State law requires districts to use alternatives to out-of-school suspension or expulsion, such as in-school suspension, behavioral interventions, or restorative practices.
Decreasing Disproportionality in Discipline: Promising Practices Leading to Positive Change
Presentation provides information on decreasing disproportionality in discipline, including the tracking and dissaggregation of student discipline data by race/ethnicity.
Georgia Compiled Rules & Regulations 160-4-8-.15 Student Discipline
- (a) Each local board of education shall adopt policies designed to improve the student learning environment by improving student behavior and discipline. These policies shall provide for the development of age appropriate student codes of conduct that contain the following, at a minimum: 17. Behavior support processes designed to consider, as appropriate in light of the severity of the behavioral problem, support services that may be available through the school, school system, other public entities, or community organizations that may help the student address behavioral problems; This rule neither mandates nor prohibits the use of student support teams as part of the student support process;
- Progressive discipline processes designed to create the expectation that the degree of discipline will be in proportion to the severity of the behavior, that the previous discipline history of the student and other relevant factors will be taken into account; and that all due process procedures required by federal and state law will be followed;
Instead of Suspension: Alternative Strategies for Effective School Discipline
Report out of North Carolina that includes a compendium of alternatives to suspension.
Official Code of Georgia Annotated 20-2-735. Adoption of policies by local boards to improve student learning environment
(a) No later than July 1, 2000, each local board of education shall adopt policies designed to improve the student learning environment by improving student behavior and discipline. These policies shall provide for the development of age-appropriate student codes of conduct containing Standard of behavior, a student support process, a progressive discipline process, and a parental involvement process. The State Board of Education shall establish minimum Standard for such local board policies. The Department of Education shall make available for utilization by each local board of education model student codes of conduct, a model student support process, a model progressive discipline process, and a model parental involvement process.
(d) Progressive discipline processes developed pursuant to this subpart shall be designed to create the expectation that the degree of discipline will be in proportion to the severity of the behavior leading to the discipline, that the previous discipline history of the student being disciplined and other relevant factors will be taken into account, and that all due process procedures required by federal and state law will be followed.
Official Code of Georgia Annotated 20-2-742. Multi-tiered system of supports prior to suspension or expulsion for certain students.
(a) As used in this Code section, the term:
- (1) "Multi-tiered system of supports" or "MTSS" means a systemic, continuous-improvement framework in which data based problem solving and decision making is practiced across all levels of the educational system for supporting students at multiple levels of intervention.
- (2) "Public preschool through third grade" means a public preschool, a Pre-K program in a public school administered pursuant to Code Section 20-1A-4, and kindergarten through third grade in a public school.
- (3) "Response to intervention" or "RTI" means a framework of identifying and addressing the academic and behavioral needs of students through a tiered system.
- (4) "Weapon" shall include dangerous weapons, firearms, and hazardous objects as defined in Code Section 20-2-751.
(b) No student in public preschool through third grade shall be expelled or suspended from school for more than five consecutive or cumulative days during a school year without first receiving a multi-tiered system of supports, such as response to intervention, unless such student possessed a weapon, illegal drugs, or other dangerous instrument or such student's behavior endangers the physical safety of other students or school personnel. If such student is receiving or has received a multi-tiered system of supports, the school shall be deemed to have met the requirements of this Code section. The school or program shall comply with all federal laws and requirements regarding obtaining parental consent during any advanced tier within the system of supports prior to certain screenings or evaluations.
(c) In addition to the requirements in subsection (b) of this Code section, prior to assigning any student in preschool through third grade to out-of-school suspension for more than five consecutive or cumulative days during a school year, if such student has an Individualized Education Program (IEP) pursuant to the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or a plan under Section 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the school or program shall also convene an IEP or Section 504 meeting to review appropriate supports being provided as part of such Individualized Education Program or Section 504 plan.