Week of Action to Protect the Federal Guidance March 16th- 22nd
Suspensions, expulsions, and school-based arrests are used too often in our schools and disproportionately impact students of color. According to data from the U.S. Department of Education, during the 2013-2014 school year, Black K-12 students were 3.8 times more likely to receive an out-of-school suspension than white students, even though research shows there is no evidence that students of color misbehave more than their white peers. Many students are pushed out for typical child and adolescent behavior that should be addressed in schools.
On January 8, 2014, the U.S. Department of Justice and the Department of Education jointly released a school discipline guidance package. The materials included were intended to assist states, districts, and schools in developing policies and practices to meet existing federal civil rights laws and to promote positive school climates. Recently, officials at the U.S. Department of Education met with a group calling for the elimination of the guidance. Because the Department has already withdrawn guidance clarifying protections for transgender students and survivors of sexual assault on college campuses, Secretary DeVos may also attempt to withdraw these documents important for protecting students of color.
We’re asking parents, students, and other community advocates to join us in the fight to maintain the federal school discipline guidance, which is a critical tool that can help schools and districts reduce the use of practices that push students out of school (e.g. suspensions and expulsions) and prevent them from disciplining in ways that discriminate against students of color. (See Federal School Discipline Guidance One-Pager for more information.) You can help support this effort by organizing one or more activities in your community to raise awareness of the need for these important protections for students of color during the week of Friday, March 16th through Thursday, March 22nd.
Week of Action Toolkit Resources:
- Federal School Discipline Guidance One-Pager
- Week of Action One-Pager
- Social Media Toolkit
- Sample Media Outreach
- Answers to Tough Questions
- Sample Letter to the U.S. Department of Education
- Sample Slide Deck
- Sample Op-Ed
- Contact information for DSC Federal Liaisons