Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights Addresses School Discipline
On Monday, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) made a call to the public to submit information on disciplinary practices in schools, in an effort to address disparities in school punishment.
The Office for Civil Rights within ED will collect public comments on current and previous federal guidance on school discipline in order to address a long list of concerns that include seclusion and restraint practices and the use of law enforcement in student discipline. The office is also seeking information that points to disproportionate school discipline among specific demographic groups. Data from a 2018 Government Accountability Office shows that Black students and students with disabilities were disproportionately disciplined in public schools.
The department will use this information to guide policy decisions, technical assistance, and resource allocation. This move comes as Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona contemplates restoring the Obama-era school discipline guidance that targeted ending the “school-to-prison pipeline.”