Revised student discipline policy modifies behavior consequences for youngest students

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Dallas ISD trustees unanimously approved a policy change that will bring a new approach to how schools respond to disruptive students in pre-K–2nd grade.

Under the policy change and pending approval to the student code of conduct, students in pre-K–2nd grade who commit Level 1 offenses—which are the lowest-level infractions such as classroom disruption and bus misconduct—will not receive out-of-school suspensions.

The new approach will also provide additional support to schools. All pre-K–2nd-grade teachers will receive a comprehensive training session at the beginning of the school year focused on how to best respond to a disruptive student.

The district will now also look at data to determine which elementary schools need the most support in responding to disruptive students. Those schools will implement a program such as mindfulness training or restorative practices, which are shown to reduce disciplinary issues, and teachers at those schools will receive continual resources and training throughout the school year.

Under the policy change, students in pre-K–2nd grade could still be suspended for Level 2 and Level 3 offenses, which are the more serious infractions such as bullying and fighting.

The policy change goes into effect at the beginning of next school year.

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