Statement from Shavar Jeffries on Trump Administration’s Decision to Rescind Discipline Guidelines
NEW YORK, NY — Democrats for Education Reform today responded to news that the Trump administration is rescinding school discipline guidance introduced under President Obama with the following statement from National President Shavar Jeffries:
“The decision by the Department of Education to rescind President Obama’s guidance on school discipline is an unacceptable abandonment of our government’s responsibility to safeguard basic civil rights and to ensure all children have a fair shot at a great education.
The Obama-era guidelines on school discipline spotlighted an issue that has plagued communities of color for decades: the knee-jerk instinct of many schools to disproportionately use suspensions and expulsions when disciplining African-American and Latino students. Obama’s guidance stands for fairness and an unwavering commitment for students’ educational opportunities—basic civil rights that are at the core of our nation’s values and that must be protected.
The traditional role of the federal government is to rectify educational inequities resulting from flawed and often biased state and local policies that rig the system in favor of those in power and work against the interests of the disenfranchised. Today’s decision is one of many over the past two years by this Administration to exacerbate rather than remedy policies that unequally distribute educational opportunities by race, class, family income, disability, zip code, and country of origin. As they prepare to assume majority control of the U.S. House of Representatives, we look forward to Democrats getting to work and beginning to reverse the many harmful, unfair, and divisive education policies of this Administration.”