National Racial Justice Coalition Renews Demand that Schools Address Racial Disparities in Discipline and that OCR, U.S. Department of Education, Enforce Laws Prohibiting Discrimination in Student Discipline - Advancement Project - Advancement Project

National Racial Justice Coalition Renews Demand that Schools Address Racial Disparities in Discipline and that OCR, U.S. Department of Education, Enforce Laws Prohibiting Discrimination in Student Discipline

Contact: Elana Needle
[email protected]
201-248-9724 

National Racial Justice Coalition Renews Demand that Schools Address Racial Disparities in Discipline and that OCR, U.S. Department of Education, Enforce Laws Prohibiting Discrimination in Student Discipline 

Nine leading national civil rights and racial justice organizations, collectively known as the Racial Equity Anchor Collaborative, demand that the U.S. Department of Education (the Department) immediately investigate the continuing pattern of discriminatory school disciplinary practices across the nation. We also call for the declaration of a national emergency on behalf of students of color and those with disabilities to improve school climate and safety based on the recent publication of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR) report Beyond Suspensions: Examining School Discipline Policies and Connections to the School-to-Prison Pipeline for Students of Color with DisabilitiesThe recent rescission of the federal School Discipline Guidance by the Trump Department of Education was wrong, as the USCCR report powerfully underscores, and it undermines civil rights protections for students of color.

The USSCR report found significant discipline disparities based on race nationwide and for children of color with disabilities. The report cites evidence that Black and Native American children are over-identified for special education, and that these students are disciplined at higher rates than their white peers. The Racial Equity Anchor Collaborative understands that these disparities are due to both racial bias on the part of school staff and school police, as well as discriminatory school discipline and policing practices that criminalize Black, Latino and Native American students for age-appropriate school behavior.  

The report’s findings shine a light on major disparities such as Black, Latino, and Native American youth being deemed problematic and having more behavioral issues than white students. The report found these claims to be false. Sadly, this information is not new to the Racial Equity Anchor Group. Moreover, when comparing broad group data, there does not initially appear to be similar levels of disproportionate disparities related to school discipline among Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) students. It is important to remember, however, that specific AANHPI ethnic subgroups may experience disparities, but these disparities are not readily apparent without further data analysis at a more granular level.   

Our country’s educational policies have a pervasive, negative impact on educational outcomes for students of color.  

Decades of research on school climate have consistently shown that safe schools are well-resourced and invest in the supports students need to thrive in and beyond the classroom. Supports like school guidance counselors, psychiatrists, and high-quality teachers help create positive school climates and help address the root cause of violence, according to findings from Advancement Project’s National Office.  

The rescission by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos of the 2014 ED-DOJ School Discipline Guidance will undermine access to a quality education for students of color and those with disabilities. The guidance was issued to help schools address the troubling and undeniable evidence that students of color, boys, and students with disabilities receive harsher punishments than their classmates for similar or lesser offenses. Rescinding the guidance will stall, if not reverse, our progress toward addressing these disparities. Even worse, by improperly using the School Safety Commission report to justify this decision, the Department is sending a terrible message that schools are safest when they discriminate against students of color. 

Our organizations work to dismantle racial disparities in many ways, including in schools, and we demand that these issues be thoroughly addressed now, moving forward, and until educational justice and equity prevail. 

###

Advancement Project National Office, Asian & Pacific Islander Health Forum,Demos, Faith in Action, National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), National Urban League, Race Forwardand UnidosUS are a collaborative of nine leading racial equity Anchor organizations (the Anchors) supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Together, we work to promote racial equity, advance racial healing, and ensure that all children, families, and communities have opportunities to reach their full potential.   

KEEP READING

Advancement Project National Office Response to Gun Control Bill

WASHINGTON, DC — In response to the gun control bill signed into law today, executive director Judith Browne Dianis at Advancement Project National Office issued this statement: “While there is an urgent need to address gun violence in the United States, policy solutions must aim to create truly safe, supportive and welcoming school environments that protect all students. This bill, among other issues, allocates at least $300 million to expand the school policing infrastructure through increased school hardening and surveillance — even though we know police in…

Read More
Police Don’t Keep Students Safe, Even During School Shootings

National Campaign for Police Free Schools, Texas Appleseed Demand Student Supports and an End to School Policing Washington, DC – In response to calls to increase police presence in schools, following the massacre of 19 students and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas,  spokespeople from the National Campaign for Police Free Schools, co-convened by the Advancement Project National Office, Alliance for Educational Justice, and Texas Appleseed, issued the following statement: “Our hearts are with the families who lost loved ones in Tuesday’s mass shooting, as well as the…

Read More
Advancement Project – National Office Reaction to Montgomery County School District Reinstatement of Police Officers Into Public Schools

Montgomery County, MD –  Montgomery County Public Schools and the Montgomery County Police Department announced a new agreement that formally brings armed police officers back into Montgomery County Public Schools. While the new agreement (referred to as “CEO 2.0”) was executed on April 19th, it was not announced to the public until April 26th. In response, Judith Browne Dianis, Executive Director of the Advancement Project, a national civil rights and education advocacy group, released this statement: “This decision is a devastating betrayal to the students of Montgomery County, their families, and…

Read More
National organizations pen letter to Montgomery County Council, Board of Education in support of removing police from schools

Following recent police assaults of young people in Florida and New York, the call for #PoliceFreeSchools in Montgomery County is emphatic

Read More
National organizations, global law firm partner to take steps toward securing quality education for students of color

Legal action taken in U.S. Court of Appeals works to ensure that students of color receive a meaningful, quality education that allows them to thrive

Read More
Arnold & Porter Partners with Advancement Project National Office to Address Equity in Education

Washington, DC — December 17, 2020 — Arnold & Porter and Advancement Project National Office announced today that they have established a three-year partnership to address systemic inequalities in the United States education system. The partnership will support the Advancement Project National Office’s mission to fight systemic racism in schools, which continues to disproportionately impact students of color, as well as low-income students. “All children deserve equitable access to high quality education,” said Arnold & Porter firm Chairman Richard Alexander. “We look forward to partnering with the Advancement Project National Office on a range of initiatives from expanding our pro…

Read More
Advancement Project National Office Supports New Counseling Not Criminalization Bill

Media Contact: Gina Physic, 202-505-4659, [email protected] Lawmakers today introduced a bill to help schools cut ties with police. Under the Counseling Not Criminalization Act, Federal funding would be prohibited from being used to hire, train, or keep law enforcement in schools. In addition, the bill would create a $2.5 billion grant program to replace police in schools with school psychologists, social workers, and other staff who are suited to help support mental health and provide trauma-informed services to young people.  The Senate version of the Counseling Not Criminalization Act was…

Read More
Advancement Project National Office Celebrates National Cousin’s Day!

Did you know July 24 is a national holiday? Advancement Project National Office uplifts National Cousins Day today, which celebrates the extended family members we know and love – our cousins. During this sustained moment of protest and unrest across the country, as well as calls for truth, racial justice and reconciliation, it’s time to lean into the honest perspectives our cousins often provide. When it comes to race, our family can harbor views and beliefs that are ill-informed, ignorant, and damaging.  Because of this, conversations around race can…

Read More
We will win with supporters like you, Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation & Jack Dorsey of Twitter’s #startsmall

Since mid-March, Advancement Project National Office’s team has been entrenched in advocacy, communications and litigation—fighting to make sure community members in jail are #FreeAndSafe during COVID-19 and calling for for accountability and demanding cities and counties #DefundThePolice . Our team has been working around the clock, fatigued yet energized by wins across the country,petition signatures and calls to policymakers, and the 110,000 new supporters to our campaign for #FreeAndSafe communities. As we close the month of June, we also want to thank Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation and Jack Dorsey of Twitter’s #startsmall. In response to the urgent need for police accountability, the Clara Lionel…

Read More
Youth Across Country Petition School Boards to Reimagine Safety in National Week of Action

Black and Brown Youth Demand #PoliceFreeSchools with National Week of Action Today, June 22, 2020, marks the beginning of a week-long, nationwide call to support young people and their allies in the fight for police-free schools. This national week of action is being called by the National Campaign for Police-free Schools led by the Alliance for Educational Justice (AEJ) and Advancement Project National Office and supported by the Center for Popular Democracy, the Communities for Just Schools Fund, and the Funder’s Collaborative for Youth Organizing. In the week ahead, communities across the country,…

Read More