The Obama discipline policies have been disastrous. Scrap them.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Black students are suspended from school, expelled and referred to law enforcement much more frequently than their white peers and the disparities are growing, according to a federal report released Tuesday.
The report released by the Education Department is likely to add to an already tense national debate about what causes such racial disparities. Civil rights groups believe that racial bias is at play and insist that federal protections are necessary. Some experts counter that forcing schools to adopt milder disciplinary practices makes classrooms unsafe.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is considering scrapping Obama-era rules that were meant to counter those disparities and urge schools to adopt softer discipline approaches. She met with supporters and opponents of that policy this month.
The data show that while black students represented 15 percent of all enrolled students in 2015-2016, they accounted for 31 percent of children referred to police or arrested. The disparity is 5 percentage points higher than in 2013-14, when such data was last collected. Two years ago, white students made up 49 percent of all students but represented 36 percent of students who were referred to the police.
That a racial disparity exists is evident. Liberals like to blame the disparity on racial discrimination by the people administering the discipline. While some racial discrimination might exist, I doubt that it can explain even 5% of the disparity – especially since the public school systems are some of the most liberal institutions in America. In any case, discipline should be administered evenly, fairly, and without regard to race, religion, gender, or anything other than the infraction committed. Anything more or less than that is an injustice.