U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who has been a prominent voice on school discipline policies, announced his resignation last week. He plans to leave office as soon as a successor can be appointed.
Mr. Holder is perhaps best known in the education community for his efforts to address disproportionately high discipline rates for students from some racial and ethnic groups. He also urged schools to step back from zero-tolerance policies that can lead to heavy-handed punishments for minor rule violations.
In the release of a first-of-its-kind discipline guidance in January, the Justice and Education departments informed schools they could be in violation of federal civil rights laws if their discipline policies unfairly target any racial, ethnic, or protected group through word or application. The guidance was the result of the Supportive School Discipline Initiative, a collaboration the two federal agencies launched in 2011 to address school climate efforts, identify solutions, and highlight the need for change.
A version of this article appeared in the October 01, 2014 edition of Education Week as Attorney Gen. Holder to Resign; Targeted Discipline Policies