the basic approach that schools should be using in response to perceived increasing levels of school violence. this national study should test the perceived appropriateness of those province or district wide choices among different types of schools.Analysis of Provincial/Territorial Guidelines Purpose: The following preliminary analysis was done to determine the policy context for schools and school districts across Canada. a categorization system was established to illuminate the policy choices being made by the jurisdictions. This analysis. we have looked for policy supplements on Students with Behaviour Disorders and Policies for Disruptive Students (Nondisabled) Limits: This study is a preliminary contents analysis only. we decided to separate “zero tolerance” policies (i. Consequently we have defined it carefully and looked for it in the policy documents.e. Further. we delineated four other types of approaches: 1) “behavioural expectations” (school discipline/student codes) 2) “positive school climate” approaches (combining prevention and intervention strategies 3) “safe school” approaches. should help policy makers determine if their decisions are having the desired impact. 4) safe community approaches Day et al used three categories: 1) expectations for behaviour 2) identification/prevention (note intervention is not mentioned) 3) community We also noted that policy documents were being produced on two separate issues since the Day et al study. Key Findings: • • A study should be undertaken across Canada of the three levels of the school system to determine if the policy choices being made at a provincial/territorial level or at a school board level have influenced the type of policies and practices being adopted by schools. . this study sought to determine if those policy choices were “required” or “recommended “ by the guidelines or directives. Consequently. As well. There is emerging research that suggests that no one policy choice is best for all schools.
Guidelines and Resource Guide on Discipline. safe school.(Based on Ministry School Reform Plans) Yukon .Documents Analyzed: Newfoundland and Labrador Programming for Individual Needs: Policy. School Violence and Safe Schools Teams (1996) Balancing Students Rights and Responsibilities for Primary Grades (In Progress) Prince Edward Island Awaiting response to request Nova Scotia Discipline Handbook for Nova Scotia Schools (1993) and Discipline Policy in Nova Scotia Schools (1993) (Currently being revised) New Brunswick Positive Learning Environment Policy (1999) Quebec Superior Council (Advisory to Minister) report Ministry Advisory Document on Behaviour problems Ontario Ontario Schools Code of Conduct School Uniform Announcement Manitoba Special Education Guidelines Saskatchewan Overview of Caring. Respectful Schools Initiative Alberta Safe and Caring Schools Initiative Description/Binder (Alberta School Act amended in 1999 to require school boards to ensure caring.) British Columbia BC Safe Schools Planning Guide Focus on Suspension: A Resource for Schools Keeping Schools Safe: An Administrators Guide to Safe Schools Teaching Students with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Nunavut Reference to School Code being developed under new Education Act Northwest Territories Junior High School Handbook -Inclusive Schooling.
suspensions and other topics related to school safety is intended to lay the groundwork for an interactive discussion of school policy issues.Education Act Students and Parents (Currently under review) Policy Choices on School Safety: Required or Recommended Directives to Schools Behaviour Positive School Safe Schools Community Policy Policy Expectations Climate Approach Approach Supplement for Supplement (School Approach (Partnership Behaviour for Discipline or between Disorders Disruptive (Community Code community and Students is lead Approach) school) agent) Recommended Required Required Required Required Published in Published in Published in Published in cooperation cooperation cooperation cooperation with local with local with local with local school boards school boards school boards school boards Required Required Required Recommended Recommended Required Required Required Recommended Recommended Guide by CSE by CSE published Required Required Uniforms Required Anthem (Police Protocol) Ministry plays Ministry plays Ministry plays Ministry plays Guidelines on consultative consultative consultative consultative emotional role only role only role only role only behaviour problems students Recommended Recommended 1989 in principles of in principles of Handbook CRS initiative CRS initiative being revised Recommended Required Recommended Inschool Recommended Recommended Policy on Suspensions FAS Recommended students New School Act Considering will include EBS Program Code of Conduct Implied in ministry guidelines about school reform Required Automatic Suspension for serious Offenses (Zero Tolerance) Sanctions Approach NF PEI NS NB QC ON MB SK AB BC NU NWT YK Analysis of Sample School Board Policies/School Codes and Procedures Purpose: To begin the development of a model process and suggested content for school board and school Codes of Conduct for use by school-based administrators. The work of Day. For process. Gottfredson (1998) and Coben et al (1994) were the primary sources for content. and several provincial/territorial guidelines. Golench. Method This preliminary analysis of a convenience sample of 125 school board policies on student conduct. a summary prepared for the . Then a rudimentary analysis was done to categorize these sample policies into five general categories and to describe the coverage these policies gave to both relevant content and effective policy-making process. An online search for school board policies and an examination of the two Canadian school board policy databases led to the identification of 50 sample school board policies. MacDougall and Beals-Gonzalez (1995).
com/dresscodes.htm Key Findings There are three key findings from this preliminary policy investigation. This analysis includes both school board policies as well as school-level decisions about their school code of conduct. A Checklist and Guide for School Board Policies and School Codes of Conduct 1 Problem Formulation A common understanding of the problem. Good Policy-Making Combined with a Good Understanding of the Issues and Potential Solutions The research on effective school policies clearly indicates that policy-making is a cyclical process. The variety of policy samples and their various components and wordings show that it is possible to develop a comprehensive school policy and procedures framework that can respond adequately to inappropriate behaviour.Is the problem seen as being primarily a: .schoolfile. The use of an interactive web site should be explored in this regard. 3.com and those for school dress codes can be found at: www. The collection of policy documents collected for this review can be found at www.Canadian Association of School Administrators (McCall. parents and staff would lead to better school conduct/discipline policies and safe schools. 2. As well. A cyclical model (McCall. create a positive social environment in the school and ensure that schools work with their communities to promote safety and prevent crime Most school board policies and school discipline/conduct procedures are narrow in scope and do not contain all the elements recommended by the research evidence. 1995) was used as the primary source. are qResearch 1. This finding is similar to the earlier work of Day et al (1995). A process to enable school-based administrators and others to work through these policy issues with their students.schoolfile. The work of Day et al (1995) has been adapted here for this purpose. 1998) therefore has been used in this rudimentary analysis. effective school policies cover the relevant issues as well as potential long-term solutions. 1. promote fair student conduct/discipline policies. as well as a shared view of the role of the school in responding to the problem.
how will others react? . This phase should also provide information on how the problem was handled in the past. etc. including at-risk youth qConsultation with parents.Was the issue raised because of an incident? 2. recognized policy-making process is started. 3. Policy/School Code Formulation In this phase. anecdoted evidence.Is there reliable data on the size of the problem? (statistics on incidents. school board policies 2. where it fits with current priorities and what policy options are open to the school board and school. Strengths and weaknesses of current policies are assessed.Has the nature of the problem been discussed widely in circulated reports or documents? 2 Policy/ School Agenda The policy issue needs to be placed on the agenda of the school board and of each school. teachers. qAdvice from a committee is sought qIssue is raised by an elected/appointed representative qIssue is identified in goalsetting. a broad cross-section of public and professional opinion is gathered.Was the issue raised because of a directive from the government or school board? 3. qConsultation with police/law enforcement qConsultation with students.If one group or one person is raising the issue. Formal consultations and/or surveys are undertaken.)? 3. including at-risk parents qConsultations with teachers qReview of collective agreements qReview of budgets 1. directives.Does the policy/school code include a long-term vision/goal statement on qhow inappropriate behaviours will be managed qwhat behaviour is expected of all members of the school community qhow a peaceful school community will be promoted and problems prevented qhow the overall safety of the school/community will 1. parent representatives qstudent driven problem qparent/family issue qissue for police/courts qa key issue for all schools? some schools? qa problem for other agencies qa problem for the entire community qReview of laws. qFocus Groups qNeeds Assessment qResources Inventory qMeeting with agencies qMeetings with students. recent surveys. planning or prioritysetting process qThe regular. regulations.needed as the foundation for the school board policy and school codes/procedures.
the policy statement needs to address such topics as: • administrative responsibility for the policy implementation and evaluation • changes to staff or school roles • budget needs • inservice training needs • curriculum needs ?threats/bullying harassment ?fighting ?physical assaults ?gangs ?verbal assault ?sexual assault 3.Does the policy cover all of the inappropriate behaviours? ?drugs/alcohol ?weapons 1.Does the policy cover the potential sanctions and how they are to be used? ?report to parents ?additional assignments ?detentions ?restitution to victim ?service to school/community ?in school suspension ?short-term suspension . long-term manner.Does the policy/school code ensure respect for the principles of natural justice and due process? 4. The decision-making process needs to be transparent.be maintained 2. recognizes publicly that the problem needs to be addressed in a positive. Policy/School Code Adoption qPublic hearings qReview by lawyers/experts qresponse/sanction only qLinks with school board or school mission and priorities qAdvice from an ad-hoc representative committee on the content of the policy/school code qAdditional support to students so they can truly participate qbehavioural expectations (school conduct/discipline only) qpositive climate approach (identification/prevention) qsafe school/community approach (comprehensive promotion/prevention 2.What is the basic orientation of the policy/school code? (Choose one) This is when the school board and/or school. In addition to policy/school code goals and objectives.
Does the policy stipulate mandatory sanctions for some behaviour? or are there guidelines to be followed when school authorities exercise discretion? Is there a process to ensure that the meaning is understood in the same way by students.Does the policy stipulate aftermath .Does the policy cover ways to identify risks and prevent incidents? • • • • • • crisis intervention interagency coordination police protocol students with disorders school security early identification and referral procedures 8.Does the policy place student behaviour within the content of a safe school and community? • conflict resolution education • peer mediation • security measures • police school resource officers • mentoring programs • anti-racist education • substance abuse prevention • parent/guardian involvement • community involvement 9.Does the policy/school code ensure that due process. teachers. ???? parents? 5. adequate right of appeal and principles of natural justice are respected? 7.?long-term suspension ?placement in alternate class ?placement in alternate school ?expulsion/placement in alternate institution 4.Does the policy cover and establish ways to recognize positive behaviours? How? ?peaceful schools approach ?positive behaviour support 6.
How will students be able to provide feedback? Will they be surveyed? 3. Center on Addictions and Mental Health. searches and seizures. Alberta Teachers’ Association. etc.How are students to be informed about the new policy/school code? 3.What administrative data (incidents. including at-risk students qregular meetings with parents including at-risk parents 1. Washington. Edmonton. qparticipant surveys qelectronic feedback qanalysis of reports. capacity-building or staff development should also be described. DC. Goals for involving parents. 1.How are parents to be informed about the new policy/school code? 4. staff. police and other agencies should be described. documents qregular meetings with staff on policy qregular meetings with students. individualized plans aftermath counselling This phase should include descriptions of how school board and school departments will play a role in implementing the policy of school code. (1988). Office of Educational Research and Improvement.and reintegration services? • • 5. students. Policy/School Code Implementation qa timetable for implementation is part of the policy qthe plan for communicating the policy each year is part of the policy qa communications network within the school district or school should be established to support implementation and feedback. Powers and Obligations of Education Institutions Regarding Student Alcohol and Drug Use.How will staff be able to provide feedback? Will they be consulted? 4. Strategies such as inducements. Alberta Teachers’ Association.How will parents be able to provide feedback? Will they be surveyed? 5. (1981). Aleem D.How will police and other agencies be able to provide feedback? Will they be consulted? References Addiction Research Foundation. . (1993). AB. The Legal Rights.Will police and other agencies be involved in the implementation of the new policy/school code? How? 6 Policy/School Code Evaluation The policy statement or school code should also include: a stipulated reporting procedure for reports back to the school board/principal a process to gather formative or process evaluations the criteria for the success of the policy/school code a process to gather summative (impact) data. Toronto. 1000 Suggestions for Improving School Discipline. ON. Students. (1999).) will be collected to evaluate the impact of the policy/school code? Does everyone agree that these data are meaningful? 2. January: 4-7. reports.Have teachers been trained in the use of the new policy/school code? 2. Charter of Rights. ERIC Document 357446. ATA News. Review of Research on Ways to Attain Goal Six. Moles O.
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