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Suspensions, being sent home, or being "counseled" out

Anonymous Member02-25-2018 06:50 PM

  • 1.  Suspensions, being sent home, or being "counseled" out

    Posted 02-15-2018 05:56 PM
    For children with social emotional and behavior differences, it has been altogether tooooooo common to just get rid of the problem (the child) instead of putting in the effort to find solutions and remediate. So, what is going on in your program, your agency, your area? What are you hearing about? Is there still a great deal of using the path of least resistance and removing the child? Are you learning of/experiencing more willingness to work with challenges, to find solutions, and to meet the needs of "those" children and "their" families?? Our Interest Forum is quite interested in hearing about what is actually happening everywhere.

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    Mary Wonderlick
    co facilitator
    At Risk & Special Needs Interest Forum
    Chicago IL
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  • 2.  RE: Suspensions, being sent home, or being "counseled" out

    Posted 02-16-2018 12:47 AM
    I am currently working with a family of 3 young girls who are at risk of becoming statistics of the behaviors you describe.
    The majority of the toxicity that the children are exposed to is based on one situation, quite possibily a temporary one.
    We need to give children the tools to manage their negative behaviors through positive reinforcement during the early years across all disciplines.
    When I open up my child care center, it will be a DAP accrediation-worthy place.  Parents and Staff will begin each day handing each child a  'clean slate', armed with tools to reinforce behavior on a positive note.
    We need to challenge the political push-down curriculum and stress the need for pushing up.  The Nikolas Cruzs of the world will not be expelled.


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    Patricia Jack
    Boulder City NV
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  • 3.  RE: Suspensions, being sent home, or being "counseled" out

    Posted 02-17-2018 11:23 AM

    One solution for stress is strengthening resilience in children.  Devereux Center for Resilient Children has information that might be helpful.



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    Steven Erwin
    Chico CA
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  • 4.  RE: Suspensions, being sent home, or being "counseled" out

    Posted 02-17-2018 12:43 PM
    I agree with the gentleman about resilience.  I recently finished a 6 week course  on children who have experienced with trauma, war,  and other adversaries and resilience.  This also covers homeless and family violence.  It was a fantastic course that I learned a lot from this course.

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    stacey walterman
    Crisfield MD
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  • 5.  RE: Suspensions, being sent home, or being "counseled" out

    Posted 02-18-2018 10:23 AM
    For me the solution is two-pronged regarding aggressive behavior. First, have enough staff that the aggression can be interrupted before another child is hurt, and second, respond to the aggressive child with an approach guided by neurological understanding.Too often such a child is responded to with punishment, which includes agitation--raised and excited voices--and disappointment (another form of punishment). There are many causes of aggression from as simple as nutrition and  sleep issues. Sometimes aggression has been modeled at home. These children are often punished at home. Punishment and other toxic (continued) stress develops the fight or flight neurons in the brain to the disadvantage of the development of the thinking (executive function) neurons. Aggressive children need a safe relationship with their caregivers who can then soothe the child's stress (aggressive children are stress about something like not understanding the loss of a toy), and develop their thinking: paying attention to the consequences of their behavior.

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    Jack Wright
    Success With Children
    St Ignatius MT
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  • 6.  RE: Suspensions, being sent home, or being "counseled" out

    Posted 02-19-2018 09:57 PM
    Really like your reply Jack Write. I have found too that making a strong connection with those children who are aggressive is important. Recently, I have even said to a 4 year old "I'm trying to help you." I don't think it even occurred to him until I said that. But I like your reasoning of trying to engage their executive thinking about the 'consequences' of their actions. This could be done when they're in a calm frame of mind of course.

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    Wendy Davis
    Preschool Teacher
    Relief Nursery
    North Bend OR
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  • 7.  RE: Suspensions, being sent home, or being "counseled" out

    Posted 02-17-2018 10:53 AM
    The year of intolerance.  We have an adorable 4 year old at school that spoke solely French and it is now learning to speak Spanish and English.  It has been challenging, but we see improvements in attention and engaging at school .he started with us in September.  Mom has another 2 year old and just had her third baby two weeks ago and a new nanny.  This kid lately likes to "push" and reacts when someone takes his toys by hitting and sometimes hits just for no reason.  We are working with the parents and at school concerning this behavior.  Some parents are advocating to "kick him out" of the program.  Their response is "sorry for this kid and mom" but no one touches my kid.  One came as far as saying we don't want bullies.  ​I am saddened at these responses and in need of tools to contain this negative response.  Every year we have kids with issues and parents have been very supportive.  Not so this year :(

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    Vera Chang-Garcia
    Culver City CA
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  • 8.  RE: Suspensions, being sent home, or being "counseled" out

    Posted 02-17-2018 11:30 AM
    This is definitely a hard topic. I have worked with troubled children, and at a private pre school. I understand that all children need a chance to learn and grow with other non troubled children but at what point do you say I can't risk the other students getting hurt or parents pulling their children out of a very reputable school? I often feel like I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place with these scenarios.

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    stacey walterman
    Crisfield MD
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  • 9.  RE: Suspensions, being sent home, or being "counseled" out

    Posted 02-18-2018 09:05 AM
    For me, the issue comes down to teacher support. A teacher can have some great strategies and teach the children social skills throughout the year, but often the situation turns into one in which they're alone in the classroom with the child and 12 other children because they're in ratio. They're also trying to get what cleaning done that they can because it's the afternoon and administration says they need to be out the door at 6, which is when the children leave. Or, if they are in a room with another teacher, one teacher manages the child and the other teacher manages the other 17 or 20 that want to copy that child's behavior or act out because they're afraid. I happen to work at a center where we can send children to the office for a break, but not all centers are that supportive. Even then, the administrators are busy and can't always give the child what they need. In these situations, it's easy for teachers to feel overwhelmed and that the best solution is simply to send the child out of the center.

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    Amy Latta
    Lead NC PreK Teacher
    "All that is gold does not glitter; not all who wander are lost." --J.R.R. Tolkien
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  • 10.  RE: Suspensions, being sent home, or being "counseled" out

    Posted 02-18-2018 09:09 AM
    Click this link for the U.S. Department of Education Policy Statement on Suspension and Expulsion Policies in Early Childhood Settings.  I know many programs that include a statement of their commitment to working with children who present challenges in their welcoming documents so all families know when they sign up. I worry most about children who speak different languages and they are away from their families in an environment where they don't understand a lot of what's happening. Pam Brillante and I wrote a Young Children article about addressing those challenging behaviors for children who are DLLs, called Solving the Puzzle. It's all about prevention - not reaction!

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    Karen Nemeth
    Language Castle LLC
    Newtown PA
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  • 11.  RE: Suspensions, being sent home, or being "counseled" out

    Posted 02-19-2018 06:16 AM
    What can be done with a child who clearly needs supports that the classroom teacher is not trained to offer? Social/emotional experts and services are available, but the parents have to give permission. When they will not accept help for their child the other children suffer. Even the best of us can not stretch ourselves to contain the disruptive child and interact positively with the other children day after day! I believe that in these cases, when the parent(s) will not help, the family can be told the child cannot stay in the program, as it (the program) cannot meet the child's needs.

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    Beth Garner
    Assistant Director
    Childspace Mt Airy
    Philadelphia PA
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  • 12.  RE: Suspensions, being sent home, or being "counseled" out

    Posted 02-19-2018 07:09 AM
    Karen Nemeth's reply was profoundly insightful and resourceful. Thanks be to you, Karen, and happy President's Day!

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    Victoria M. FL
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  • 13.  RE: Suspensions, being sent home, or being "counseled" out

    Posted 02-22-2018 10:55 AM
    ​I am an education coach in an Early Head Start program; I am also a parent. I have experienced two of my children being asked to leave programs due to behavior concerns. I have had teachers and/or the administration state to me that the teachers are not trained in how to deal with the spectrum of behaviors that my girls exhibited. They have stated the problem.....and the solution. It is time that we train teachers how to be effective in the classroom with all types of behavior. I realize that there are required trainings for teachers to have to meet standards. This should be one of them.
    We can affect this by talking to policymakers on a local, state, and national level and asking that this be a priority for our nation's children and teachers.

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    Kathy Grohs
    Education Coach
    Nebraska Early Childhood Collaborative
    Omaha NE
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  • 14.  RE: Suspensions, being sent home, or being "counseled" out

    Posted 02-23-2018 11:13 AM

    Here is a link to the AFC Expulsion and Suspension Policy Statement. It may be helpful. 

    https://www.acf.hhs.gov/occ/resource/im-2016-03



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    Julie Ehle
    ECE Coordinator
    Mid Michigan Community College
    Harrison MI
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  • 15.  RE: Suspensions, being sent home, or being "counseled" out

    Posted 02-24-2018 08:19 AM
    Julie, thank you for that link. I especially like the third point: "Invest in Workforce Training, Preparation and Development." when we give up on a child we have failed, and the skills are known regarding managing disruptive behavior just not broadly known as yet. Acting out children are anxious about something they don't understand like why they have to sit in circle. When we learn to soothe and understand them they can do the thinking that will lead to them wanting to sit in circle.

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    Jack Wright
    Success With Children
    St Ignatius MT
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  • 16.  RE: Suspensions, being sent home, or being "counseled" out

    Posted 02-24-2018 11:48 AM
    I'd like to add a slightly different perspective on this important discussion.  I strongly believe that all children, especially ones with challenging behaviors, need support and the opportunity to succeed in a classroom.  With that said, not every classroom/school setting is right for every child.  I say this from <g class="gr_ gr_45 gr-alert gr_spell gr_inline_cards gr_disable_anim_appear ContextualSpelling multiReplace" id="45" data-gr-id="45">first hand</g> experience.  I currently teach in a Parent Cooperative <g class="gr_ gr_539 gr-alert gr_spell gr_inline_cards gr_disable_anim_appear ContextualSpelling ins-del multiReplace" id="539" data-gr-id="539">presschool</g> (modeled on Bev Bos' Roseville preschool and similar to Teacher Tom's) and our school is not a good fit for some students.  We are play-based with choices all the time, mixed-age group 3 to 5 years, indoor/outdoor all the time, and 6 different parents working with 2 consistent teachers every day.  I have found that children with sensory processing issues (and some other kids with diagnosed issues) become extremely overwhelmed and stressed in our environment, leading to challenging behaviors.  Oh, and our class size is 24-28 students per day.  We have plenty of adults - but most of them are parents, which varies the ability to manage children.  We have plenty of students with differing needs that we have successfully served from speech and <g class="gr_ gr_335 gr-alert gr_spell gr_inline_cards gr_disable_anim_appear ContextualSpelling ins-del multiReplace" id="335" data-gr-id="335">langauge</g> issues to autism.  However, some students need more structure and support than we can provide, or a smaller classroom, or simply a different type of program.  We do children and families a disservice by not informing them that a setting is not right for their child or that their child needs more support (or in some circumstances, an evaluation).

    I think it is educational arrogance to believe your setting works for every child - <g class="gr_ gr_31 gr-alert gr_spell gr_inline_cards gr_disable_anim_appear ContextualSpelling multiReplace" id="31" data-gr-id="31">its</g> simply not true.  I have worked in different settings that are more structured, and some kids don't thrive in those settings.  I also think that we beat ourselves up way too much when we cannot help a child.  Those kids stick with us emotionally for a long time.  I have had to counsel out families from my current school, and it is always a long process (usually 6 months of trying every strategy and looking for more support for the kid/family).  And it is painful for everyone involved.  But I have learned that sometimes letting go is the right choice.

    As for additional training for teachers, I am all for it - but it's not a magic.  I have an undergraduate degreee in Nursery/Kindergarten education from <g class="gr_ gr_413 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_disable_anim_appear Grammar only-ins replaceWithoutSep" id="413" data-gr-id="413">University</g> of Delaware, and a Masters in Early Childhood Special Education from Bank Street College of Education - and I still see kids each year that have me scratching my head.  Training for classroom teachers is a starting point, but until all schools have integrated specialists (speech/language, OT, PT, psychologist) and services available, we won't reach the level of support needed for some students.

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    Kathy Clark
    Kensington CA
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  • 17.  RE: Suspensions, being sent home, or being "counseled" out

    Posted 02-25-2018 07:47 AM
    Kathy, thank you for adding to this discussion. Needing to have untrained adults as a significant factor in a program would surely limit the responses needed for children who haven't regulated emotion and impulsivity. In fact, it could make them worse. I am happy to see that there are programs that make some childcare affordable. That's an improvement over babysitting. I do want to warn against using diagnosis. Diagnosed problems, especially ADHD, are being found to be a response to toxic stress, like corporal punishment, and the best treatment is becoming accepted to be effective responding--stress lowering--by as many adults as can be mustered, but at least by their primary and professional caregivers. I think that we are finding that any diagnosis other than the need for brain development is misleading.

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    Jack Wright
    Success With Children
    St Ignatius MT
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  • 18.  RE: Suspensions, being sent home, or being "counseled" out

    Posted 02-25-2018 03:59 PM
    Someone replied that " I think it is educational arrogance to believe your setting works for every child - <g class="gr_ gr_31 gr-alert gr_spell gr_inline_cards gr_disable_anim_appear ContextualSpelling multiReplace" id="31" data-gr-id="31">its</g> simply not true."
    Preschool is the precursor for the public education system. Can someone provide an explanation on how one is to accept the realities of K12,  based upon "educational arrogance",   considering the setting is designed for every child coming through the door?
    Early learning practitioners are on the front-line of children's academic attainment and behavioral modifications to make them socially integrative. Lacking in either starts the wheels turning in the infamous "playschool to prison pipeline".  What are we missing in the behavior - academic dichotomy in early learning? As the writer mentioned,  professional services are not available or supported in early childcare.  There's an interesting TEDx talk pasted below.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8nkcRMZKV4




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    Gary Beulah
    CEO
    SoftBlue
    Riverdale GA
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  • 19.  RE: Suspensions, being sent home, or being "counseled" out

    This message was posted by a user wishing to remain anonymous
    Posted 02-25-2018 06:50 PM
    This post was removed


  • 20.  RE: Suspensions, being sent home, or being "counseled" out

    Posted 02-27-2018 08:36 AM
    Sarah:  Your book looks wonderful.  My program works with many childcare centers in my city.  There are some who think it's appropriate to have a "three strikes and you're out" policy for children's behavior.  I've had to explain that this isn't the norm in most childcare settings and that teachers need support when there is a child in their setting who has some challenging behaviors, so that they can support that child, not simply expect them to change or expel them.  It's been difficult for me to realize that there are directors who don't understand this, as it seems fundamental.  Your book seems perfect as a learning tool for those directors and teachers.  I look forward to reading it.

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    Aren Stone
    Child Development Specialist
    The Early Years Project
    Cambridge, MA
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  • 21.  RE: Suspensions, being sent home, or being "counseled" out

    Posted 03-09-2018 12:54 AM
    We  -- the At-Risk & Special Needs Interest Forum -- thank you for your thoughtful replies and suggestions.

    As we have been considering this topic from the point of view of our settings, The National Black Child Development Institute. a sister organization to NAEYC, is announcing its 1st national advocacy initiative because this is such a serious and pervasive challenge to children and families -- and to our professional practice.

    Here is a quote from their recent email newsletter:
     Announcing NBCDI's First Advocacy Initiative  
    Join the Community of Practice Today!  
    Did you know that over 250 preschoolers are suspended or expelled in the United States every day? These young children are disproportionately Black. The discriminatory practice of suspensions and expulsions has expanded the preschool-to-prison pipeline putting the futures of thousands of Black children in jeopardy.

    To address this crisis in 2017, the National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI) announced the Delivering on the Promise campaign. The Delivering on the Promise campaign is designed to address disparities in school discipline for Black children. The campaign will promote inclusive and culturally-responsive early learning environments and focus on dismantling the preschool to prison pipeline. Today, we are proud to launch the campaign's first grassroots initiative the Community of Practice (COP).
    The COP will engage elected officials, advocacy groups, activists, media influencers, parents, school districts, clergy and community leaders in the Delivering on the Promise campaign to end suspensions and expulsions in early education settings. Each COP will develop action steps, policy recommendations and community engagement/partnership practices to inform and provide leaders with the tools necessary to end the discriminatory practice of suspensions and expulsions. The futures of young Black children are at stake in early learning centers and classrooms across this nation. It's time to organize, activate and get involved. To join a COP in your community, please click here to sign-up.
       
    Black children need you to take action today:
    • Black preschool children are 3.6 times as likely to receive one or more out-of-school suspensions as white preschool children.
    • Black children represent 19 percent of preschool enrollment, but 47 percent of preschool children receiving one or more out-of-school suspensions. In comparison, white children represent 41 percent of preschool enrollment, but 28 percent of preschool children receiving one or more out-of-school suspensions.
    • Black boys represent 19 percent of male preschool enrollment, but 45 percent of male preschool children receiving one or more out-of-school suspensions.
    • Black girls represent 20 percent of female preschool enrollment, but 54 percent of female preschool children receiving one or more out-of-school suspensions.


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    Mary Wonderlick
    co facilitator
    At Risk & Special Needs Interest Forum
    Chicago IL
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