What is In School Suspension

ISS (In-School Suspension) is a decision made by the school to remove a student from school under certain circumstances  in school suspensions programs  school rules . These include suspension for more than 10 days in a single semester, suspension due to violence on campus, suspension of an entire grade level, or suspension due to medical reasons  in school suspension  other students . ISS may also be used to temporarily suspend a student while the school and student work out a cooling-off period follow school rules behavioral support.

ISS has been found to have adverse effects on students, both mental and physical. On average, students who are assigned ISS miss more days than students who are suspended from school. Academic achievement levels drop for students assigned to ISS. Some students have been known to withdraw from school because of their experience with ISS in school suspension.

According to a study done by the National School Boards Association, one-third of the 1,547 school districts surveyed used some form of Intensive In-School Discipline programs  discipline students . In these programs, low-status offenders were segregated in small groups of similar offenders and given intense behavioral instruction. The programs were claimed to be successful at improving problem behavior while also reducing classroom disruptions  school personnel.  A 2002 review by the United States Secretary of Education found no evidence that these policies reduced crime, nor was there evidence that they improved school outcomes for disadvantaged students. The most comprehensive research on ISS programs was conducted by a team from RAND Corporation in 1997 and 1998, but the results were inconclusive out of school suspension.

In recent years, the use of ISS has been criticized because of its adverse effects on both child and teacher mental health. This can be demonstrated through a study done by the University of North Carolina. Results showed that students assigned ISS have increased depression, aggression and withdrawal school psychologist  . The results also showed that teachers  complained of increased stress and health problems  in school suspension. One study done at the University of Maryland found that special education seniors who had been suspended from school were more likely to engage in risk-taking behaviors than those who had not been suspended, even when statistically controlled for race and poverty.

Many school administrators have been criticized for the use of ISS in schools. The American Psychological Association and the American Federation of Teachers have both criticized this practice. The American Psychological Association has stated that “…research shows that students who are frequently suspended from school suffer negative impacts …(ISS) programs are associated with increased mental health problems, including suicidal thoughts and behaviors.” The American Federation of Teachers claims that teachers spend less time teaching and more time monitoring student behavior when using ISS. This in turn results in lower student grades and decreased motivation to learn. An article in the National Association of Elementary School Principals even blames ISS as one of the reasons why students do not respect school administrators or teachers.

Critics also argue that ISS places an unfair financial burden on many schools due to long-term absences and significantly higher health care costs. In a report done by the National Council on Disability, the number of case reviews requested of Illinois schools that were found to have used ISS were over 500 in 2000, and over 800 in 2001. The reported annual cost to schools and districts for ISS ranged from $1,000 to $2,000 per student.

Circumstances that might cause students to be a candidate for ISS include, but are not limited to:

1. Violence in school

Violence is termed as a serious threat to student safety and well-being, and is defined as physical violence or verbal threats intended to cause bodily harm or property damage  in school suspension rules  classroom rules. Types of violence that might result in a student being placed on ISS are verbal threats intended to impress fear or injury on another person, physical fighting in the school, assaultive behavior involving weapons (e.g., guns), deliberate physical harm, deliberate property damage, deliberate introduction of drugs or alcohol (e.g., heroin on school grounds), vandalism and bullying.

2. Possession of weapons

Possession of any weapon on school property, including knives, guns, and BB guns is a major cause for concern by school authorities. Possession of these items can be dangerous to both teachers and students alike. Students who are caught with weapons on school  may be immediately assigned ISS as a consequence. The student will also be suspended from school for a time period that is decided by the school’s disciplinary board or the principal.

3. Drugs

Students who bring drugs or alcohol onto school may be assigned for a period of time that is decided by the disciplinary board or principal. The long-term suspension (for more than 10 days) is handled by the individual school district in conjunction with the Superintendent’s office academic support. Students with a long-term suspension may also attend an alternative setting, such as a continuation high school, if their home district has one available.

 4. Theft

If a student steals an item that is worth less than $25, he or she will be punished by the school disciplinary board. The board will decide if the student is guilty or not and what consequences to assign. If the student is proven guilty, he or she will usually get ISS. If the stolen item is worth more than $25, then the student will be suspended for more than five days and stay in ISS until his or her disciplinary hearing. The board will decide what consequences to assign by weighing the student’s past record and the circumstances surrounding each offense.

Teachers are individuals who are assigned certain tasks in a school environment, including educating students, enforcing , and maintaining a safe school environment. They are responsible for teaching their classes and maintaining the safe learning environment.

ISS is an alternative to long term suspension. ISS is a tool that schools can use, in place of long term suspension, when a student has broken the school’s rules. ISS, or in-school suspension, is an alternative to short term suspension and long term suspension. ISS is only assigned to middle school and high school students and can not be used for elementary school students. ISS is used when a student has disobeyed a teacher, or broken school policy and rules  behavior management program. The student would be given one or more days of ISS (in school suspension). The teacher would not have to discipline the student outside of the classroom by giving him or her marks in class or even taking away extra recess time. A student’s attendance record will be affected by ISS positive behavior.

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