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Behavior Supports and Services begin with strong, universal systems of support.  The data below demonstrates a strong need for supports at each tier, to prevent a disproportion in student discipline infractions of students from different racial backgrounds.  Research demonstrates that school discipline infraction data mirrors the disparities in prisons, yielding a strong correlation between school discipline and the criminal justice system. This overall impacts our society with an increase in drop-out students, unemployment, substance abuse and mental-health problems.

To prevent this from occurring and build racial equity within our school system, it is imperative that a well-represented problem-solving team creates a system that ensures restorative justice so that these inequities don’t exist.  A problem-solving approach allows an LEA to support the whole child and ensure behavior doesn’t impact academics and academics doesn’t impact behavior.  One way to create this is complementing Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) with Restorative Practices.

Suspension and Expulsion Data Released by the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights in 2014

  • Black students are three times more likely to be suspended or expelled than white students.
  • Females of color (black, Native American, and Native Alaskan) are suspended at a rate of 12 percent, compared to 2 percent for white girls.
  • Students with disabilities represent 12 percent of the school-age population, but comprise 58 percent of students placed in seclusion and 75 percent of those who are physically restrained.
  • Black children represent 18 percent of preschool enrollment, but 48 percent of preschool children receiving more than one out-of-school suspension. By contrast, white students represent 43 percent of preschool enrollment, but only 26 percent of preschool children receiving more than one out-of-school suspension.
  • Boys represent 54 percent of preschool enrollment, but 79 percent of preschool children suspended once and 85 percent of those suspended multiple times.

Data suggests that restorative and self-regulating strategies are more effective than punitive strategies.

Ineffective Treatments Effect Size Effective Treatment Effect Size
Punitive Discipline -.13 to +.06 Direct Instruction & Problem-Solving +.70 to +1.50
Referral to Outside Counseling .00 to +.08 Mentor-based Support +1.00
Meeting with Student .00 Positive Behavioral Support +.90
    Social Skills Training +.68


PBIS is your framework system and Restorative Practice is the mindset that helps guide the behavior of adults and youth as well as the relationship management in organizations, such as schools.  It is "not intended to replace current initiatives and evidence-based programs like Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) or social and emotional learning models that assist in building a foundation and culture of caring." Please see TEA’s website listed below for additional evidence-based practices to implement as tiered behavior supports.

SourceRestorative Practices: Fostering Healthy Relationships & Promoting Positive Discipline in Schools A Guide for Educators, March 2016.


"Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is an evidence-based three-tiered framework to improve and integrate all of the data, systems, and practices affecting student outcomes every day. PBIS creates schools where all students succeed."

"Restorative practices are approaches that seek to proactively build a community to prevent problems from arising and use dialogue, not just punishment when problems occur.  Restorative practices are helpful for creating a respectful classroom, developing a rapport with students, managing conflicts, establishing routines and expectations for positive student behavior and more."


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