This is an archive of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s (OJJDP's) electronic newsletter OJJDP News @ a Glance. The information in this archived resource may be outdated and links may no longer function. Visit our website at for current information.
September | October 2014

National Leadership Summit Sets Agenda for Enhancing School Climate
National Leadership Summit

On October 6–7, 2014, top education and justice officials, youth advocates, and parents from states and localities across the nation convened in Washington, DC, for the National Leadership Summit on School Discipline and Climate. Participants shared their challenges and successes in enhancing school climate, reforming school discipline policies and practices, and reducing student entry into the juvenile justice system. They also developed action plans focused on building political will, leveraging policies and funding, and establishing and maintaining cross-system collaboration. In addition, the summit provided comprehensive information about the technical assistance and financial resources available to assist states and communities in these efforts.

The event was cosponsored by OJJDP, the U.S. Department of Education, the Atlantic Philanthropies, the California Endowment, the  Edward W. Hazen Foundation, the Open Society Foundations, the Schott Foundation for Public Education, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

The summit featured special information-sharing sessions on how states and localities are putting into action the recommendations of the school discipline guidance package issued in January 2014 by the Departments of Justice and Education; and the recommendations released in June by the Council of State Governments’ school discipline consensus project.

These resources are key components of the Supportive School Discipline Initiative, launched by the Departments of Justice and Education in 2011 to end harsh and exclusionary discipline practices that push youth out of school and into the justice system. OJJDP is coordinating the Justice Department’s work on the initiative.

A 2011 statewide study on the impact of school disciplinary practices on students’ academic success and juvenile justice involvement determined that nearly six in ten public school students were suspended or expelled at least once between their seventh- and twelfth-grade school years. The study also found that when a student was suspended or expelled, his or her likelihood of being involved in the juvenile justice system the subsequent year increased significantly. In addition, the study revealed that students who were African American or who qualified for special education services were treated more harshly than were other students.

OJJDP Administrator Robert L. Listenbee offered welcoming remarks on the summit’s second day and then cofacilitated an audience feedback session on topics covered during the first day of the summit. The session covered issues such as using data to inform decisionmaking, addressing trauma, and ensuring that policies and practices support a smooth transition for youth returning to school from the juvenile justice system.

The summit was convened as a followup to the 2012 National Leadership Summit on School-Justice Partnerships, organized by the New York State Permanent Judicial Commission on Justice for Children. The 2012 summit, which took place in New York City, brought together juvenile court judges, school administrators, juvenile justice professionals, educators, and researchers from nearly every state and territory to focus attention on the importance of school-justice partnerships and evidence-based strategies that can help students stay in school and out of the juvenile justice system.


More information about the Supportive School Discipline Initiative is available on the U.S. Department of Education Web site and the July/August 2011, May/June 2012, January/February 2014, and May/June 2014 issues of OJJDP News @ a Glance.