[R-0406] S1. Laws, Policies, Procedures, and Ethical Principles

Citation: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: U.S. Department of Education. (2014). Policy statement on expulsion and suspension policies in early childhood settings. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved from http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/ecd/expulsion_suspension_final.pdf [or enter” Policy statement on expulsion and suspension policies in early childhood settingsin your search window ]

Abstract: The purpose of this policy statement is to support families, early childhood programs, and states by providing recommendations from the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Education (ED) for preventing and severely limiting expulsion and suspension practices in early childhood settings. Recent data indicate that expulsions and suspensions occur at high rates in preschool settings. This is particularly troubling given that research suggests that school expulsion and suspension practices are associated with negative educational and life outcomes. In addition, racial and gender disparities exist in these practices.

Integration: One of the recommendations in this policy statement is as follows: To prevent, severely limit, and ultimately eliminate expulsion and suspension practices, all program staff should have access to additional support from specialists or consultants, such as early childhood mental health consultants, behavioral specialists, or special educators. Such support would provide assistance in conducting more sophisticated evaluations; identifying additional services if needed for children, families, or staff; understanding and responding appropriately to other behavioral determinants in the child’s life, such as exposure to traumatic events or stressors; developing evidence-based individualized behavior support plans for children who require them; and building greater capacity in teachers and staff to implement those behavior support plans. Early childhood teachers who report regular access to such mental health and behavioral supports, report half the rate of expulsions than do teachers who report no such access.

Content Focus: Behavioral Specialist; Child Guidance; Collaboration; Discipline; Exclusionary Discipline Practices; Expulsion; Family; Gender Disparities; Health; Information Sharing; Parent; Parent Rights; Partnership; Policy; Protection; Racial Disparities; Safety; Special Education Services; Stress; Support Services; Suspension; Trauma; Well-Being

Notes: An activity might involve students researching one resource found in Appendix 3: Resources for Parents and Families and share with the class how they would use it to facilitate partnership and information-sharing with families.