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Alternative Suspension

Funded by the United Way of the Alberta Capital Region, the YMCA of Northern Alberta, and other community partners.

A useful resource for public or catholic junior and high schools, Alternative Suspension is for temporarily suspended students as referred from school to the YMCA.

The Alternative Suspension program has been designed as an out-of-school intervention, which establishes bonds of trust and creates a support network of groups of students that assists them in addressing suspension and/or temporary expulsion issues while supporting a consistent and strong academic focus. The initiative is intended to successfully reintegrate suspended and/or temporary expelled students back into the classroom, as well as to address, at the same time, other behavioural difficulties (such as exhibiting aggressive, impulsive, disruptive, and antisocial behaviours, having delinquent peers or poor parental supervision) that place these youth at risk of delinquency.

Research has well established that systematic expulsions from school are highly related to both dropping out of school and subsequent delinquency. In effect, youth who are systematically expelled (i.e., numerous times in a given school year) are known to also present with other conditions that are related to crime, including school bullying.

Alternative Suspension has been shown to be a successful tool given that individual components of the intervention have been evaluated and proven effective in a range of contexts. The program promotes personal development and independence through educational activities and appropriate interventions, as are required, depending on the nature of the particular problems the youth experiences.