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Readings and Resources on School Discipline

The ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education (ERIC EC)
E-mail: webmaster@hoagiesgifted.org
Internet: http://eric.hoagiesgifted.org
ERIC EC Minibib EB20
February 1998
Compiled by Jane Burnette
Citations with an ED (ERIC Document; for example, ED123456) number are available in microfiche collections at more than 1,000 locations worldwide; to find the ERIC Resource Collection nearest you, point your web browser to: http://ericae.net/derc.htm. Documents can also be ordered for a fee through the ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS): http://edrs.com/, service@edrs.com, or 1-800-443-ERIC. (no longer available)

Journal articles (for example, EJ999999) are available for a fee from the originating journal (check your local college or public library), through interlibrary loan services, or from article reproduction services such as: Infotrieve: 800.422.4633, www4.infotrieve.com, service@infotrieve.com; or ingenta: 800.296.2221, www.ingenta.com, ushelp@ingenta.com.

Allen, S. D. & Edwards-Kyles, D. R. (1995). Alternatives to expulsion: Houston's school of last resort. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Problems, 3(4), 22-25. EJ502591.
Describes the evolution of Harper Alternative School, which serves disruptive, volatile, and seriously emotionally disturbed students who could not be managed within regular schools in Houston, TX. Through a process of constant change and refinement to meet students' needs, the school has developed a model that is successful in serving even the most troubled students.

Almeida, D. A. (1995). Behavior management and the "Five C's." Teaching Pre-K-8, 26(1), 88-89. EJ518635.
Discusses a five-step classroom management program that employs the concepts of clarity, consequences, caring, consistency, and change. When used together, these steps are an effective framework that teachers and administrators can use to help all students learn and maintain appropriate behavior.

Butera, G. and others. (1997). IEPs, students with behavior problems and school discipline policies: A collision course. In Promoting Progress in Times of Change: Rural Communities Leading the Way. ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS), ED406103.
This paper reports on the perceptions of West Virginia teachers and administrators regarding the effectiveness of individual education plans (IEPs) in guiding discipline decisions for students with disabilities. Telephone interviews conducted with 141 regular and special education teachers and administrators indicate that IEPs often address academic rather than social, emotional, or behavioral needs, and the use of the IEP process to guide discipline procedures is seen as time-consuming and cumbersome. Consequently, students with disabilities often receive the same instructional programming and discipline procedures as regular education students. The report offers recommendations to improve the IEP process in student disciplinary action.

Carr, V. G. (1995). The Garrison Model: An effective program for managing the behaviors of students with behavioral disorders. Paper presented at the Annual International Convention of the Council for Exceptional Children (73rd, Indianapolis, IN, April 5-9, 1995). ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS), ED384164.
Describes an educational therapeutic program for youth with severe behavior disorders which emphasizes a student's responsibility for choices that are made. The model was developed at the Garrison School, a public alternative day school in Illinois that serves students with severe behavioral disorders. The following key elements of the model are discussed: the whole school approach, direct social skills training, community service learning, elimination of suspension coupled with logical natural consequences for inappropriate behavior, interagency coordination, safe school planning, gang identification, intervention and prevention, creating a positive environment and using a level system, positive acknowledgment of student success, violence intervention through the team approach, developing good community public relations, establishing a school business partnership, and accenting the positive.

Cooley, S. (1995). Suspension/expulsion of regular and special education students in Kansas: A report to the Kansas State Board of Education. ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS), ED395403.
This study examined whether acts leading to suspension or expulsion of students with disabilities were different from those committed by other students, based on a survey of 441 Kansas secondary school principals. Students with disabilities were found to be more than twice as likely to be suspended/expelled than other students, with 87 percent of those suspended/expelled having been diagnosed with either behavior disorders or learning disabilities. These students represented 1 percent and 4.5 percent, respectively, of the Kansas student population, but each group made up 11 percent of those suspended/expelled. While no significant differences were found between the acts leading to suspension/expulsion by these students and those committed by students without disabilities, findings were taken to suggest that many students' Individualized Education Plans failed to adequately provide them with the skills they need to get along in society. Students with and without disabilities were equally likely to commit violent acts or bring weapons to school.

Costenbader, V. & Reading-Brown, M. (1995). Isolation timeout used with students with emotional disturbance. Exceptional Children, 61(4), 353. EJ497632.
This 1-year study investigated use of isolation timeout as a behavioral control intervention with 156 students with emotional disturbance in a special educational facility. Results indicated that 13,000 separate timeouts occurred over the year. Average time in isolation was 23 hours per student. Older students in more restrictive settings spent significantly more time in isolation than other groups.

Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders & Council of Administrators of Special Education, Inc. (1995). A joint statement on violence in the schools. ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS), ED386878.
This issue paper on violence in public schools provides an overview of the problem and a joint statement of the belief that the majority of the violent, aggressive, or destructive students in U.S. schools are not students receiving special education, but students whose behavior may be incidental to a particular emotional crisis. Most students who have cognitive, emotional, social, or behavioral disabilities are effectively managed and taught through special education interventions, and rarely exhibit the violent behavior that places them and those around them in danger of harm. Both CCBD and CASE endorse the need for a school district to immediately remove any student who has a disability if he or she becomes violent, aggressive, or destructive within a particular school. Such students must continue to receive their education in an alternative educational setting until an assessment has been completed and appropriate decisions are made around their long-term education program.

Council for Exceptional Children. (1996). CEC Policy on Inclusive Schools and Community Settings, CEC Policy on Physical Intervention, and Position Statement on Discipline. Council for Exceptional Children, Arlington, VA. ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS), ED400634.
This collection of position statements describes CEC's policy on inclusive schools: To support the concept of inclusion as a meaningful goal, but also to urge that a continuum of services be available for all students. CEC's position on physical interventions aims to assure the child's physical freedom, social interaction, and individual choice and to not include procedures which cause pain or trauma. A list of criteria to be met before physical intervention is used is presented. CEC's policy on the discipline of children with disabilities supports the placement of dangerously violent or destructive students, with or without disabilities, in educational programs designed to meet their learning, safety, and behavioral management needs. The steps that a local education agency should take in determining the discipline of a child with a disability are outlined.

Deshler, D. D. (1996). Influencing effective practice through IDEA-supported research. Exceptionality, 6(2), 69-79. EJ526082.
To illustrate the impact of research on the performance and quality of life of individuals with disabilities, this article highlights three research areas supported by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA): (1) at-risk infant programs; (2) learning strategy interventions for adolescents with learning disabilities; and (3) reduction of discipline problems through functional assessment and positive behavioral supports.

Dwyer, K. P. (1996). Disciplining students with disabilities. National Association of School Psychologists, 4340 East West Highway, Suite 402, Bethesda, MD 20814 (free). ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS), ED399707.
This report discusses disciplining children with disabilities in schools in the context of the legal requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Practical concepts are explained in terms of the school's responsibilities.

ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilites and Gifted Education, The ERIC/OSEP Special Project. (1997). School-wide behavioral management systems. Research Connections, 1(1). ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS), ED410712.
This newsletter discusses how behavioral management techniques, a long-time focus of special education research, are being integrated into school-wide systems. It describes emerging models, practitioners' attitudes and insights about the use of behavior management systems, and states' initiatives, and provides a list of contacts and resources.

Evans, E. D. & Richardson, R. C. (1995). Corporal punishment: What teachers should know. TEACHING Exceptional Children, 27(2), 33-36. EJ494799.
This article cites the incidence of corporal punishment in schools; levels of public support for it; and factors that place students with behavioral, emotional, learning, and mental disorders at risk for corporal punishment. Teachers are encouraged to educate themselves and others, to say no to corporal punishment, and to develop alternatives to corporal punishment.

Fasko, D. and others. (1995). An Analysis of Disciplinary Suspensions. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Mid-South Educational Research Association (Biloxi, MS, November 8-10, 1995). ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS), ED393169.
Student punishment has received increased scrutiny; one of the concerns is that not all students are punished equally. This paper presents findings of a study that investigated whether race, gender, or existence of student disability affected punishment practices in an Eastern Kentucky school district. Male adolescents developed more conduct problems than did females and younger students. Almost 20 percent of the suspensions were given to students categorized as disabled, who composed 14 percent of the student body.

Jordan, D. (1995). Honorable intentions: A parent's guide to educational planning for children with emotional or behavioral disorders. Available from PACER Center, Inc., 4826 Chicago Ave., S., Minneapolis, MN 55417-1098 ($15).
This guide to help parents work in collaboration with the school team to enhance the education of their children with emotional or behavioral disorders considers special education and related services, special education evaluation, the individualized education program (IEP), school rules and policies, day treatment, residential placement, adaptations and modifications, communicating with the school, evaluating the IEP plan, and resolving differences. Checklists suggest questions that parents may want to ask on prereferral interventions, evaluation, conference planning, the IEP, transportation, suspension, change of placement, educational services in residential placement, returning to school from residential placement, a communication plan, and communication styles.

King, A. T. (1996). Exclusionary discipline and the forfeiture of special education rights: a survey. NASSP Bulletin, 80(584), 49-64. EJ535700.
A survey of exclusionary discipline practices with handicapped students revealed a national pattern of de facto differential treatment. In denying a school's unilateral authority to remove dangerous or disruptive students, the Supreme Court's judgment in "Honig v. Doe" (1988) took precedence over all earlier court decisions. A system to establish misbehavior/handicap linkages and student responsibility is badly needed.

Kirleis, K. (1995). The effects of peer mediation training on conflicts among behaviorally and emotionally disordered high school students. ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS), ED394865.
This practicum was designed to explore the impact that exposure to conflict management had on emotionally and behaviorally disordered high school students. High school students who participated in this study were from the west coast of central Florida. The practicum objectives were for students to show a 25% increase in the use of conflict management strategies; a 20% decrease in the number of discipline referrals; and decrease in conflictual behavior by 25%. The results exceeded the objectives' outcome projections. The target group participated in peer mediation training and worked with teachers and staff to use the training with classroom conflicts. Appendices include student and staff pre-intervention and post-intervention surveys, a parent letter, and peer mediation referral/report/contract form.

McIntyre, T. (1996). Does the way we teach create behavior disorders in culturally different students? Education and Treatment of Children, 19(3), 354-70. (Special Issue: Severe Behavior Disorders of Children and Youth). EJ534140.
This article considers the effects of a mismatch between the cognitive styles of children from minority cultural groups and cognitive styles promoted in schools, leading to inappropriate interaction, assessment, instruction, or discipline. It suggests such students may be inappropriately identified as having a learning disability or emotional and/or behavioral disorder. Strategies for prevention are offered.

Morgan-D'Atrio, C. and others. (1996). Toward prescriptive alternatives to suspensions: a preliminary evaluation. Behavioral Disorders, 21(2), 190-200. EJ524417.
Analysis of data on discipline problems and suspensions at a large urban high school found a high frequency of disciplinary referrals and suspensions and poor correspondence between school disciplinary policy and disciplinary actions. Students with recurrent suspensions were found to be a very heterogeneous group. Implications for developing proactive treatment alternatives to suspension are discussed.

Morgan, R. L. and others. (1997). Regulating the use of behavioral procedures in schools: A five-year follow-up survey of state department standards. Journal of Special Education, 30(4), 456-70. EJ540988.
This survey of 27 state departments of special education investigated standards and guidelines on behavioral procedures current in 1994 and compared them with 1989 survey results. Types of behavioral procedures, including prohibited/restricted procedures, were identified, and monitoring activities were described. In 1994, more states had standards on behavioral procedures, and had increased staff training and use of decision models.

Muscott, H. S. (1996). Special education teachers' standards for the classroom behavior of students with behavioral disabilities across a variety of cascade placements. Education and Treatment of Children, 19(3), 300-15. (Special Issue: Severe Behavior Disorders of Children and Youth.) EJ5341370.
Special education teachers (n=108) were assessed to determine whether standards for acceptable student behavior differed as a function of either placement or instructional level of schooling. Differences were found only at the elementary level, where teachers in less restrictive placements (such as resource rooms) expressed more rigorous behavioral standards than teachers in more restrictive placements (such as special schools).

National Association of School Psychologists. (1995). School psychologists: Helping special education. National Association of School Psychologists, Bethesda, MD. ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS), ED386012.
This guide presents innovative school psychological practices to help children with disabilities learn. Descriptions are provided on programs, practices, and particular cases, divided into four sections: helping students learn, helping teachers teach, developing family-responsive schools, and disciplining students.

Ordover, E. L. (1996). Challenging abusive filing of juvenile petitions against children with disabilities by school officials. Center for Law and Education, Washington, DC. ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS), ED405703.
This paper analyzes federal legislation and court decisions relevant to the exclusion of students with disabilities by school systems through the filing of delinquency and other petitions based upon in-school behavior. In many cases the behavior is related to the disability and/or to the consequences of the school system's past failure to provide appropriate educational and related services. The issue is examined in terms of these legislative acts or court decisions: Honig v. Doe, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Identifies 10 specific violations of rights under IDEA, Section 504, the ADA, and FERPA.

Ordover, E.L. (1996). Points on the content of education after "expulsion" for conduct deemed unrelated to a disability. Center for Law and Education, Washington, DC. ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS), ED405704.
This paper analyzes court decisions and federal legislation concerning required educational services for students with disabilities who are expelled from school for conduct judged to be unrelated to the disability. The analysis focuses on documentation of the right to continued education following disciplinary expulsion and content requirements of education after such an expulsion. The issue is interpreted in terms of the following court cases and federal laws: Honig v. Doe, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Commonwealth of Virginia v. Riley, S-1 v. Turlington, Kaelin v. Grubbs, and Board of Hendrick Hudson Central School District v. Rowley.

Richardson, R. C. (1996). Discipline and the chronically ill child: what are the management strategies to promote positive patient outcomes? ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS), ED396484.
This paper reviews various discipline models and applies them to children with chronic and acute medical conditions, especially End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). The definition of Other Health Impairments in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is cited and related to the medical, psychosocial, and educational characteristics and needs of students with ESRD. Seven conceptual models of behavior management are briefly described: biophysical, behavioral, humanistic, psychodynamic, ecological, cognitive, and psychoeducational. Management strategies based on each of these models are then proposed and organized into proactive strategies (to prevent problems) and reactive strategies (to solve problems as they occur).

Ross, P. A. (1995). Practical guide to discipline and behavior management for teachers and parents. Manisses Communications Group, Inc., Providence, RI. Available from Newsletter Book Services, 919 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 (800-382-0602; fax: 703-684-4059) ($34.95, plus shipping and handling). ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS), ED400049.
This guide presents practical advice and strategies for discipline and behavior management, aimed at both parents and teachers. The chapters are (1) "Child Personality Development," including self-esteem and backgrounds of difficult children; (2) "The Challenges of Attention," covering Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD); (3) "Disciplining Children"; (4) "Specific Behavior Management Strategies," including token reinforcement, time out, behavior management during outings, and diversion; (5) "Behavior Management with Adolescents: A Matter of Communication"; (6) "Positive Classroom," including "Management Plan— Ross Method"; and (7) "Violence and Behavior."

Shriner, J. G. & Yell, M. L. (1996). Legal and policy developments in the education of students with emotional/behavioral disorders. Education and Treatment of Children, 19(3), 371-85. EJ534141.
This article examines three legal and policy issues affecting students with emotional and behavioral disorders: placement in the least restrictive environment; discipline of students who present a danger to staff and students; and inclusion of students with disabilities in accountability and assessment programs.

Sinclair, M. F. and others. (1996). On a collision course? Standards, discipline, and students with disabilities. Policy Research Brief, 8(4). Minnesota University, Minneapolis, Institute on Community Integration. ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS), ED404793.
This policy brief discusses the impact of higher academic standards and zero tolerance policies on students with disabilities. The public's demand for higher standards and safe environments is also explored. The development of academic and behavioral standards in educational laws and state policies is documented. Examples of local practices and policies that influence students' engagement with school and ways to help youth meet higher academic and behavioral standards are presented. The approaches are based on the experiences of three projects that tested strategies for keeping middle school students in school within a climate of low tolerance for atypical behavior and increasing demands for academic excellence. Five key intervention strategies were common to the three projects.

Smith, D. D. & Rivera, D. P. (1995). Discipline in special education and general education settings. Focus on Exceptional Children, 27(5), 1-14. EJ506731.
This article presents guidelines for effective discipline in special and general education settings. It addresses causes of discipline problems, prevention techniques (such as establishing rules), intervention techniques (organized into an intervention ladder of increasing intrusiveness), and techniques for evaluating discipline effectiveness.

Sprick, R. S. & Howard, L. M. (1995). The teacher's encyclopedia of behavior management: 100 problems/500 plans for grades K-9. Available from Sopris West, 1140 Boston Ave., Longmont, CO 80501 ($39.50). ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS), ED386887.
This reference is intended to provide teachers with a wide variety of intervention plans for responding to behavior, discipline, and motivation problems. While most interventions are based on behavioral research, others are derived from counseling, Adlerian psychology, social learning theory, and cognitive/behavior modification approaches. The book lists of approximately 100 common classroom problems. For each problem, general considerations are offered, followed by model intervention plans for differing levels of problem severity and suggested steps for developing and implementing an intervention plan. Examples of the problems addressed include: absenteeism, aggression, apathy, babyish behavior, bossiness, depression, disrespectful behavior, drug use, fighting, forgetting materials, homework, hygiene, lying, stealing, and problems in work completion. Three appendices provide additional information on the topics of reinforcing appropriate behavior, assigning responsibilities to jobs, and responding to inappropriate behavior.

Watson, D. & Rangel, L. (1996). So Johnny's been bad. What else is new? Principal, 75(4), 27-28. EJ519715.
When parent-teacher conferences don't improve a problem student's behavior, a systematic change strategy is needed. Daily report cards are effective if they divide the day into segments, provide evaluations for each segment, feature increasingly demanding goals, provide parent reinforcement, use mild punishment, and accrue reinforcement rewards. A sidebar discusses medication issues.

Whitaker, A. M. & Votel, C. B. (1995). Managing troubling behaviors: A systems approach. In Reaching to the Future: Boldly Facing Challenges in Rural Communities. Conference Proceedings of the American Council on Rural Special Education (ACRES) (Las Vegas, Nevada, March 15-18, 1995). ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS), ED381307.
The Mentor Supported School Success Program offers supplementary support to current school programming through the use of mentors. In the first year of the program, members of the school-based multidisciplinary team identified students exhibiting troublesome behaviors, with priority given to elementary-aged students previously recommended for expulsion. Paraprofessionals and substitute teachers who had demonstrated both empathy for students and consistent effective behavioral management strategies were selected as mentors. Mentors assist with individual behavioral management plans, support classroom activities, provide additional monitoring of non-academic activities, and help teach the social skills training program. Program components include integrated behavior management plans for each student; daily orientation and wrap-up; carefully designed mentor schedules; academic assistance; monitoring of medications; crisis intervention; social skills training; and evaluation of changes in students' behavior, attendance, and academic achievement.

Zirkel, P.A. & Gluckman, I. B. (1997). Due process in student suspensions and expulsions. Principal, 76(4), 62-63. EJ540806.
In an era promulgating "zero tolerance" of school violence, courts are giving considerable latitude to school officials in administering student discipline. The vast majority of student due process claims arising from suspensions and expulsions, including a recent marijuana possession case in Alabama, have failed in recent years. The major exception to this trend concerns students covered under federal disabilities legislation.


Beyond Behavior, A Magazine Exploring Behavior in our Schools.
Council on Children with Behavior Disorders, The Council for Exceptional Children
1110 N. Glebe Rd.,
Arlington, VA 22201-5704

Behavioral Disorders,
Journal of the Council on Children with Behavior Disorders
Council for Exceptional Children
1110 N. Glebe Rd.
Arlington, VA 22201-5704

Organizational Resources

Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice
Chesapeake Institute of the American Institutes for Research
1000 Thomas Jefferson St., NW, Suite400
Washington, DC 20007
URL: http://www.air-dc.org/cecp

Council for Exceptional Children
1110 N. Glebe Rd.
Arlington, VA 22201-5704
URL: http://www.cec.sped.org
Note: Special WEB Focus on discipline and behavior disorders

National Association of School Psychologists, 4340 East West Highway, Suite 402, Bethesda, MD 20814; 301-657-0270; URL: http://www.naspweb.org

National School Safety Center
4165 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Suite 290
Westlake, CA 91362
URL: http://www.nssc1.org

UCLA School Mental Health Project
Dept. of Psychology
405 Hilgard Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1563
URL: http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu

Internet Resources

Educational and Psychological Resources, UC Berkeley, School Psychology

School Psychology Resources Online

ERIC Clearinghouse on Urban Education

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