On Monday, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel led a coalition of 23 attorneys general from across the country urging the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice to reinstate and expand 2014 guidance designed to help public schools meet their obligations under federal law to administer student discipline equitably.
In a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona and U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, the coalition of attorneys general pointed out that exclusionary discipline remains prevalent across the country and continues to disproportionally impact students of color. In addition, years of federal data demonstrates that students with disabilities are subjected to exclusionary discipline at twice the rate of students without disabilities. Similarly, data is now emerging that LGBTQ students may also be targeted more frequently with exclusionary and other more severe forms of discipline.
The letter also quantifies the lifelong impact these discriminatory practices can have on students, including contributing to an increased rate of incarceration – often referred to as the “school-to-prison pipeline.” Statistics show students who receive more frequent discipline, including suspensions, are more likely to serve jail or prison time. Read more about the effort, which builds on work Nessel is doing with MEA and NEA to address the school-to-prison pipeline.