U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has rescinded non-discriminatory practices created by the Obama administration to ensure that students of color weren’t disciplined more harshly than their peers. The guidance was jointly issued by the Obama-era Education and Justice Departments in 2014.
KIPP LA Public Schools released the following statement from Chief External Impact Officer Dr. Manny A. Aceves in response to the rescission:
We are deeply disappointed in the recent decision from the Trump administration’s School Safety Commission to rescind the school discipline guidance.
The school discipline guidance has effectively encouraged and assisted schools across the country with the implementation of policies intended to promote a positive school environment. Restorative justice and other non-discriminatory practices are making progress reducing the number of suspensions, particularly for students of color and those with learning disabilities who are disproportionality impacted. Reversing course now is the wrong decision for kids.
While we are discouraged by this announcement our work will not be deterred. A number of KIPP LA schools are adopting elements of restorative justice approaches in their school culture. We are committed to continue utilizing non-discriminatory approaches that foster safe, positive and nurturing learning environments students need to grow and succeed.