Discipline--the most serious problem faced by teachers today--has consistently appeared at or near the top of the public's attitudes toward the public schools. This paper discusses the difficulty of discipline and one of the most perplexing problems facing administrators today--the use of suspension as a discipline alternative. Out-of-school suspension (OSS) offers only a temporary solution to maintaining order because of legal restrictions on its length. Moreover, such suspensions are likely to increase discipline problems. An in-depth examination of in-school suspension programs (ISS) is presented, including problems with ISS programs, some effective models of ISS, and specific ideas for program improvement. ISS programs have great potential for success; however, given the way they are currently implemented, they need to be improved. If properly designed and administered, with an evaluation phase, professional intervention by the counselor and administrator, and assignment requirements, ISS programs can go beyond mere eviction to accomplish something positive on behalf of students. ISS programs accomplish everything that OSS programs do--they remove the troublemaker from the class, but do not reward the student for bad behavior with a vacation from school. (Contains 41 references.) (DFR)
Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of Women in Educational Leadership (Bicton, Western Australia, April 16, 1999).