State law requires districts to use alternatives to out-of-school suspension or expulsion, such as in-school suspension, behavioral interventions, or restorative practices.
Code of Maryland Regulations 13A.08.01.11 Disciplinary Action.
A. Local Board Authority. Each local board of education has both the responsibility and authority to adopt policies designed to create safe schools. In the context of school discipline, by the beginning of school year 2014--2015, each local board shall review and revise its student discipline policies and regulations with the goal of maintaining an environment of order, safety, and discipline necessary for effective learning. The policies and regulations at minimum shall:
- (1) Reflect a discipline philosophy based on the goals of fostering, teaching, and acknowledging positive behavior;
- (2) Be designed to keep students connected to school so that they may graduate college and career ready;
- (3) Describe the conduct that may lead to in-school and out-of-school suspension or expulsion;
- (4) Allow for discretion in imposing discipline;
- (5) Address the ways the educational and counseling needs of suspended students will be met; and
- (6) Explain why and how long-term suspensions or expulsions are last-resort options.
Code of Maryland Regulations 13A.08.06.02 Administrative Procedures -- Suspension Rates.
A. Upon receipt of notification from the Department that an elementary school's out-of-school suspension rate exceeds the standard specified in § B of this regulation, the local school superintendent or the superintendent's designee shall direct the principal of the school to implement:
- (1) A PBIS; or
- (2) An alternative behavioral modification program developed in collaboration with the Department.
B. An elementary school is subject to this regulation if it has an out-of-school suspension rate that exceeds:
- (1) 18 percent of its enrollment for the 2005--2006 school year;
- (2) 16 percent of its enrollment for the 2006--2007 school year;
- (3) 14 percent of its enrollment for the 2007--2008 school year;
- (4) 12 percent of its enrollment for the 2008--2009 school year; and
- (5) 10 percent of its enrollment for the 2009--2010 school year and each school year thereafter.
C. The school principal or the principal's designee and appropriate staff members shall:
- (1) Develop a plan for implementing a program as set forth in § A of this regulation;
- (2) Attend PBIS or alternative behavior modification training program approved by the Department; and
- (3) Follow implementation guidelines and practices for PBIS or the alternative behavior modification training program.
D. The following apply to an elementary school that has at least one grade beyond grade 5:
- (1) The suspension rates in § B of this regulation shall apply to students in prekindergarten through grade 5; and
- (2) PBIS or the alternative behavioral modification program shall focus on students in prekindergarten through grade 5.
E. Nothing in this regulation precludes a school system from implementing PBIS or an alternative behavioral modification program either in specific schools or system-wide.
F. An elementary school shall expand its existing PBIS or alternative behavior modification program by providing more intensive interventions to targeted students in need of such interventions if:
- (1) The elementary school has already implemented a PBIS or an alternative behavior modification program; and
- (2) The elementary school has a suspension rate that exceeds the standard specified in § B of this regulation.
Maryland Code 7-304.1. Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support Program
(b) Program established -- Suspension. --
- (1) Subject to paragraph (3) of this subsection, each county board shall require an elementary school that has a suspension rate that exceeds the standard specified in paragraph (2) of this subsection to implement:
- (i) A positive behavioral interventions and support program; or
- (ii) An alternative behavior modification program in collaboration with the Department.
- (2) An elementary school is subject to this subsection if it has a suspension rate that exceeds:
- (i) 18 percent of its enrollment for the 2005-2006 school year;
- (ii) 16 percent of its enrollment for the 2006-2007 school year;
- (iii) 14 percent of its enrollment for the 2007-2008 school year;
- (iv) 12 percent of its enrollment for the 2008-2009 school year; and
- (v) 10 percent of its enrollment for the 2009-2010 school year and each school year thereafter.
- (3) An elementary school that has already implemented a positive behavioral interventions and support program or a behavior modification program shall expand its existing program if it has a suspension rate that exceeds the standard specified in paragraph (2) of this subsection.
Maryland Code 7-305.1. Student enrolled in public prekindergarten program, kindergarten, first grade, or second grade -- Suspension or expulsion prohibited; exceptions.
(a) Definitions. --
- (1) In this section the following words have the meanings indicated.
- (2) "Public prekindergarten program" means:
- (i) Any publicly funded prekindergarten program established under § 7-101.1 of this title; or
- (ii) Any qualified vendor of prekindergarten services as defined in § 7-101.2(a)(7) of this title.
- (3) "Restorative practices" means practices conducted in a whole-school ethos or culture that supports peacemaking and solves conflict by building a community and addressing harm in a school setting and that:
- (i) Are conducted by trained staff;
- (ii) Focus on repairing the harm to the community through dialogue that emphasizes individual accountability; and
- (iii) Help build a sense of belonging, safety, and social responsibility in the school community.
(b) In general. --
- (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, a student enrolled in a public prekindergarten program, kindergarten, first grade, or second grade may not be suspended or expelled from school.
- (2) A student described under paragraph (1) of this subsection may only be:
- (i) Expelled from school if required by federal law; or
- (ii) Suspended for not more than 5 school days if the school administration, in consultation with a school psychologist or other mental health professional, determines that there is an imminent threat of serious harm to other students or staff that cannot be reduced or eliminated through interventions and supports.
- (3) The principal or school administration shall promptly contact the parent or guardian of a student suspended or expelled under paragraph (2) of this subsection.
(c) Intervention and support by school. --
- (1) The school shall provide intervention and support to address the student's behavior if the student is:
- (i) Suspended under subsection (b) of this section; or
- (ii) Enrolled in prekindergarten, kindergarten, first grade, or second grade and:
- Is disruptive to the school environment; or
- Commits an act that would be considered an offense subject to suspension but for the student's grade.
- (2) Intervention and support provided under paragraph (1) of this subsection includes:
- (i) Positive behavior interventions and supports;
- (ii) A behavior intervention plan;
- (iii) A referral to a student support team;
- (iv) A referral to an individualized education program team; and
- (v) A referral for appropriate community-based services.
(d) Remedying impact of behavior. -- The school system shall remedy the impact of a student's behavior through appropriate intervention methods that may include restorative practices.
(e) Regulations. -- On or before May 1, 2018, the Department shall adopt regulations to carry out the requirements of this section.
Maryland Code 7-306 Corporal punishment; State code of discipline
(d) Regulations. --
- (1) Subject to the provisions of subsections (b) and (c) of this section, each county board shall adopt regulations designed to create and maintain within the schools under its jurisdiction the atmosphere of order and discipline necessary for effective learning.
- (2) The regulations adopted by a county board under this subsection:
- (i) Shall provide for educational and behavioral interventions, restorative approaches, counseling, and student and parent conferencing;
- (ii) Shall provide alternative programs, which may include in-school suspension, suspension, expulsion, or other disciplinary measures that are deemed appropriate; and
- (iii) Shall state that the primary purpose of any disciplinary measure is rehabilitative, restorative, and educational.
(e) Disaggregation of data. --
- (1) On or before October 1 each year, the Department shall submit to the Governor and, in accordance with § 2-1257 of the State Government Article, the General Assembly, a student discipline data report that includes a description of the uses of restorative approaches in the State and a review of disciplinary practices and policies in the State.
- (2) The Department shall disaggregate the information in any student discipline data report prepared by the Department by race, ethnicity, gender, disability status, eligibility for free or reduced price meals or an equivalent measure of socioeconomic status, English language proficiency, and type of discipline for:
- (i) The State;
- (ii) Each local school system; and
- (iii) Each public school.
- (3) Special education-related data in any report prepared under this subsection shall be disaggregated by race, ethnicity, and gender.
(f) Collection of data on alternative school discipline practices. --
- (1) In this subsection, "alternative school discipline practice" means a discipline practice used in a public school that is not an in-school suspension or an out-of-school suspension.
- (2) The Department shall collect data on alternative school discipline practices in public schools for each local school system, including:
- (i) The types of alternative school discipline practices that are used in a local school system; and
- (ii) The type of misconduct for which an alternative discipline practice is used.