A Survey of School Discipline Gatekeepers about the Implementation of the Non-Exclusionary Discipline Practices Reform in Illinois Schools

Athanase Gahungu
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Abstract


Two years after the State of Illinois enacted an extensive non-exclusionary discipline reform in schools, 322 key discipline gatekeepers in schools were surveyed about the extent and impact of its implementation. The results showed that a number of core provisions of the reform had not been fully implemented or addressed through professional development. Creating re-entry plans for students with long suspensions, eliminating zero tolerance policies, and limiting disciplinary transfers to alternative schools were the least implemented provisions. Furthermore, contrary to principals’ wishful and embellished self-reporting, large proportions of school personnel still had not received required professional development in key topics such as adverse consequences of school exclusion and justice-system involvement, culturally responsive discipline, and developmentally appropriate disciplinary methods that promote positive and healthy school climate. Finally, sharp differences were found between principals and teachers and support personnel about the continuing prevalence and high frequency of discipline incidents, and about improvement in the overall school climate. If the reform is going to be impactful, it was recommended that more emphasis be placed on ensuring that teachers and support personnel receive adequate and timely professional development on the provisions of the policies.

Keywords


Discipline gatekeepers, Survey, Perceptions, Implementation, Illinois schools

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License