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How Will/Should a Positive Behavioral Support System (PBSS) Look Different—or Be Developed and Implemented Differently—at the Elementary, Middle School, and High School Levels?

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After Jackie Robinson broke the “color line” to become the first African American to play in the major leagues he experienced hate letters, death threats against his family what forms of discrimination do these examples represent? According to Merton’s typology of prejudice and discrimination, these acts against Jackie Robinson and his family represent a variety of types of discrimination. While I will not interact with Merton’s theories directly or in quotable form, his typology underlies my analysis of the Robinson documentary. In the first place, these discrimination acts do represent racial discrimination. They are based on or motivated by the color of Robinson. As the first black American to play in the major leagues, Robinson was deemed as an outlier and not worthy of such participation by many white people.

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“Positive Behavior Support (PBS) has made a difference in our building. During the 2006-2007 school year, Keppen Elementary began developing a PBS plan that would work for our student population. The plan was administrator supported and staff developed. In the spring of 2007, it was implemented. Since then, there has been a noticeable difference in student behavior. There is a real sense that staff members are discovering new ways to handle problems in their classrooms, the number of referrals is down, and students are communicating to each other in improved ways. Overall, the building is more positive and student discipline incidents have dropped. The year-to-date total amount of office discipline referrals in comparison to this point last year is down 21 percent.Since its inception more than 13 years ago at the University of Oregon, Positive Behavior Supports (PBS) has developed into a framework that can be used by any school to help improve the social and learning behaviors of students and decrease disruptions that interfere with instruction. PBS is now implemented in thousands of schools across the country and hundreds of schools in Michigan, including preschools, elementary, middle, and high schools

It is also being implemented in programs for students with severe emotional impairments and developmental disabilities, and juvenile facilities.

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Past practice has been to increase the amount and intensity of punitive disciplinary procedures when schools address challenging behavior (Lassen et al., 2006)

Examples include expelling and suspending students, hiring security officers, adopting zero tolerance policies, and putting students in alternative educational facilities. Further examination is needed to determine the effectiveness of such approaches, and some research even suggests that strategies like these can increase problem behavior (Lassen et al., 2006). On the contrary, an increasing amount of research supports the use of proactive and preventative approaches when addressing problematic behavior in schools (Lassen et al., 2006). School-wide positive behavior support programs (SWPBS) emphasize proactive and preventative approaches rather than reactive and punitive methods. Knowing that good behavior is strengthened by positive reinforcement, schools need to take a proactive approach to dealing with challenging behavior. Incorporating SWPBS is one proactive approach. A study of the components necessary for the successful implementation of school-wide positive behavior support in elementary and middle schools is essential. Staff, parents, and students need to work together to reach the most promising outcome for all involved. The best manner to get all groups actively engaged with the effort is yet to be determined.

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To sum up, parents will be shocked that these pedophiles are everyday men, from fathers to firefighters to even police offers, who are able to get in touch with potential underage targets over the Internet. No wonder the parents of today are getting more and more apprehensive whenever their children are on the computer and want to know what they do on the computer. Ultimately, the Internet is definitely playing a role in exposing children to things that are not appropriate for them and leading them toward becoming victims of things like cyber bullying and online predators. However, as Anne Collier says in the documentary, the children themselves are participants to some extent

As terrifying as this documentary might seem, it is actually meant to be an eye-opener for parents. For many parents, things stated in this documentary may not be a news flash, but some aspects of it are sure to surprise parents.

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Kincaid, D., Childs, K., Blase, K. A., & Wallace, F. (2007). Identifying barriers and facilitators in implementing schoolwide positive behavior support. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 9, 174-184.

Lassen, S. R., Steele, M. M., & Sailor, W. (2006). The relationship of school-wide positive behavior support to academic achievement in an urban middle school. Psychology in the Schools, 43, 701-712.

McIntosh, K., Filter, K. J., Bennett, J. L., Ryan, C., & Sugai, G. (2010). Principles of sustainable prevention: designing scale-up of school-wide positive behavior support to promote durable systems. Psychology in the Schools, 47, 5-21

Osher, D., Bear, G. G., Sprague, J. R., & Doyle, W. (2010). How can we improve school discipline? Educational Researcher, 39, 48-58

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