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Supportive School Discipline

Supportive School Discipline
Bershad, C. & Kitson, J.
National Center for Mental Health Promotion and Youth Violence Prevention
Education Development Center
Date Published: 
July, 2012

Supportive school discipline is a systemic constellation of programs and practices that promote positive behaviors while preventing negative or risky behaviors. It is positive rather than punitive, and aims to create a safe learning environment that enhances all students’ outcomes.

A number of approaches to supportive school discipline have been shown to increase school safety without increasing suspensions and expulsions. One such initiative is Safe Schools/Healthy Students (SS/HS), a cross-agency collaboration among the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Launched in 1999 in response to a national increase in school shootings, SS/HS addresses the underlying factors that contribute to school violence, students’ substance abuse and mental health problems, school failure, dropout, and suspension and expulsion. This snapshot explores how SS/HS sites are using supportive school discipline to address these issues.

Download a copy of Supportive School Discipline: A Snapshot from Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiatives  (PDF, 1.2MB) from the National Center for Mental Health Promotion and Youth Violence Prevention.