Via CNS News:
The Obama administration, concerned that “zero tolerance” policies are sending too many students to court instead of the principal’s office, on Wednesday urged schools to back off — particularly in the case of minority students and other federally protected groups.
“Racial discrimination in school discipline is a real problem today,” said Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who joined Attorney General Eric Holder in speaking about the new guidance. Holder said “students of color and those with disabilities” often receive “different and more severe punishment than their peers.”
While the nation’s schools are under local control, they must follow federal civil rights and disability laws. And the new guidance for the nation’s schools could subject more of those schools to federal discrimination lawsuits. In fact, the crackdown already is happening, as CNSNews.com previously reported.
While the guidance is “voluntary,” it encourages schools to set up a “record keeping system” that tracks demographic information on misbehaving students, including their “race, sex, disability, age and English-learner status” along with the infraction, the discipline imposed, who imposed it, etc.
“Schools should establish procedures for regular and frequent review and analysis of the data to detect patterns that bear further investigation,” the guidance says.