Fort Bend ISD resolves compliance review regarding student disciplinary practices (7/26/2018)
U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights completes investigation without findings of wrongdoing
FORT BEND ISD (July 26, 2018) – Fort Bend ISD has resolved a compliance review initiated by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) regarding the District’s disciplinary practices. In May of 2012, the OCR notified Fort Bend ISD that it was seeking to determine whether the District discriminated against African-American students by disciplining them more frequently and harshly than other similarly situated students. Following six years of investigation, the OCR did not make any finding that the District discriminated against any students and did not otherwise identify any wrongdoing or non-compliance with federal law.
After joining the District in April of 2013, Dr. Charles Dupre created the Department of Student Affairs to support campus principals and administrators, and guide them through behavior management scenarios that keep their campuses safe and secure. The department also trains and advises campus administrators on disciplinary procedures and hears all expulsion appeals to ensure that discipline is fairly and consistently applied in accordance with the FBISD Code of Conduct. This Code of Conduct outlines all expectations for student behavior and is reviewed annually and approved by the Board of Trustees.
“In our recent conversations with the Office of Civil Rights, Fort Bend ISD has been proud to share the details of what we have done in the last five years to support students and staff members, and demonstrate that these efforts are working,” said Dr. Dupre.
“The implementation of an enhanced organizational structure, along with ongoing training, is a part of our ongoing efforts to provide safe and supportive learning environments for all students, but I am most proud of our efforts to build relationships between our students and staff.”
Focusing on positive behavior interventions, Fort Bend ISD and its staff have implemented restorative discipline practices at selected middle school and elementary campuses, which provide students with proactive relationship building and problem-solving skills that help them to self-regulate their behavior. These practices involve collaboration between students, staff and parents, and support the creation and sustainment of positive culture and climates by focusing on building relationships, students’ and staff’s needs, and the causes and effects of problem behavior.
“During the last five years, Fort Bend ISD has actively worked with our staff members and administrators to take preemptive actions to help improve student behavior – but also increase our early identification and intervention measures. We have seen positive results, and as a District that is focused on the whole-child and teaching students to be responsible for their behavior, we are committed to continuing this work, long after the OCR investigation is complete,” said Dupre.
As a part of the resolution, Fort Bend ISD will continue to review and provide training regarding its discipline policies and procedures and will track and monitor discipline data.
“As we start the 2018-19 school year, we are firm in our resolve to support our students, staff and families,” said Dupre. “To learn, students must be present and actively engaged in their learning – this has always been the goal.”