Caring for Our Children Basics

Preventing Expulsions, Suspensions, and Other Limitations in Services

Programs should have a comprehensive discipline policy that includes developmentally appropriate social-emotional and behavioral health promotion practices as well as discipline and intervention procedures that provide specific guidance on what caregivers/teachers and programs should do to prevent and respond to challenging behaviors. Programs should ensure all caregivers/teachers have access to pre- and in-service training on such practices and procedures. Practices and procedures should be clearly communicated to all staff, families, and community partners, and implemented consistently and without bias or discrimination. Preventive and discipline practices should be used as learning opportunities to guide children’s appropriate behavioral development.

Programs should establish policies that eliminate or severely limit expulsion, suspension, or other exclusionary discipline (including limiting services); these exclusionary measures should be used only in extraordinary circumstances where there are serious safety concerns1 that cannot otherwise be reduced or eliminated by the provision of reasonable modifications.

1 Determinations of safety concerns must be based on actual risks, best available objective evidence, and cannot be based on stereotypes or generalizations.

Last Updated: February 8, 2019