Maine - Alternatives to Exclusionary Discipline: Programs and Services

Area: 
Programs And Services
Policy Type: 
Statute
Summary: 

State law encourages districts to use alternatives to out-of-school suspension or expulsion, such as, in-school suspension, behavioral interventions, or restorative practices.

Maine Revised Statutes Title 20-A Education Part 2 School Organization Chapter 101 General Provisions Subchapter 1 School Boards 1001. Duties of school boards

15-A.  School disciplinary policies. When revising the prescribed consequences for violation of the student code of conduct pursuant to subsection 15, paragraph C, a school board shall consider districtwide disciplinary policies that:

  • A. Focus on positive interventions and expectations and avoid focusing exclusively on unacceptable student behavior. For the purpose of this subsection, "positive interventions" means instructional and environmental supports that are designed to teach students prosocial alternatives to problem behaviors with high rates of positive feedback;
  • B. Focus on positive and restorative interventions that are consistent with evidence-based practices rather than set punishments for specific behavior and avoid so-called zero-tolerance practices unless specifically required by federal or state laws, rules or regulations. For the purpose of this paragraph, "restorative interventions" means school practices that are designed to strengthen relationships, improve the connection to school and promote a strong sense of accountability and that help students learn from their mistakes, understand the impact of their actions on others and find opportunities to repair the harm they have caused through their misbehavior;
  • C. Allow administrators to use their discretion to fashion appropriate discipline that examines the circumstances pertinent to the case at hand; and
  • D. Provide written notice to the parents of a student when a student is suspended from school, regardless of whether the suspension is an in-school or out-of-school suspension.

The school board shall ensure that administrators inform students, parents and school personnel of the districtwide school disciplinary policies.

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