The Toolbox is an all day training program focused on disciplinary options for students with disabilities. In the Toolbox, we break down the complicated federal regulations into ten “tools” that are available to school administrators. However, we always emphasize that the main goal is to encourage improved student behavior. Handling student misconduct exclusively through old school, punitive measures is simply not effective. So we always emphasize that the most important of the ten tools is the first one: the development and implementation of a good BIP (Behavior Improvement Plan).
This becomes even more evident and important as lawmakers discourage some of the traditional forms of student discipline, such as out of school suspension. In that context, you need to take a look at HB 674, recently enacted by the Texas legislature and now awaiting the Governor’s signature. Highlights of HB 674:
1. It prohibits the out of school suspension of a student below grade three unless the student commits an offense involving weapons, drugs, alcohol or violence. Other offenses that may lead to suspension under your Code of Conduct will have to be treated differently if the student is in Pre-K, K, or grades 1 or 2.
2. It authorizes, but does not require, districts and charter schools to develop disciplinary alternatives for the little kids. Specifically, the bill calls for “alternative disciplinary courses of action that do not rely on the use of in-school suspension, out-of-school suspension, or placement in a DAEP.”
The message we are getting is pretty clear. Let’s move away from exclusionary forms of discipline, and take a more positive, inclusive, restorative approach. Everything we discuss in the Toolbox training is consistent with that message.
I’ve got Toolbox trainings coming up in Region 16, Region 6 and Del Rio. If you are interested in a Toolbox Training, just let me know.
DAWG BONE: NO OUT-OF-SCHOOL SUSPENSION FOR KIDS BELOW GRADE THREE.
File this one under: STUDENT DISCIPLINE
Tomorrow: Cameras in the classroom!! A new and improved law.