The Dignity in Schools Campaign joins our members and allies around the country in calling on the U.S. Department of Education to keep the joint school discipline guidance released by the Departments of Education and Justice in 2014. DSC students, parents, educators and advocates fought for the federal guidance to increase support and accountability for schools and districts to end school pushout, implement positive approaches to school climate and discipline, and protect the rights of students and parents.
As news reports indicate that officials in the Department of Education are considering rescinding the guidance, we urge members and allies to tell the Department of Education to keep the important 2014 federal school discipline guidance in place.
You can read and share the statement below from our DSC member and federal partner, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
LDF Urges Trump Administration to Keep School Discipline Guidance
Today, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) called on the Department of Education to keep the school discipline guidance it released with the Department of Justice in 2014. Media reports indicate that high-ranking Department of Education officials are meeting with a group of conservative parents and teachers interested in rescinding the guidance, which LDF strongly opposes. Monique Dixon, Deputy Director of Policy and Senior Counsel at LDF, issued the following statement:
“Now more than ever the U.S. Department of Education must demonstrate that it will both protect the civil rights of students and keep schools safe. The 2014 school discipline guidance released by the Departments of Justice and Education offers schools instructions on how to do both.
“Racial disparities in school discipline have been well documented. Indeed, the latest federal civil rights data shows that Black K-12 students are 3.8 times as likely to receive an out of school suspension and 2.2 times as likely to be subjected to a school-based arrest. Research shows that students of color do not misbehave more than their white peers, but are often disciplined for subjective infractions, such as disrespect of authority. The 2014 guidance helps schools avoid the arbitrary application of school discipline, identify unexplained racial disparities, and take steps to address them, such as providing school-based interventions for students.
“We urge the Trump Administration to also hear from teachers, parents, and students, who have fought for decades for fair school discipline policies, before taking any steps to repeal or replace the school discipline guidance.”
- Andrew Ujifusa, DeVos Hears Criticisms of Obama-Era Guidance on Student Discipline, Education Week (November 17, 2017)