Considering a function-based approach for reducing disproportional disciplinary practices

R. Allan Allday, Jonathan L. Burt, Kaitlin N. Haggard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Research has suggested that students from underserved and underrepresented backgrounds (e.g., students of color and those with disabilities) have received higher rates of exclusionary discipline (e.g., suspensions and expulsions) than their peers who are White and without disability. Various interventions have been implemented to address this issue; however, disproportional disciplinary practices remain an area of concern for school leaders and researchers. The current article posits an alternative approach to this issue through reframing how we think of education and exclusionary discipline. Addressing behavior through the lens of behavioral functioning allows for teachers and administrators to be able to better pinpoint “why” a student is engaging in a behavior that may lead to disciplinary infractions. This approach can help with disproportional disciplinary practices as determining behavioral functioning helps to drive effective intervention, which, when implemented with fidelity, should reduce the need to remove the student from class. Supplemental data for this article is available online at

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)332-342
Number of pages11
JournalPreventing School Failure
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Disciplinary practices
  • behavior functioning
  • disability
  • students of color
  • suspension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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