Fix School Discipline Toolkit for Educators - Page 18

stage of their lives. Jeanney Munoz, 12th Grader: Before no one really cared about school. When I first started in 9th grade, I really didn’t like coming here and it was always dirty. You could just walk out of class and no one would care where you went. Last year, when Mr. R got here, it got so much better. You could actually use the restrooms. Now, this year, people care more and teachers care more too. Were there any setbacks when you were first began PBIS implementation? Principal Rubalcaba: We experienced some pushback from some teachers and staff when we first brought SWPBIS to the entire school. I can give you an example that exemplifies how we do things differently now: A student urinated in the corner of the locker room. Before SWPBIS, the student would have been suspended for two to three days. Instead of suspending the student, we called the parent and asked how we should address the situation. The parent suggested that we have the student clean up the entire locker room. After all of this, the student apologized and said, “Mr. R, there was no honor in what I did. I embarrassed myself and my family.” Since then that kid made the Honor Roll and National Honor Society. I asked teachers if this was okay or if we should had suspended him; and many of them got it. Of course, there was still some pushback from teachers who were accustomed to traditional discipline practices but people, for the most part, are working hard to make this work. Last year we had 3 suspensions and this year we have had only one so far. Additionally, there have been less fights, graffiti, and paperwork. People have been saying that kids are better this year. But it’s not the kids, it’s us; we are focused on positive intervention and prevention. How has climate at Azusa High School changed? Metztlie Cisneros, 12th Grader: There is more student involvement and the reputation of our school is better. There is more school spirit. Mr. R. got into it too. At pep rallies in the past, we actually had to be quiet. This year, we could be rowdy and we got to smash a pie in his face and do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. We also learned about ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). It’s nice to just see how Mr. R has school spirit too. Our school used to have the reputation of being the “ghetto’ school and people 16 How we can fix school discipline would say, “Why are you going to Azusa, you should go to Gladstone.” But now I know a lot of people who want to transfer to Azusa High from other schools. Everyone really appreciates what Mr. R has done for the atmosphere of Azusa High, including my mom. Travon Browne, Custodian: In the past years, it would take us almost two hours to pick-up after lunch. There was trash and debris everywhere and the restrooms were a disaster and all tagged up. We just couldn’t get kids to pick up after themselves. Principal R told me that the trash wasn’t going to be a problem anymore. I didn’t really believe him. Principal Rubalcaba: On that first day, I asked the rest of the administrative team to pick up trash and walk around during lunch in order to model the expectations. During lunch, we walked around and we talked to students asking if they were done eating. If they were, we would take their trash and throw it away. After the first couple of days, we didn’t have to walk around cleaning up after the students; we had successfully modeled what we wanted to see. Mr. Brown : On that first day, it was crazy, there was barely any trash around and cleaning up took only 30 to 40 minutes! We are all working together and now we have time to focus on larger scale things, like painting and maintenance. Carlos Cuevas, Custodian: Everyone is now treating campus more like a home. We praise students who are doing well with clearing up after themselves or picking up trash on the ground. We let the children know that we appreciate it and reinforce positively. Ms. Dahm, English Teacher: PBIS has really impacted how I deal with behavior. I’d been having this issue with a student who came in tardy routinely. I finally got fed up when she came in late this last time. I asked her to wait outside the classroom where I asked her what she thought it said to me and the other kids when she came in late. I said, “Don’t you think it’s disrespectful to me and your classmates when you come late?” She said, “I’m not being disrespectful.” I explained that it was disrespectful when we all made the effort and got to class on time but she came whenever she felt like it. She had an ‘aha’ moment, and we haven’t really had problems ever since. Not only are students held accountable under this system, teachers are also held accountable for their