Suspend Suspensions: Strategies to Mitigate Disruptive Behaviors While Keeping Student in School

Thursday, May 2, 2024 at 8:00a.m. - 11:15a.m.

Research over the past decade has shown that in-school suspensions contribute to myriad downstream negative outcomes for students, both academically and psychologically. And whereas legislation has been put in place to limit the usage of in-school suspensions, data reveals that about one third of all in school suspensions stem from subjective infractions, particularly “willful defiance” or “insubordination.” These suspensions disproportionately impact students of color and students with disabilities. Using a psychologically grounded approach to better understand behavior can provide a different perspective to the challenging behaviors that lead to suspension. 

This presentation will focus on these psychological principles and help explore how education professionals and mental health professionals can collaborate to address and reduce suspensions.


Yvorn (wy-vern) “Doc” Aswad, MD, is a native of South Central Los Angeles, where he received all of his K-to-12 education in the Los Angeles Unified School District public school system. Aswad attended Stanford University for undergrad, where he majored in human biology and minored in African American Studies. As an undergraduate he was passionate about the STEM pipeline for underrepresented minorities and upon graduation, he co-founded the Leland Scholars Program, a program that improved retention of minority and first-gen students in STEM. He returned to his hometown of Los Angeles to serve a term in AmeriCorps with the Youth Policy Institute where he established grant funding for health and wellness education for low-income children. These experiences shaped his interests in using medicine as a tool for social justice, leading him to enroll in the unique Charles Drew University/UCLA Medical Education Program, which focused on the urban underserved.

Currently in residency at Brown University in the Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry combined program, Aswad's primary clinical and scholarly activity focus on the physical and mental health of youth who have been impacted by violence and the criminal-legal system. Additionally, he has a focus on using social medicine and public health principles to ensure better access to mental health services for the poor and underserved, both nationally and internationally. He currently resides in Providence, RI.

Alicia Ead, LCSW, is a licensed clinical social worker with experience working in multiple settings such as hospitals, schools, social skills groups, summer camps, and early childcare. She is the supervisor of school-based services at the Bradley Learning Exchange, providing training and consultation to school systems and community partners. Ead uses her background in trauma-informed care, de-escalation, social emotional learning, and autism spectrum disorder to support professionals by connecting educational content to real life practice. 

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this session, participants should be able to:

  1. Review extant literature of negative sequelae of in-school suspensions.
  2. Highlight the present disparities in suspension.
  3. Apply principles of developmental psychology to the context of discipline in school.
  4. Discuss avenues for more collaborative care between education professionals and mental health professionals. 


The target audience for this presentation is psychologists, physicians, social workers and other interested health care professionals.

This presentation has been approved for three CE hours/credits (see below).


The fee for this presentation is $49.

Online registration closes on Wednesday, May 1, 2024.

For refund/cancellation information, please email or call Mayra Colon at 401-606-5753.

Credit Details

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of Rhode Island Hospital and Bradley Hospital. Rhode Island Hospital is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education.  

Rhode Island Hospital designates this activity for a maximum of 3.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s). Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Rhode Island Hospital is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Rhode Island Hospital maintains responsibility for this program and its content. 

CEUs for this event have been submitted, pending approval by the National Board for Social Work (NASW), designating this activity for a maximum of 3.0 continuing education credits for certified counselors, marriage, and family therapists.

Bradley Conference is designed to provide education for psychologists, social workers, physicians, nurses, certified counselors, speech/language and occupational therapists, teachers, milieu associates, and other professionals who work with children, adolescents, or adults.  Topics address different behavioral health populations and treatment modalities and are intended to provide practical, state-of-the-art information.

Bradley Hospital’s clinical expertise, internationally renowned research, and academic affiliation with The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University make the hospital a unique resource in all areas of behavioral health care. We have designed a wide range of learning experiences to provide the training that behavioral health care professionals need to stay at the forefront of their fields.

There is no known commercial support for this program.

Location Information

All sessions in this series will be held virtually.