By Yolanda Spivey
When it comes to disciplining a child in school, the issue of race comes into play—and The Department of Justice and Department of Education have now recognized this discriminatory practice that has plagued minority children for decades.
Studies show that African American students are punished more harshly and frequently than white students who may commit the same offenses. The Department of Education states that in their studies, African American children are more likely to be suspended for minor infractions, and also, 50 percent of students who are arrested at school are Black even though Black students do not make up 50% of the population. Black students also make up 76 percent of students who are physically restrained by adults in school.
Recently, Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, and Attorney General, Eric Holder, jointly announced an initiative to address the issue of discriminatory discipline within American schools. The federal school discipline guidance will provide positive discipline policies that will be aimed at ending misguided and discriminatory policies that are used in schools across America.
Here are a few of the key principals that schools must abide by:
Eric Holder is hoping that schools start to better understand their civil rights obligations and avoid unfair disciplinary practices. A simple disciplinary infraction should land a student in the principal’s office and not in a police precinct.