Amid reports that the Trump administration may reverse an Obama-era school discipline guidance letter, the Heritage Foundation’s Lindsey Burke, director for the Center for Education Policy and Will Skillman fellow in education, offered the following statement:
“The Trump administration is right to seriously consider rescinding the 2014 Obama-era school discipline guidance. Blanket school discipline directives from Washington tie the hands of teachers and school leaders, and evidence suggests some schools may have become less safe in the wake of the Obama ‘dear colleague’ letter.
Suspension rates declined dramatically following the guidance but reports from teachers, survey data, and news from across the country show unintended consequences. Schools may be less orderly and less safe, and the students—that advocates for this guidance had intended to help—might be even more vulnerable.
Washington should not dictate the school discipline policies of local schools, especially harmful, one-size-fits-all directives. Instead, schools should work with communities to provide solutions that best fit unique, local needs.”