Heritage Expert: The Trump Administration Rightly Ends 2014 Dear Colleague Letter on School Discipline

Heritage Expert: The Trump Administration Rightly Ends 2014 Dear Colleague Letter on School Discipline

Dec 22, 2018 1 min read

Today the Department of Education rescinded a “Dear Colleague” guidance letter on school discipline that was distributed by the Obama administration. The Heritage Foundation’s Jonathan Butcher, a senior policy analyst, provided the following response:

“Teachers and administrators should be free to create fair and consistent discipline policies that fit the needs of their local schools and protect their students.

"Students should not be disciplined simply for the color of their skin. At the same time, students shouldn’t be threatened or live in fear because a school adjusts its discipline rules to comply with a federal quota.

"The Obama Administration’s 2014 'Dear Colleague' letter micromanaged local school operations and imposed a one-size-fits-all demand on local schools when it came to student suspensions and expulsions.

"As a result, dangerous students could remain in the classroom. There are few studies on the consequences of adopting the Obama-era policies, but researchers have found negative outcomes for students in districts using this approach. The impacts of a student’s neighborhood and family support on school behavior are important parts of this policy discussion and do not receive enough attention.”

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