discipline, including culturally-responsive discipline and developmentally-appropriate
disciplinary methods aimed at promoting a positive school climate.
82 It also recommends that
school districts enter into memoranda of understanding with local law enforcement officials that
define the role of law enforcement in the schools.
83 Read in totality, this law requires a sea change
in a school district’s approach to school discipline, and implementing these new requirements will
require a fundamental shift, both in terms of school districts’ policies and their practices.
IV. TSDC’S MODEL STUDENT CODE OF CONDUCT AND ACCOMPANYING RESOURCES
The current vision of the model student code of conduct includes the following major
components: (A) a background statement to the guiding principles and background of the work;
(B) a checklist for school district compliance with the new legislation in Illinois; (C) the model
code; and (D) an administrators’ toolkit to guide implementation of the model code. Each of these
components will be addressed in turn below.
A. Background Statement to the Code
As TSDC worked on developing a model code, we decided that it would be helpful to draft
a short prefatory statement contextualizing the model code’s background, both to help explain to
others the orientation behind the document as well as to help ensure that the members of the model
code working group ourselves were in agreement as to the core values of the project. The
background statement emphasizes the group’s common concern about both the scope and effect
of exclusionary discipline policies in Illinois, as well as the disproportionate impact of these
policies on African-American students; lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGB/T) students;
and students with disabilities.
84 The statement also summarizes the key provisions of the Illinois
school discipline data and substantive school discipline reform legislation discussed above, and
explains that the model code is intended to help school districts comply with both the legislation
as well as best practice.
B. Checklist for Compliance with School Discipline Mandates
TSDC also grappled with the question of whether the model code should be intended only
to be a model policy for compliance with the new discipline laws in Illinois, or whether it should
go further to encompass best practices that might be more protective than the new legislation.
82 Id. at 5/10-22.6(c-5).
83 Id. at 5/10-20.14(b).
84 Model Code of Conduct, supra note 47 (manuscript at unnumbered cover letter) (citing U.S. DEP’T OF EDUC. OFFICE
FOR CIVIL RIGHTS, DATA SNAPSHOT: SCHOOL DISCIPLINE (Mar. 2014) (documenting the disproportionate numbers of
black students who are suspended and expelled, and the disproportionate numbers of students with disabilities who
are arrested or referred to law enforcement for school-based incidents); V. Paul Poteat et al., Sexual Orientation-Based
Disparities in School and Juvenile Justice Discipline: A Multiple Group Comparison of Contributing Factors, 108 J.
EDUC. PSYCHOL. 229, 239 (2016) (finding disproportionate punishment of non-heterosexual adolescents by schools);
Kathryn E. W. Himmelstein & Hannah Brückner, Criminal-Justice and School Sanctions Against Nonheterosexual
Youth: A National Longitudinal Study, 127 PEDIATRICS 49, 49–57 (2011) (finding disproportionate punishment of
non-heterosexual adolescents by schools). Like in the model code, the acronym LGB/T is used in this Article to
represent a wide range of non-norming sexual and gender identities and expressions. See Model Code of Conduct,
supra note 47 (manuscript at unnumbered cover letter n.6).