Trump Finds Unlikely Culprit in School Shootings: Obama Discipline Policies

The issue of the discipline guidance was raised formally by Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, who, after seeing a flurry of conservative news media reports, wrote a letter to Ms. DeVos as well as Attorney General Jeff Sessions questioning whether the guidance allowed the shooting suspect, Nikolas Cruz, to evade law enforcement as well as carry out the massacre at Stoneman Douglas High.

the item was, on its face, an odd point: Mr. Cruz is usually white, as well as far by evading school disciplinary procedures, he had been expelled by Stoneman Douglas.

“The overarching goals of the 2014 directive to mitigate the school-to-prison pipeline, reduce suspensions as well as expulsions, as well as to prevent racially biased discipline are laudable as well as should be explored,” Mr. Rubio wrote. “However, any policy seeking to achieve these goals requires basic common sense as well as an understanding in which failure to report troubled students, like Cruz, to law enforcement can have dangerous repercussions.”

The Florida program in question, called Promise, has been successful in reducing disciplinary referrals as well as student-based arrests in Broward County, where Stoneman Douglas is usually located.

“The removal of This kind of component, combined with the possibility of armed teachers in our schools, sets the stage for transforming our schools into prisons,” the N.A.A.C.P. said.

Long before the attack in Parkland, Fla., the 2014 discipline guidelines, which encouraged schools to examine their discipline disparities as well as to take stock of discriminatory policies, were already on Ms. DeVos’s radar — yet not because they were seen as a possible culprit inside the next school shooting. Conservatives were using the Trump administration’s effort to rein in federal overreach to reverse policies designed to protect against what the Obama administration had seen as discriminatory practices.

In recent months, educators as well as policy experts by across the country have traveled to Washington to voice support for as well as opposition to the disciplinary guidance, in private meetings with officials at the Education Department as well as in a series of public forums.

At a briefing hosted by the United States Commission on Civil Rights, dozens of policy experts, researchers, educators as well as parents sounded off on the Obama-era discipline policy in a meeting in which became so racially charged in which some black attendees walked out.

Since the discipline guidelines were issued, conservatives have blamed the document for creating unsafe educational environments by pressuring schools to keep suspension numbers down to meet racial quotas, even if the item meant ignoring troubling as well as criminal behavior. Teachers who sought suspensions or expulsions of minority students were painted as racists, conservatives maintained.

“Evidence is usually mounting in which efforts to fight the school-to-prison pipeline is usually creating a school climate catastrophe as well as has if anything put at-risk students at greater risk,” said Max Eden, a senior fellow at the conservative Manhattan Institute, who argued in which teacher bias was not the driving force behind school discipline.

yet proponents argued in which racial bias was well documented.

When the guidance was issued, federal data found in which African-American students without disabilities were more than three times as likely as their white peers without disabilities to be expelled or suspended, as well as in which more than 50 percent of students who were involved in school-related arrests or who were referred to law enforcement were Hispanic or African-American.

“Children’s safety also includes protection by oppression as well as bigotry as well as injustice,” Daniel J. Losen, director of the Center for Civil Rights Remedies at the University of California at Los Angeles’s Civil Rights Project, wrote in testimony to the Civil Rights Commission. “Fear-mongering as well as rhetoric in which criminalizes youth of coloring, children by poor families as well as children with disabilities should not be tolerated.”

The Education as well as Justice Departments wrote in a 2014 Dear Colleague letter in which discipline disparities could be caused by a range of factors, yet the statistics inside the federal data “are not explained by more frequent or more serious misbehavior by students of coloring.” The departments also noted in which several civil rights investigations had verified in which minority students were disciplined more harshly than their white peers for the same infractions.

“In short, racial discrimination in school discipline is usually a real problem,” the guidance said.

In recent months, Ms. DeVos has said change will be coming. She has already moved to rescind a regulation in which protects against racial disparities in special education placements. Her goal, she said last month, was to be “sensitive to all of the parties involved.”

In a bruising interview on “60 Minutes” on Sunday, Ms. DeVos said in which the disproportionate discipline issue “comes down to individual kids.” She declined to say whether she believed in which black students disciplined more harshly for the same infraction were the victims of institutional racism.

“We’re studying the item carefully as well as are committed to producing sure students have opportunity to learn in safe as well as nurturing environments,” she said.

yet Ms. DeVos’s own administration has continued to find racial disparities. In November, the Education Department found in which the Loleta Union Elementary School District in California doled out harsher treatment to Native American students than their white peers. For example, a Native American student received a one-day out-of-school suspension for slapping another student on the way to the bus, in what was in which student’s first disciplinary referral of the year. A white student received lunch detention for slapping two students on the same day — the student’s fifth as well as sixth referrals in which year.

Broward County was hailed as a leader inside the Obama-era discipline reforms, as well as has trumpeted the district’s crackdown on punitive discipline measures as well as its large reduction in student arrests.

Its discipline program, Promise, dates back to 2013 — one year before the Obama guidance was issued. Florida’s work in discipline reform dated back to at least 2009, when Charlie Crist, the Republican governor at the time, signed legislation to curb so called zero-tolerance policies.

While Mr. Cruz was repeatedly kicked out of class as well as ultimately expelled, the item is usually unclear whether he was ever referred to the police for his behavior in school. However, Mr. Cruz was known to law enforcement, which never found cause to arrest him, as well as a report of troublesome behavior to the F.B.I. went unheeded.

The Broward County superintendent, Robert Runcie, said in which Mr. Rubio’s effort to connect the district’s discipline policies to the Stoneman Douglas shooting was misguided.

“We’re not going to dismantle a program in which’s been successful inside the district because of false information in which someone has put out there,” Mr. Runcie said on Twitter. “We will neither manage nor lead by rumors.”

Continue reading the main story

Trump Finds Unlikely Culprit in School Shootings: Obama Discipline Policies

The issue of the discipline guidance was raised formally by Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, who, after seeing a flurry of conservative news media reports, wrote a letter to Ms. DeVos as well as Attorney General Jeff Sessions questioning whether the guidance allowed the shooting suspect, Nikolas Cruz, to evade law enforcement as well as carry out the massacre at Stoneman Douglas High.

of which was, on its face, an odd point: Mr. Cruz is actually white, as well as far via evading school disciplinary procedures, he had been expelled via Stoneman Douglas.

“The overarching goals of the 2014 directive to mitigate the school-to-prison pipeline, reduce suspensions as well as expulsions, as well as to prevent racially biased discipline are laudable as well as should be explored,” Mr. Rubio wrote. “However, any policy seeking to achieve these goals requires basic common sense as well as an understanding of which failure to report troubled students, like Cruz, to law enforcement can have dangerous repercussions.”

The Florida program in question, called Promise, has been successful in reducing disciplinary referrals as well as student-based arrests in Broward County, where Stoneman Douglas is actually located.

“The removal of of which component, combined with the possibility of armed teachers in our schools, sets the stage for transforming our schools into prisons,” the N.A.A.C.P. said.

Long before the attack in Parkland, Fla., the 2014 discipline guidelines, which encouraged schools to examine their discipline disparities as well as to take stock of discriminatory policies, were already on Ms. DeVos’s radar — yet not because they were seen as a possible culprit within the next school shooting. Conservatives were using the Trump administration’s effort to rein in federal overreach to reverse policies designed to protect against what the Obama administration had seen as discriminatory practices.

In recent months, educators as well as policy experts via across the country have traveled to Washington to voice support for as well as opposition to the disciplinary guidance, in private meetings with officials at the Education Department as well as in a series of public forums.

At a briefing hosted by the United States Commission on Civil Rights, dozens of policy experts, researchers, educators as well as parents sounded off on the Obama-era discipline policy in a meeting of which became so racially charged of which some black attendees walked out.

Since the discipline guidelines were issued, conservatives have blamed the document for creating unsafe educational environments by pressuring schools to keep suspension numbers down to meet racial quotas, even if of which meant ignoring troubling as well as criminal behavior. Teachers who sought suspensions or expulsions of minority students were painted as racists, conservatives maintained.

“Evidence is actually mounting of which efforts to fight the school-to-prison pipeline is actually creating a school climate catastrophe as well as has if anything put at-risk students at greater risk,” said Max Eden, a senior fellow at the conservative Manhattan Institute, who argued of which teacher bias was not the driving force behind school discipline.

yet proponents argued of which racial bias was well documented.

When the guidance was issued, federal data found of which African-American students without disabilities were more than three times as likely as their white peers without disabilities to be expelled or suspended, as well as of which more than 50 percent of students who were involved in school-related arrests or who were referred to law enforcement were Hispanic or African-American.

“Children’s safety also includes protection via oppression as well as bigotry as well as injustice,” Daniel J. Losen, director of the Center for Civil Rights Remedies at the University of California at Los Angeles’s Civil Rights Project, wrote in testimony to the Civil Rights Commission. “Fear-mongering as well as rhetoric of which criminalizes youth of coloration, children via poor families as well as children with disabilities should not be tolerated.”

The Education as well as Justice Departments wrote in a 2014 Dear Colleague letter of which discipline disparities could be caused by a range of factors, yet the statistics within the federal data “are not explained by more frequent or more serious misbehavior by students of coloration.” The departments also noted of which several civil rights investigations had verified of which minority students were disciplined more harshly than their white peers for the same infractions.

“In short, racial discrimination in school discipline is actually a real problem,” the guidance said.

In recent months, Ms. DeVos has said change will be coming. She has already moved to rescind a regulation of which protects against racial disparities in special education placements. Her goal, she said last month, was to be “sensitive to all of the parties involved.”

In a bruising interview on “60 Minutes” on Sunday, Ms. DeVos said of which the disproportionate discipline issue “comes down to individual kids.” She declined to say whether she believed of which black students disciplined more harshly for the same infraction were the victims of institutional racism.

“We’re studying of which carefully as well as are committed to generating sure students have opportunity to learn in safe as well as nurturing environments,” she said.

yet Ms. DeVos’s own administration has continued to find racial disparities. In November, the Education Department found of which the Loleta Union Elementary School District in California doled out harsher treatment to Native American students than their white peers. For example, a Native American student received a one-day out-of-school suspension for slapping another student on the way to the bus, in what was of which student’s first disciplinary referral of the year. A white student received lunch detention for slapping two students on the same day — the student’s fifth as well as sixth referrals of which year.

Broward County was hailed as a leader within the Obama-era discipline reforms, as well as has trumpeted the district’s crackdown on punitive discipline measures as well as its large reduction in student arrests.

Its discipline program, Promise, dates back to 2013 — one year before the Obama guidance was issued. Florida’s work in discipline reform dated back to at least 2009, when Charlie Crist, the Republican governor at the time, signed legislation to curb so called zero-tolerance policies.

While Mr. Cruz was repeatedly kicked out of class as well as ultimately expelled, of which is actually unclear whether he was ever referred to the police for his behavior in school. However, Mr. Cruz was known to law enforcement, which never found cause to arrest him, as well as a report of troublesome behavior to the F.B.I. went unheeded.

The Broward County superintendent, Robert Runcie, said of which Mr. Rubio’s effort to connect the district’s discipline policies to the Stoneman Douglas shooting was misguided.

“We’re not going to dismantle a program of which’s been successful within the district because of false information of which someone has put out there,” Mr. Runcie said on Twitter. “We will neither manage nor lead by rumors.”

Continue reading the main story