Skip to comments.Holder: School discipline racially biased, overly harsh
Posted on 01/08/2014 10:12:43 AM PST by Sub-Driver
January 08, 2014, 12:54 pm Holder: School discipline racially biased, overly harsh
By Ben Goad
Attorney Gen. Eric Holder called upon the nations school districts Wednesday to re-think zero tolerance disciplinary policies that he said disproportionately punish minorities and push too many students into to the justice system.
Alarming numbers of young people are suspended, expelled, or even arrested for relatively minor transgressions like school uniform violations, schoolyard fights, or showing disrespect by laughing in class, Holder said during a speech in Baltimore.
Holders remarks accompany the release Wednesday of new federal guidance from the departments of Justice and Education pressing schools to adopt disciplinary policies that are fair, non-discriminatory, and effective.
The guidance lays out the parameters of punishment as governed by federal civil rights protections, alternatives to exclusionary discipline and a comprehensive list of regulations on the books in every state.
Included in the guidance is a 32-page Dear Colleague letter putting schools on notice that the agencies are prepared to use authority to investigate the claims of racial disparity in the punishment of students.
As part of this commitment, we will enforce Federal laws to eliminate unlawful racial discrimination in school discipline, the letter warns.
The action won praised from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which offered forward research showing that black students make 36 percent of those expelled, though they represent only 15 percent of students.
"With the rise of law enforcement in our schools, the proliferation of zero-tolerance policies, and misuse of suspensions and expulsions, our nations school discipline policies are pushing children out of school," said Deborah J. Vagins, the ACLUs senior legislative counsel.
The Education Department us also issuing a set of guiding principals meant to help schools comply with federal laws, a directory of disciplinary resources available to schools and an online compendium of state laws and regulations.
Positive discipline policies can actually foster safer school environments, without a heavy reliance on suspensions and expulsions, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a statement.
Schools also must understand their civil rights obligations and avoid unfair disciplinary practices, he said. We need to keep students in class where they can learn.
You think he has anything to say about the many "Zero-Tolerance weapons policies" we see every other day that result in kids getting suspended, expelled and arrested for pointing a finger and saying "pow", chewing a Pop Tart into the shape of a gun, talking about bringing a Hello Kitty soap bubble shooter to school, miming shooting an arrow, having a keychain fob the size of a quarter shaped like a gun, or drawing a picture of a gun?
Or how about the "Zero-Tolerance drug policies" that result in 13-year old girls being strip searched without their parents' consent, for having Midol?
Didn't think so.
And who was it that promoted all these “Zero-Tolerance” policies in the first place? The Left, that’s who.
I have a feeling a fair percentage of minority suspensions deal with issues that go well beyond over-application of zero-tolerance policies.
It’s hard to believe assault or drug possession, for starters, fall into that category.
To believe that that statement holds any weight would be to argue that female Asian teenagers misbehave in a manner qualifying for expulsion at the same rate as male black teenagers.
ACLU? Do you want to assert that?
That’s really what the zero tolerance rules were about
(secondarily to removing responsibility from administrators for making decisions)
ensnaring “good” kids who don’t get into trouble in order to make it “fair”.
The phrase that appeals the most:
“it’s not your fault”
Trayvon Martin was a good example of this absurd policy.
This is leading directly to the society described in a certain book written in the 1970’s by an anonymous author.
The book is considered highly racist, but the society was described with nearly prophetic accuracy.
Eric Eric Eric......those teachers vote Democrat.
I’d guess you’re right. This screeching then serves two purposes - a smokescreen and keeping alive the flame of racism.
Sounds like the aim is to disrupt schooling for all the kids.
They punish the problem kids and leave the good kids alone, the horror!!
What about the rights of everyone else to learn ? Teachers have to spend 50% of their time on 5%. Thats’s not fair.
Or some kindergartner kissing the hand of his little girlfriend, now to be forever labelled as a “sex offender”...
Not illegal guns, sent by the US government, to drug gangs.
Not racially-motivated black-on-white Knockout Game beat downs.
Not groups of teenagers mass-assaulting and robbing from stores.
Not illegal campaign contributions being diverted from government contracts to Democrat campaigns.
Not the criminal malfeasance of the contracters tasked with the Obamacare website.
No. The problem in America is, school punishments ust be meted out according to a racial quota.
Doesn't it suck ass to have a black anti-white RACIST as our Attorney General?
Facts are racially biased.
I have not read all the responses yet, but I do remember this - wasn’t Trayvon Martin shielded from discipline for just this type of rationale?
The Miami school district that he was in was asked to overlook disciplinary problems as they had too high a proportion who were black.
Am I remembering this correctly?
If they school had disciplined him appropriately, he might still be alive today instead of descending into a wanna-be thug.
The difference in severity of pushishment is due to the differences in the severity of the offence. Its not discrimination if a kid gets suspended for throwing a teacher down a flight of stairs and the other gets detetion for running in the halls