SWPBS reduces number of suspensions for white students

2809961438_56d48f9969_zSchool-Wide Positive Behavior Support (SWPBS) has been effective in reducing the number of Office Discipline Referrals (ODRs) in schools that implement it. But, according to a study of disciplinary exclusion data from 77 schools, the reduction was mostly in ODRs for white students.

Non-white students, particularly African American students, continued to be over-represented in disciplinary exclusions, according to the study in the Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders. This was true of overall exclusions and exclusions lasting longer than 10 days.  This suggests that SWPBS implementation needs to be culturally responsive, the researchers write. Schools should consider the cultural fit between behavioral expectations and the behavioral support needs of all students as well as rethink the use of referrals when those expectations are violated.

“More systematic efforts to blend cultural responsiveness conceptually with SWPBS implementation are emerging,” the researchers write.

The study, which evaluated how well schools implemented SWPBS, found that stronger implementation in classrooms was linked to reduced exclusions in elementary schools. At the secondary level, stronger implementation in classrooms was statistically associated with reductions in out-of-school suspensions.

“The Relationship Between Implementation of School-Wide Positive Behavior Support (SWPBS) and Disciplinary Exclusion of Students From Various Ethnic Backgrounds With and Without Disabilities,” by Claudia Vincent and Tary Tobin, Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, Volume 19, Number 4, pp. 217-232.

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