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School suspensions are a common solution to a temporary problem; many times students who are suspended will not necessarily learn from their mistakes and instead feel rejected by the status quo. Removing the student from their learning environment can make them feel isolated, resulting in creating negative feelings and impressions toward school in general, which can lead to further issues and prevent them from attaining an education.

An alternative way of handling misbehavior and subsequently minimizing suspensions in schools can be achieved with the proper mindset and drive. To help you learn about different ways that you can approach discipline, here’s a list of some alternatives to suspension.

Change their schedule

For students who are misbehaving, it can be a good practice to alter their schedule so they can still access their education without having the same privileges they previously had. Instead of giving free periods, you can add in a remedial period or have them meet with a guidance counselor. When combined with analyzing why they got in trouble in the first place, changing a student’s schedule can be an effective method to make a student face consequences and learn from the incident.

Counseling

Young students may act out for reasons beyond their control, such as issues at home or with their classmates. Offering children counseling shows them that they can solve their problems without being punished persistently for them, something that can serve as a motivator for self-improvement. It can also allow educators to learn if there are issues in the student’s life that they should be aware of and can actively work to improve.

Community service

A way for students to face consequences is to have them participate in school-based community service or activities. This alternative can help students not only do something concrete for discipline, but also get to know other people and subsequently learn about how to work with others. They’ll be doing something good for others, which is often a rewarding experience. With this method, there is also the added benefit of preventing suspensions by supporting community engagement.

Restorative justice

Using Restorative Justice means that students can be separated into small groups and figure out how to sort out moments of stress on their own. Within these groups, encourage the children to speak openly about their issues and be able to receive support from each other. It’s a promising method that is being used across the country because of its efficiency at helping students create a community and be there for each other. Through creating a communal sense, one can reduce students acting out in response to frustrations they might have.