Governing Board receives update on Code of Conduct work

Consultant presents findings, goals for updated policies

Updated on: April 11, 2016

School Discipline FAQ | Jim Freeman's Presentation (in PDF)

At its regular meeting on Tuesday, April 5, the Tucson Unified School District Governing Board heard an update on progress toward reforming its Code of Conduct.

Jim Freeman, the consultant who is leading the revision, shared national research about school discipline that has found that students who were suspended or expelled were six times more likely to repeat a grade, five times more likely to drop out and nearly three times more likely to be in contact with the juvenile justice system the next year.

The research finds that schools that move from a zero-tolerance approach to smart school discipline better address behavioral problems and create a healthier, safer and more productive environment.

At Tucson Unified, Freeman has formed a focus group to help create new policies with a goal of having them in place for the 2016-2017 school year. The focus group includes teachers, school support staff members, school administrators, district administrators, students, parents and community members.

Among the goals for the District's new policies:

  • Create a shorter, more user-friendly Code of Conduct (currently known as the Guidelines for Student Rights and Responsibilities)
  • Establish a positive, forward-looking tone and explain the mission, vision and goals of the District.
  • Find root causes of behavior and implement disciplinary actions that help students learn appropriate behaviors, promoting positive and supportive school climates.
  • Emphasize use of a variety of techniques and use severe consequences only when necessary.
  • Promote consistency across the District.
  • Develop protocols for threats to safety and repeated misconduct.