Discipline & Equity

Discipline & Equity We asked leaders in education and civil rights to respond to the following prompt: "The U.S. Departments of Justice and Education recently issued new guidance on school discipline policies to ensure that suspensions and other disciplinary actions are applied equitably to all students. Do you believe this new guidance was necessary? How will it change practices in schools?"

Read responses from Marian Wright Edelman of the Children's Defense Fund; Daniel Domenech of the School Superintendents Association, or AASA; Loretta Johnson of the American Federation of Teachers; Leticia Smith-Evans of the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund; and Kyle Blanchfield of the Northern New York Centers for Conflict Resolution.

Blanchfield: The increase in giving law enforcement and other agencies a larger role in punishment for school offenses eventually weakens school discipline.

Edelman & Domenech: In 2014, out-of-school suspensions are an outdated practice, and too often suspended students are the students most in need of extra support.

Johnson: Transparency, consistency and, perhaps most important, accountability must become commonplace; they must be the practice for all and not the punishment for a few.

Smith-Evans: It is critical that the individuals disciplining students in a discriminatory manner be held accountable for their actions


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