Discipline and Suspensions

The Los Angeles Times recently reported (June 17, 2014) that a number of school districts in Southern California counties performed above the state average for reducing discipline suspensions last year. School districts are finally beginning to understand that discipline suspensions neither improve school climate nor boost academic achievement.

The suspension declines come from a national movement to lower suspensions due to behavioral and discipline problems that have been found to imperil academic achievement and lead to more student run-ins with police. A 2013 study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University found that just one suspension in ninth grade correlated with doubling the risk of dropping out of school and a threefold increase in the risk of involvement with the juvenile justice system.

Not only school suspensions but discipline problems of all kinds will decline when teachers and school administrators implement plans to promote responsible behavior based on internal motivation, rather than current discipline approaches that aim at obedience and use external rewards, threats, and imposed punishments. Simply stated: obedience does not create desire. The Raise Responsibility System promotes a desire to WANT to become self-disciplined and WANT to put forth effort in learning. Fewer school suspensions and less juvenile involvement will result when more schools are informed of this discipline and learning system.