Exclusionary discipline practices and zero-tolerance policies disproportionately affect students of color and students with disabilities. The U.S. Department of Education offers recommendations to schools on meeting their obligations under federal law to administer discipline without discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, or disability. These recommendations include the use of positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS) and restorative practices to foster safe, supportive school climates.
Race, color, and national origin
In January 2014, the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice issued a joint “Dear Colleague” letter that offers guidance for schools on administering discipline without discriminating on the basis of race, color, or national origin. The departments’ recommendations include the use of PBIS and restorative practices to ensure that discipline is administered equitably.Learn about the 2014 “Dear Colleague” letter
In August 2016, the U.S. Department of Education issued a “Dear Colleague” letter that offers recommendations on providing PBIS to students with disabilities as part of an individualized education program.Learn about the 2016 “Dear Colleague” letter