Trump admin seeks to roll back Obama-era policy on school discipline: report

The Trump administration is poised to roll back Obama-era policies aimed at reducing racial disparities in the way children are disciplined in school, according to a New York Times report published Monday.

A federal commission in an upcoming report will argue that the Obama-era discipline policy encourages violence in schools, the Times said.
 
The commission in the draft report said the Obama administration “gave schools a perverse incentive to make discipline rates proportional to enrollment figures, regardless of the appropriateness of discipline for any specific instance of misconduct," according to the Times. 
 
ADVERTISEMENT
The report refers to policy statements from 2014 which sought to advise schools on how they could dole out disciplinary measures without disproportionately targeting racial minorities and disabled students, the Times reported.
 
As a result of the commission's findings, the Education Department is proposing to rescind those policies, according to a draft letter also reviewed by the Times.
 
The federal commission formed in the wake of the Parkland, Fla., shooting last year will release its final recommendations this week. The Federal School Safety Commission was tasked with providing recommendations on how to reduce violence in schools but its recommendations do not address gun laws, according to the Times. The commission's report focuses on mental health, student support programs, and bettering school security, as well as the Obama-era disciplinary guidelines.

The draft report does not mention how the Obama-era discipline guidelines might have led to the Parkland, Fla. shooting, the Times reported. 

The report, which has not yet been finalized, argues in favor of rejecting the "disparate impact theory" promoted by former President Obama's Education Department. "Disparate impact theory" posits that policies should be reassessed if they have an outsized negative impact on minority groups, regardless of the policy's intention, according to the Times.

The commission's report calls this standard a "mere statistical disparity" and says it will act on allegations of racial bias when there is more substantial "evidence."

“When there is evidence beyond a mere statistical disparity that educational programs and policies may violate the federal prohibition on racial discrimination, this administration will act swiftly and decisively to investigate,” the commission wrote, according to a copy of the report obtained by the Times.

The Federal School Safety Commission included Education Secretary Betsy DeVosElizabeth (Betsy) Dee DeVosDeVos recovering from broken pelvis, hip socket after bicycle accident Student veterans deserve better than the DeVos agenda Changes to Title IX enforcement are common sense MORE, former Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsOvernight Health Care: Thousands more migrant children may have been separated | Senate rejects bill to permanently ban federal funds for abortion | Women's March to lobby for 'Medicare for All' Acting AG Whitaker's wife defends him in lengthy email to journalist Watchdog: Thousands more migrant children separated from parents than previously known MORE, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenDem senator requests FBI investigate Nielsen for potential perjury Schumer wants answers from Trump on eminent domain at border Trump officials discussed ‘deterrent effect’ of prosecuting migrant parents: report MORE.