Ask House Members to vote YES on HB398 to implement evidence based discipline

Please ask all House of Delegate Members to vote YES on HB398 to reduce the use of suspensions, expulsions and other punitive disciplinary actions in cases where students may be able to benefit from initial use of “restorative disciplinary practices” like mentoring and peer counseling.

Punitive disciplinary measures are too often used as a first resort, especially for students of color. However, other approaches may be much more effective. The Department of Education has noted that alternative disciplinary measures like community service, mentoring, peer juries, and peer counseling can foster peer and staff relationships and repair harm to the injured party.

Except where serious crimes are involved, HB398 would require the initial use of this sort of evidence based, restorative discipline to provide opportunities for positive and instructive responses to misconduct. This can help students develop the self discipline and appropriate conduct they will need to grow into emotionally healthy adults. HB398 will not only help individual students but the larger community as well, and deserves broad support.

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