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On Friday, the U.S. Department of Education and Department of Justice announced they have rescinded 2014 guidance set under President Barack Obama that added additional guidelines for school discipline for minority students and students with disabilities. Betsy DeVos made the announcement, which follows a new report reviewing the previous school discipline policies. She, along with the Departments of Education and Justice, determined pre-existing federal protections aare enough to protect all students.
The 2014 school discipline guidance was issued under President Barack Obama’s administration. Known as the “Dear Colleague letter,” it was designed to protect students who are typically discriminated against in school policies, acknowledging that minority students and students with disabilities are disproportionately affected by current school discipline practices.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Federal Commission on School Safety, which was instated by President Donald Trump following the Parkland, Fla., school shooting in February 2018, released its report to improve school safety. The commission is chaired by DeVos.
Among other recommendations, the report said that a 2014 guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Education and the Department of Justice ensuring minority students and students with disabilities aren’t unfairly disciplined should be abandoned. According to its report, the commission came to this conclusion after consulting teachers, parents, mental health professionals, law enforcement officers and school safety officials.
However, the commission’s report and the resulting decision to rescind the 2014 protections fail to address the issue of why the guidelines were created in the first place. Statistics show that kids in special education represent just 12 percent of students across the country, but account for about 20 percent of suspensions and expulsions and almost a quarter of school-related arrests. In addition, 71 percent of those restrained and 66 percent of those secluded in schools were students with disabilities.
Whether it’s the environment, healthcare, veterans or disabled students, this administration’s policy is plainly “Fuck ’em.”
". . . those who claim to know the Mind of God, who will tell you what God thinks and how He will judge and condemn others—those people are the greatest of all blasphemers." Aloysius Xingu Leng Pendergast
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