Live From Summit 2016: School Discipline: It’s Complicated

May 11, 2016

Elizabeth Green, Co-Founder, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Chalkbeat moderated a discussion exploring school discipline and zero tolerance policies in schools. Joining her as panelists were:

  • RiShawn Biddle, Editor of Dropout Nation
  • Steven Evangelista, Principal & Co-Founder of Harlem Link Charter School
  • Scott Gordon, CEO of Mastery Charter Schools
  • Shawn Hardnett, Teacher, School Founder and School Leadership Coach and Developer
  • Matthew Steinberg, Assistant Professor at University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education

The session explored the myriad discipline policies in schools, including the “no excuses” label, which panelists said should not be applied to school discipline. No one in the audience or on the panel supported zero tolerance approach to school discipline, and 25% of the largest school districts have revised their zero tolerance policies to reduce negative consequences for minor infractions. Programs that enhance relational and socio-emotional supports, such as Trauma Informed Care, Restorative Justice, and Responsive Classroom, were recommended.