Implementing Positive Behavior Support in Early Childhood Through High School
Edited By Chun Zhang, Carlos McCray and Su-Je Cho
9. A School-Wide Positive Behavior Support Model in Middle and High School
CHRISTOPHER D. YAWN AND LENWOOD GIBSON JR.
Teachers often find themselves in the undesirable and precarious position of having to address problematic student behaviors (Gibson, 2013). School violence and lack of administrative response are the reasons many teachers have given for leaving their school or even the teaching profession as a whole (Smith & Smith, 2006). While there have indeed been instances of teachers “crying wolf” or magnifying minor offenses, the fact is that many teachers are faced with behavioral issues that they are not adequately trained to handle (Obiakor, 2004). Conversely, many students find themselves in schools where they would like to see (a) more structure, (b) adults showing them there are boundaries, and (c) adults demonstrating care for students by stopping and correctly addressing self-destructive behavior. Across many school districts, the focus is on exerting control and enforcing draconian disciplinary methods that ultimately cause students more harm than good. There is an overreliance on ineffective measures that simply punish and remove students from the learning environment, instead of teaching them appropriate replacement behaviors (Sugai & Horner, 2008). For example, the American Psychological Association has investigated the use of zero tolerance and found that it has not yielded the expected results in curtailing school violence (2008); yet it remains a widely adopted policy. Sanctioned methods of punishment have often resulted in the prejudicial treatment of students from culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) backgrounds (Losen & Gillespie, 2012). Furthermore, students who are the most vulnerable and...
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