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Eliminating Disparities in School Discipline: Strengthening Teacher-Student Relationships in Diverse Classrooms

Archived videos from this event are now available:

How can teachers and schools address racial and gender disparities in school discipline and build trusting relationships with students?

In this event, Dr. Anne Gregory of Rutgers University presented a new framework for comprehensive, equity-oriented discipline reform, and described how it has been integrated into an effective teacher coaching program. She shared research-based practices to strengthen relationships with diverse students, and introduced the audience to a professional development program that has proven effective in reducing racial disparities in school discipline.

In addition, a panel of students from diverse backgrounds and teacher shared their experiences building positive relationships in the classroom. The panelists discuss challenges they've encountered in diverse classroom settings, what worked, and what didn’t work to strengthen teacher-student relationships.

Participants—including middle and high school teachers, coaches, technical assistance providers, administrators, and local education agency personnel—gained:

  • A better understanding of the root causes of classroom exclusionary discipline
  • Evidence-based strategies teachers can use to improve relationships with students from different cultural backgrounds
  • Practical ways to increase culturally responsive discipline practices that focus on keeping all students in class—engaged and learning

Keynote Presenter

Anne Gregory
Anne Gregory

Anne Gregory is an associate professor in the Department of Applied Psychology at Rutgers University. Her research has focused on the persistent trend that African American adolescents are issued school suspension and expulsion at higher rates than adolescents from other groups. Through program development, implementation, and evaluation, she aims to address this trend by strengthening characteristics of teachers, classrooms, and schools associated with the successful schooling of diverse students. She has authored numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, and recent publications include The promise of restorative practices to transform teacher-student relationships and achieve equity in school discipline and How educators can eradicate disparities in school discipline.


  • REL Northwest
  • Oregon Leadership Network
  • Oregon Response to Instruction and Intervention
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