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NASP 2013 Congressional Briefing

Effective School Discipline Policy and Practice: Supporting Student Learning

On April 18, 2013, NASP hosted a Congressional briefing in cooperation with U.S. Representative David Loebsack (IA-2) on how effective school discipline is essential to student success and must be integral to education reform efforts and legislation.

Expert panelists discussed the key components necessary to developing and implementing effective school discipline practices within a framework that emphasizes teaching positive behavior and improving school climate rather than simply enacting harsh punishments They shared the strong view that such an approach improves student achievement, promotes student well-being, prevents negative behaviors, and enhances school safety. They urged Congress to close the school-to-prison pipeline in order to improve student outcomes

Key Components of Effective School Discipline

  • Positive discipline policies that are consistent and fair and include multi-tiered supports, rather than overly harsh and punitive approaches such as “zero tolerance policies.
  • School-wide approaches to identifying and preventing barriers to learning and safety, such as bullying, dropout, and substance abuse.
  • Access to school-based mental health services that promote student wellness, positive behavior, and learning.
  • Effective use of data to identify and address the most critical issues related to student behavior and discipline.
  • School-employed specialized instructional support personnel who are integrally involved in development, delivery, and evaluation of these services.

Official testimony was given by Sandra Chafouleas from the University of Connecticut, Ursula Herman from Montgomery County Public Schools, Benjamin Fernandez from Loudoun County Public Schools and Kelly Vaillancourt from NASP.

Briefing Resources

Panelist Statements

Related Briefing Handouts


Contact: Kelly Vaillancourt, NASP Director of Government Relations