Case Studies

Transforming Discipline

  • Build Equitable and Inclusive Schools
  • Data-Driven School Culture Improvement
  • Year-Over-Year Data for Reporting
Group of diverse high school students walking through the hall

In an upstate New York suburban district with nine schools serving 6,000 students, YouthTruth’s partnership sparked a transformation in disciplinary practices. The Director of Student Services and Special Education, alarmed by inconsistent and disproportionate discipline, turned to YouthTruth data for insights. The data revealed a stark reality: only a third of high school students and less than half of middle school students believed that discipline at their school was fair. This perception echoed in family and staff reports, signaling a systemic issue.

Armed with this clarity, the district embarked on a mission to “get discipline right.” They re-evaluated their code of conduct, embracing restorative practices to foster a more equitable environment. Key policy revisions were implemented, supported by the addition of a full-time district-level staff member dedicated to working with principals experiencing high suspension rates.

Over the course of three years, YouthTruth surveys became a compass for change. Positive perceptions of fairness among middle school students rose to 44%, while high school students’ perception climbed to 54%. Equally significant were improvements in how students perceived adult-student interactions: from 70% to 81% positive in middle schools and from 56% to 65% positive in high schools, reflecting a culture shift towards respect and fairness.