A compliance review of Fort Bend ISD conducted by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights has been resolved, finding no evidence against the district regarding discriminatory disciplinary practices, according to a statement released by FBISD on Thursday.
The OCR launched an investigation in May 2012 to determine if FBISD discriminated against African-American students by disciplining them more frequently and harshly than students of other demographics, and after a six-year review process, officials found no indication of wrongdoing.
FBISD Superintendent Charles Dupre created the Department of Student Affairs after he joined the district in April 2013 to provide guidance in the administration of disciplinary actions and related policies, according to the statement.
The district has implemented restorative discipline practices, which promotes conflict resolution and problem-solving skills, said Amanda Bubela, FBISD director of external communications and media relations. In addition to fostering a culture of building healthy relationships among staff and students, it also examines the reasoning underlying troubling behaviors.
One such practice is the use of open dialogue to encourage a structured discussion in small groups of adults and students to resolve issues after an incident has occurred, according to a 2016 issue of FBISD News Magazine.
“During the last five years, Fort Bend ISD has actively worked with our staff members and administrators to take preemptive actions to help improve student behavior–but also increase our early identification and intervention measures,” Dupre stated in the statement. “We have seen positive results, and as a district that is focused on the whole child and teaching students to be responsible for their behavior, we are committed to continuing this work, long after the OCR investigation is complete.”