“If you walk into a detention room, you will find that most of the students are boys and if a student is out of class, it is a concern to all of us.” says Leataata Floyd Elementary School Principal Billy Aydelett.

All over California, teachers, principals, parents and community members are trying to fix school discipline.

If a student is out of class then they are not learning. Multiple suspensions could lead to students being held back and dropping out of school.

According to the California Department of Education, last year 3,271 students were suspended in Sacramento City Unified School District. 1,565  of those students were suspended for willful defiance.

Staff at Leataata Floyd are focusing on the data. They are looking at how many students are being suspended for willful defiance and how they cater to students needs to change those statistics.

Staff at Leataata Floyd Elementary School

Staff at Leataata Floyd Elementary School

One practice that has been implemented at Leataata Floyd is the Incident Report Form. Teachers now fill out an Incident Report Form online instead of the traditional paper referrals. This way, referrals don’t get lost on the way to the office and there is a more organized way to track incidents. The online Incident Report Form tracks previous incidents associated with one student and strives to figure out the student’s motivation in acting out.

“We have to find the root cause of what we are seeing. We want school staff to think about the student’s motivation of behavior.” says Aydelett. “This way we can see whether the student needs more attention or is bored in class.”

Principal Aydelett and Leataata Floyd staff are working to decrease suspension rates at their school. They are hoping that their practices may be spread across the district to decrease suspension rates district wide.

For information and to learn how to start fixing school discipline at your school or district, click here.