Disproportionality In Special Education

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Disproportionality refers to the overrepresentation or underrepresentation of particular demographic groups in comparison to the overall student population. Disproportionate representation of ethnically diverse students in special education and disciplinary action (office referrals, suspensions, and expulsions) has been an epidemic in the school system for the past forty years (Walker & Gresham, 2014). This disproportionality occurs at every level of education, elementary to high school, and every level of disciplinary action (Walker & Gresham, 2014). Research has found evidence that suggests a student’s ethnicity can significantly influence the likelihood of diagnostic identification, as well as disciplinary action (Walker & Gresham, 2014).…show more content…
While some children have trouble with the rules for how to behave, so it is common to see students being redirected every so often. However, I have noticed on a few occasions some of the African American students will be reprimanded for not following the PAX rules (such as being quiet in the halls and keeping hands to themselves) when another student (often times Caucasian) will be gently reminded of the rules. The students in Meachem Elementary are, unfortunately, fully aware of the difference in consequences due to ethnicity. A large majority of the school staff are Caucasian, furthering the belief in some students that they will fail due to their skin color. This sets students up for long-term outcomes that can affect their drive for academic and behavioral…show more content…
At Meachem, there is a student who is punished for leaving the classroom on his own accord, yet when he acts out in class, the teacher will often send him into the hallway. This sends the student a mixed message on appropriate and inappropriate behavior. A way to integrate best practice in this situation is to sit down with the student and teacher and establish ground rules for appropriate behavior. One should also explain to the teacher that a child cannot be reprimanded for behaviors that the teacher is instituting. Additionally, a check in/check out system with a peer mentor may be beneficial to the student in helping them achieve daily goals, such as calming down when upset or completing class work. A larger scale check in/check out with the classroom teacher may also be useful for setting goals, such as remaining in the classroom for a certain period of time and then being allowed to walk around the school with a peer for a few minutes. In general, Meachem appears to be lacking a strong Tier 2 behavioral intervention basis, with many of the staff feeling overwhelmed and underprepared to effectively handle students with behavioral problems. A way to approach this concern would be to provide more support and professional development for the school staff when handling students with emotional and

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