Next fall marks the launch of a new school discipline law that limits suspensions and expulsions. To help teachers prepare, the Illinois Education Association brought in Jim Sporleder, an expert in getting even the worst kids to behave. He was principal for five years at Lincoln High School, an alternative school in Walla Walla, Washington that’s the subject of a documentary called “Paper Tigers.” The film shows how Sporleder changed the school environment by replacing traditional discipline methods with a “trauma-informed” strategy based on scientific findings of the effects of chronic stress on kids.
Sporleder visited Springfield last month, when the Illinois Education Association showed the movie. For this story, he spoke to me by phone from his home in Walla Walla, Washington.
To see where "Paper Tigers" is screening in Illinois, click HERE