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Stemming exclusionary school discipline: implementing culturally attuned positive behavior practices
Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties  (IF),  Pub Date : 2021-06-07, DOI: 10.1080/13632752.2021.1930907
Gerardo Moreno

ABSTRACT

Over the past several decades, public schools across the United States have experienced an increasingly visible diversity rift between student enrollment and teaching faculty. The number of students from diverse backgrounds continues to grow while educator ranks continue to become more homogeneous. This diversity rift presents several challenges that affect the quality of educational experiences for students from diverse backgrounds, often to detrimental longitudinal outcomes including the disproportionate use of exclusionary school discipline. The majority of educator preparation programmes continue to train future professionals in traditional, outdated classroom management practices that invoke reactive actions often resulting in suspension or expulsion. Such practices have disproportionately affected students from diverse backgrounds, most conspicuously Black males. However, there are several recommendations school organisations can implement to better prepare their faculty ranks to meet the behavioural needs of students without immediately resorting to exclusionary school discipline. This paper will discuss professional development options that emphasise educator objectivity (i.e., addressing implicit bias, unconditional positive regard) in tandem with evidence-based practices (i.e., positive-based behaviour management, classroom-based functional behavioural assessment) that can be incorporated in the general education classroom.