Individual Presentation

First Presenter's Institution

Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools

Second Presenter's Institution

Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools

Third Presenter's Institution

Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools

Fourth Presenter's Institution

Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools

Fifth Presenter's Institution




Strand #1

Mental & Physical Health


Mental and Physical Health: This presentation relates to health strand as it describes how our district addresses the zero tolerance drug offenses by providing students/parents evidenced-based intervention strategies-Restorative Circle, gender specific small groups, standard drug prevention education for students and parents, and use of community partners and speakers.

Brief Program Description

In this presentation, participants will gain hands on knowledge about implementing a school district modified drug intervention service for students receiving their first zero-tolerance drug offense. This initiative, in its seventh year, aims to decrease drug offense expulsions and the risks associated with drug use.


Metropolitan Nashville Public School (MNPS) system is the second largest school district in Tennessee, with approximately 160 schools and over 88,000 students 76% of our students are classified as economically disadvantaged. MNPS is divided geographically into 12 clusters of schools, with each cluster containing one high school and varying numbers of middle and elementary schools, and PreK centers.

The 1st Time Drug Offender program is a district approved modified discipline approach for first time drug offenses for middle and high school students. The program was designed to address the disproportionate increasing numbers of students being expelled for their first drug offense. We believe there would be a decrease in the a 2nd drug offense with the student participating in a prevention education program. After developing the program using evidenced-based strategies, it was approved by our District leadership and first implemented in the Spring of 2011. Over 1500 students have completed the program since its inception.

Students are referred by an administrator and then receive up to 5 days of out of school suspension, a community-based drug screening consult ( at no cost to the parent), attend an 8 hour drug education session on a Saturday. Last year we added a mandatory parent participation in a 2 hour session. Students receive a certificate of completion and a follow up referral to a cluster support team to assess if additional services are needed..

A student discipline record will reflect a suspension rather than a 180 day school expulsion used historically with zero tolerance offenses. Yearly data, reflects that less than 5 percent of students completing the program receive a second drug offense.

A trainer parent and student education facilitator conducts the classes. The Cluster support team, along with mental health partners/provider and Juvenile Court participate on a panel interacting with parents. Parents are provided the opportunity to share concerns, receive resource information and get questions answered in a supportive setting. Parents develop a sense of community with significant stakeholders; parent surveys were administered to obtain their feedback for changes an/or improvement to the program


This mandatory, modified zero-tolerance discipline approach has served an average of 300+ middle and high school students each year. The program has been noted as a strong contributing factor in the decrease of drug offenses resulting in zero tolerance expulsion; in assisting parents and families with additional levels of adolescent drug counseling and care when needed and strengthening the parent/school/community wraparound relationship as evidenced by the results of parent survey and increased numbers of referrals to the cluster support teams.

Biographical Sketch

Tony R. Majors,Ed.D, Executive Officer of Support Services is a career educator of 23 years as a teacher, coach, principal and now Executive Officer, Dr. Majors manages 14 divisions of MNPS system consisting of over 450 employees. His responsibilities range from school climate and culture, social and emotional learning, student discipline, student health and community engagement. His national work includes the PASSAGE initiative that focuses on discipline disparities, the Collaborative for Academic Social and Emotional Learning and the Community Schools Coalition

Stephanie A. Davis, B.S. serves as the MNPS Drug Education Coordinator. She oversees the LEA Tn. Safe School grant by partnering with community mental helat and mentor agencies; services include increasing climate and decreasing behaviors associated with violence.She is one of the District Threat Assessment Team members (Salem-Kaiser model) and a certified McGrath Bullying/Harassment trainer.She has several years of experience in working in the adolescent treatment.mental health field and school based student assistance programs.Ms. Davis received an honoree nomination for Excellence in Education from Vanderbilt/Peabody University.

Lorraine Stallworth, M.A. is the Restorative Practice Coordinator for MNPS; she has provided Restorative Practices, Circles and Formal Conferencing to over 1000 administrators, teachers, staff, parents and community members. She has served as a School Psychologist, Director of the first Family Resource Center in Nashville

Last year, the MNPS School Board recognized Lorraine for her passionate work on "Champions" initiative as a 2015 Champion.

Keith Ekhator, LMSW,LSSW. serves as a Coordinator for the Social Work department. He has past experience as a mental health therapist and school social worker since 2011; serving the needs of many economically challenged families and youth. Keith also serves as an adjunct professor for Tennessee State University Social Work department since 2014.

Keyword Descriptors

diversion, approach, innovative, community, wraparound, parents, families, school, drug education, initiative

Presentation Year


Start Date

3-7-2018 11:15 AM

End Date

3-7-2018 12:30 PM

First Offender Drug Diversion_ An Alternative to Zero Tolerance.pdf (379 kB)
Form submitted with Presentation Proposal

Mar 7th, 11:15 AM Mar 7th, 12:30 PM

First Offender Drug Diversion: An Alternative to Zero Tolerance


In this presentation, participants will gain hands on knowledge about implementing a school district modified drug intervention service for students receiving their first zero-tolerance drug offense. This initiative, in its seventh year, aims to decrease drug offense expulsions and the risks associated with drug use.