School-wide discipline and the intransigency of exclusion
School-wide discipline programs have existed for over 60years. A commonality among most school-wide discipline programs is the use of exclusionary practices. Some programs use exclusions as a last resort while others use them as a first-line strategy. The exclusionary aspects of discipline programs became more popular in the 1990s with increasing school violence and Zero Tolerance. However, exclusionary practices such as suspensions and expulsions are often administered idiosyncratically, unfairly, and in an increasingly peculiar fashion. The purpose of this article is to provide an analysis and critique of school-wide discipline programs that employ exclusionary practices. Specifically, the research will be reviewed focusing both on the effectiveness of school-wide disciplinary programs and their impact on student and teacher behavior. Reasons for their widespread use will be proffered including the purposes and interests they serve for both teachers and administrators. Finally, recommendations for schools moving beyond the intransigency of exclusion and toward positive supports will be presented.
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