Making the Case for Positive Approaches to Discipline

Event Date: 
January 16, 2013 - 04:00pm to 05:30pm EST
January 17, 2013 - 11:00am to 12:30pm EST


As a result of the growing body of evidence demonstrating the alarming relationship between widespread school suspensions and expulsions and involvement in the justice system, today’s schools, courts, and communities require new thinking about how to positively approach discipline when children violate boundaries and policies in school. This Webinar, the first in the SSD Webinar Series, provided the knowledge that school, district, and court staff, law enforcement, and community stakeholders need to better understand the issues surrounding traditional school discipline practices and examples of how communities have shifted their disciplinary approaches.

In this first Supportive School Webinar Series event, Russ Skiba, Ph.D., Professor of Counseling and Educational Psychology at Indiana University, began the session by reviewing the latest research on school discipline practices. Then, the Honorable Steven C. Teske, Chief Judge, Juvenile Court of Clayton County, Georgia, shared his experience shifting a court system’s approach to one of broader collaboration and more positive alternatives to discipline cases. Finally, John E. Hudson, Supervisor of Attendance, Truancy, Dropout Prevention and Recovery for the Waco Independent School District in Waco, Texas, discussed his district’s experience in transitioning from an exclusionary discipline model to a positive approach and the impact he has seen as a result.

Learning Objectives

As a result of participating in this session, participants were able to:

• Describe the impact of punitive and exclusionary school discipline practices
• Identify traditional school discipline practices that are known to be ineffective
• Consider positive alternatives to traditional school discipline practices that reduce student alienation, increase student engagement, and decrease justice system involvement
• Understand what some communities have done to implement positive changes


This Webinar is appropriate for school district superintendents and allied staff, school administrators and support staff, school climate teams, student support personnel and teachers, school resource officers, probation/parole officers, law enforcement, judges and court administrators, family members, youth, and community stakeholders.

View the Webinar Recording (FLV)

Download the presentation slides (PDF)

Questions and Answers (PDF) - Coming Soon

Have you seen our new Website feature Voices from the Field? It is a place where administrators, teachers, school support staff, community, and family members can (1) share what they think by responding to a polling question, (2) see what others think by viewing the poll’s results, (3) see what experts think by reading a short post that includes references and related resources, and (4) share one’s own experiences by posting comments on safe supportive learning topics. A Voices from the Field topic focused on supportive school discipline is available at We invite you to participate and look forward to hearing from the field on how learning environment improvements are being implemented!