Perspectives on Early Childhood Psychology and Education

Submission Type



In an attempt to close the discipline gap, school systems have replaced traditional exclusionary practices with alternative interventions such as Positive Behavior Intervention Support (PBIS). PBIS, as an alternative to exclusionary discipline practices, does little to help historically oppressed youth, specifically, because it denies the presence and value of race. This attempt to be race-neutral results in racist discipline outcomes. PBIS presents harmful outcomes for early childhood and elementary-aged children, as it normalizes children to the disciplinary structures that result in high school dropouts and other negative outcomes for older youth. Exploring this program aids in understanding the limitations of color-evasive policies in education and society at large. In this article, the authors explore failings of PBIS and argue for the adoption of color-conscious approaches that engage in co-construction of pedagogy, curriculum, accountability norms, and expectations (Milner et al., 2018).