11.17.17

Scott Statement on Closed-Door Meeting at Ed to Discuss Undermining Civil Rights Protections for Students

WASHINGTON – Ranking Member Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after a private meeting was held at the Department of Education discussing the “harmful effects” of school discipline guidance from teachers who experienced violence in the classroom. Enacted under the Obama administration, the guidance encourages schools, districts, and states to reassess their policies for and use of suspensions and expulsions that are disproportionately used on students of color and students with disabilities.

“Decades of research consistently shows that exclusionary school discipline is at best ineffective, and at worst, counter-productive. Put simply, suspension and expulsion does not contribute to a safer school climate. Safety in schools occurs with high-quality relationships between teachers, students, and families and positive, proactive discipline practices. Any effort to address school discipline must also consider the deeply rooted inequities, including documented and pervasive racial bias, in school discipline practices that disproportionately harm students of color and contribute to the school-to-prison pipeline. Secretary DeVos has promised to protect the civil rights of all students. I urge her to make good on that promise by maintaining the Department’s evidence-based guidance on school discipline and civil rights enforcement.”  

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