Obama Administration Targets 'Disparate Impact' of Discipline
Federal officials are getting the word out that addressing racial disparities in school discipline is a high priority, and they plan to use “disparate-impact analysis” in enforcing school discipline cases—a legal course of action that some civil rights lawyers contend was neglected under the administration of President George W. Bush.
“Regrettably, students of color are receiving different and harsher disciplinary punishments than whites for the same or similar infractions, and they are disproportionately impacted by zero-tolerance policies—a fact that only serves to exacerbate already deeply entrenched disparities in many communities,” Thomas E. Perez, the assistant attorney general for civil rights at the U.S. Department of Justice, recently said at a conference on school discipline and civil rights, according to a transcript of his speech . The invitation-only conference was hosted by the U.S. departments of Education and Justice on Sept. 27 and 28.
Also at the conference, Ricardo Soto, the deputy assistant secretary for the Education Department’s office for civil rights, announced that his office will release guidance this winter on school discipline that will include an...
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