Rebound was in the news this semester, as Durham Public Schools revised its discipline policies to include more alternatives to out-of-school suspension. Written over the course of a year by a 47-member task force of diverse stakeholders (including Rebound Board of Directors member Teka Dempson), the new policies contain major changes that favor positive behavioral supports over suspensions. The changes set a new course entirely: one that guides schools to work with parents and students to teach appropriate behavior, with the help of positive interventions. The policies encourage schools to use many of the interventions — peer mediation, conflict resolution, counseling, and conference — that Rebound has found so successful. Policy 4300 (at pages 106-111 of linked pdf), “School Discipline: Climate and Prevention,” and Policy 4301 (at pages 40-100 of the linked pdf) “Code of Student Conduct,” were approved by the DPS Board of Education in February 2016 and will go into effect next school year.
Rebound exists to teach, instead of punish, so we welcome these positive changes to the DPS discipline policies with thanks and hope. We look forward to working with DPS and the Durham community on truly creating a new climate in our schools.