Making the Smart Choice
Initiative Description: A conflict skills training program called ‘Making the Smart Choice’. When a student is disciplined for school-based violence, that student and his or her parent must meet with the assistant principal, who offers the disciplinary options, which include serving a full suspension or having the suspension halved in return for enrolling in the program. Program content is broken up into four two-hour sessions, each of which enables the student and his or her family to explore and modify their beliefs, feelings, and interactions related to the skills of violence prevention.
Study Results: A sevenfold decrease in all suspensions and a fourfold decrease in suspensions for physical violence occurred since the program was inaugurated.
Reference: Breunlin, D. C., Cimmarusti, R. A., Hetherington, J. S. and Kinsman, J. (2006), Making the Smart Choice: a systemic response to school‐based violence. Journal of Family Therapy, 28: 246-266. doi:10.1111/j.1467-6427.2006.00350.x
Level of Evidence: Good