Suspensions ‘really ineffective’ for addressing misbehavior, UW–Madison’s Eklund tells WKOW

Katie Eklund, an associate professor in the School of Education’s Department of Educational Psychology, spoke with Madison ABC affiliate WKOW about whether suspensions are worthwhile for elementary school students. 

Katie Eklund

“Out of school suspensions are really ineffective at addressing student misbehavior,” Eklund tells WKOW. “We often think of out of school suspensions as being a punishment, that it’s going to help improve student behaviors or that they’ll learn from their mistakes by being out of school. What we actually find is it does just the opposite,” she says.

According to WKOW, the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) has recently changed their suspension policy, completely eliminating out of school suspensions in elementary schools. Eklund says that this will be much more effective at helping and supporting students.

“Schools have practices in place that really support kids who might be having behavioral challenges or concerns to try to give them that positive adult recognition that they might need and really thrive from,” Eklund says.

For a student with behavioral issues, Eklund says the best thing is an adult that can give them extra instruction and support.

Read the full WKOW story or watch the video report to learn more.

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