ATS – Alternative to Suspension in Standard School District

ABC News Article

Mark Christian
4:00 PM, May 7, 2015

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - The Standard School District is the first in the county that has implemented a program that focuses on restorative justice for students.

The repetitive cycle of discipline has been met head-on giving students tools for anger management and communication during a conflict.

In response to rising suspensions, expulsions and out of district educational placements, the Standard School District now utilizes the restorative discipline practices, which is referred as the ATS - Alternative to Suspension.

Patti Heiser, ATS - Alternative to Suspension teacher said, "We have a program that teaches them to calm down, deal with the problem and then how to restore a relationship back with someone they offended. Typically when a student's behavior causes them to receive discipline a home suspension does nothing to correct the behavior."

Sabrina Bentrott, a student said, "Usually you just sit there and watch TV, pick up the house a little bit and just go back to bed."

This program keeps the students at school, working with trained counselors and group discussions that are targeted to reach the heart of the matter.

The program has be met with tremendous success, with a significant drop in behavioral problems on campus since it began last August.