New Denver Public Schools discipline system isn’t embraced by all
posted by: Guest Blogger
Discipline policies in Denver Public Schools have been praised as models for other districts across the country, but in a couple of recent cases, relatives of students have questioned whether the softer approach is protecting their kids.
In one, parents at Denver’s Edison Elementary went to police themselves to report a fourth-grader who they said threatened to bring a gun to school after Edison officials decided not to report the incident.
In a second case, a grandmother reported a year’s worth of bullying of her granddaughter at Godsman Elementary to police because she felt school officials were not taking it seriously.
In both cases, questions were raised about a 2-year-old DPS policy that advocates a restorative approach to trouble in school, in which an offender learns from a mistake and makes amends, rather than the old punitive approach.
It was implemented after a 2008 push from Padres Unidos and other community groups, which said zero-tolerance policies were creating a school-to-jail track. Discipline in DPS at the time seemed to be disproportionately applied to minority students.
The new policy lists behavioral problems and categorizes them in five groups. Each type or category of offense has a corresponding intervention and range of possible consequences.
Using cellphones in class, pushing a student and using profanity are on the lowest category of offenses. Teachers are instructed to listen to students and counsel them, attempting to settle the problem without going to the administration. They also are instructed to use and document at least one intervention.
According to data from the district, which is complete only for one year under the new policy, in 2009-10, there were more incidents in schools that required discipline attention, but the number of students who misbehaved decreased, and so have expulsions and referrals to
Read more: New Denver Public Schools discipline system isn’t embraced by all – The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/ci_18076704#ixzz1MewOn7h5