Scott Statement on Secretary DeVos Rescinding Guidance that Protect Students’ Civil Rights

December 21, 2018
Press Release

As originally released by the Committee on Education and the Workforce, Democrats

WASHINGTON, DC – Ranking Member Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after the Department of Education announced that it is rescinding the 2014 ED-DOJ Discipline Guidance. 

“The Department’s decision to rescind the 2014 discipline guidance will undermine access to a quality education for students of color and students with disabilities. The guidance was issued to help schools address the troubling and undeniable evidence that Black students, boys, and students with disabilities receive harsher punishments than their classmates for similar or lesser offenses, without jeopardizing students’ safety. Rescinding the guidance will stall, if not reverse our progress toward addressing these disparities.

“Even worse, by 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.

“Title VI of the Civil Rights Act expressly prohibits policies and programs that disproportionately impact students of color, regardless of their intent. With or without the discipline guidance, the administration is legally responsible for ensuring school discipline policies do not have a disparate impact on historically disadvantaged students.

“Congress must hold the administration accountable for meeting its obligation to fully enforce federal civil rights law and for providing justifications for this decision based on facts, not rhetoric.”

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