Read a PDF of our statement here.
LDF Calls on 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.”
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization and has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.