“Attending the Rethink Discipline conference in
Washington, D.C. was an honor and a privilege,” said Principal Julie Bakehorn
of Arsenal Technical High School as we welcomed her home.
Principal Bakehorn, Superintendent Dr. Lewis D. Ferebee and Dr.
Cynthia Jackson, the district Positive Discipline Coordinator, joined a
collection of district and state leaders from across the country at an assembly
hosted by the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice at the White House
earlier this week.
School leaders were given the opportunity to share best
practices to reduce racial disproportionality in discipline by fostering safe
and supportive learning environments to keep kids out of the juvenile justice
system. We’ve gained several resources to help address root causes of
disciplinary disparities; IPS will continue researching and implementing
discipline strategies to reduce suspensions and expulsions to provide safe
“In 2014-2015, IPS Schools gained 83 thousand instructional hours by
reducing suspensions by 41% and expulsions by 83%,” said Dr. Ferebee. We
couldn’t be more proud to gain inspiration and share our progress with various
leaders on a national stage!
“We’re on the right track in our movement forward,” says Bakehorn.
Teachers and students alike have the right to a safe and supportive environment
that’s conducive to learning. Decreasing these rates requires focus on the
emotional, behavioral and social needs of our students. Utilizing the tools and
resources provided, we hope to increase awareness on the impact that
suspensions and expulsions has on our youth and plan to create positive and
thriving school climates throughout the district.
The Department of Education has launched an awareness campaign to
support and engage school communities that will run through the months to
follow the conference. We support this cause and our followers may see
references to #RethinkDiscipline on our various district social media platforms.
We invite everyone to follow in our journey.