National Center for Youth Law

STRATEGIES

Improving School District Policy and Practice for Vulnerable Students

Current school district policy and practice is overly punitive and leads to disparities in discipline. This punitive climate puts up barriers to re-enrollment for students subjected to disciplinary or juvenile court proceedings.

Many school district administrators do not understand the myriad challenges facing students exiting detention or the extent to which students of color and students with disabilities are pushed into Disciplinary Alternative Education Programs (DAEPs). Those that do know often don’t have the tools, or internal backing, to address the issues. We will raise awareness of these problems within districts, provide school districts model policies, practices and tools to combat the challenge, train district administrators and teachers, and build political will within the district to formally adopt new policies and practices that institutionalize greater collaboration with local probation agencies and significantly reduce discretionary DAEP referrals.