New Federal Guidance on School Climate and Discipline Released
NAESP applauds the new guidance on school discipline that was released today by the U.S. Department of Education, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Justice. NAESP members provided input to the guidance, which will help states, districts, and schools develop practices and strategies to enhance school climate, and to ensure those policies and practices comply with federal law.
The guidance is meant to help schools administer discipline that does not discriminate on the basis of race. Research shows that “students of certain racial or ethnic groups tend to be disciplined more than their peers,” and that African-American students without disabilities, for example, “are more than three times as likely as their white peers without disabilities to be expelled or suspended.”
Principals are key in fostering healthy school climates, an essential element to boosting student academic success and closing achievement gaps. NAESP believes that districts must provide principals with targeted professional development in these areas.