U.S. News


Trump Administration To Rescind Punishment Policy In Schools

The Departments of Education and Justice announced a joint letter saying they plan to rescind the policy this week.
Posted at 1:44 PM, Dec 18, 2018

The Trump administration is planning to rescind an Obama-era policy on discipline in school.

On Tuesday, the Federal School Safety Commission released a report on recommendations to improve safety in U.S. schools. That's the group the Trump administration formed in the wake of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., 

The New York Times points out that instead of looking into how to keep schools safe from guns and mass shootings, the commission focused on disciplinary measures in schools. The letter claimed the Obama-era policy focused on disciplining students in a "nondiscriminatory manner," but actually contributed to more violence in schools.

The Education Department says the policy was put in place in 2014. The Times reports it came after evidence showed minority students were being punished more often and at a tougher degree than white students for the same or lesser offenses. The outlet also reports "disabled students were too quickly being shunted into remedial or special-education programs."

Critics said while these were simply guidelines and not required, it put pressure on schools to keep suspensions low rather than focus on school safety.

Education Secretary Betsy Devos said the commission's work proved, "there is no single policy that will make our schools safer," but she said the "report provides a wide-ranging menu of best practices and resources that all state, community, and school leaders should consider while developing school safety plans and procedures that will work for their students and teachers."

Rescinding the Obama-era punishment guidelines was just one of many recommendations by the commission. Other ideas included having schools try and find veterans and people with a law enforcement background to work in schools, as well as trying to reduce cyberbullying.