Efforts to Address School Violence May Undermine Civil Rights

April 3, 2018
Efforts to Address School Violence May Undermine Civil Rights

Fear and misinformation should not influence public policy, civil rights groups say

For Immediate Release 

Contact: David Card
202.408.9514 x122
[email protected]

WASHINGTON – The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) with the Civil Rights Roundtable has issued a white paper in response to misinformation about school discipline reform efforts.

This white paper, called Civil Rights Imperiled: Discussions Must Focus on Practical Solutions to School Violence, reviews current research on school discipline reform and provides concrete recommendations, based on best practices and existing legal requirements, about how schools may improve safety for students and staff. It was drafted by a group of Civil Rights Roundtable members.

“We are very concerned that efforts to address school shootings have ranged into conversations about solutions to every school disciplinary problem,” said Diane Smith Howard, a senior staff attorney with NDRN working on criminal and juvenile justice issues. “As this has occurred, some misinformation has been repeated about school discipline reform efforts. It is critical that decisions are made about school safety and school discipline using factual information and accurate data.”

The Civil Rights Roundtable is a coalition of state and national non-profit organizations and academic professionals who address the impact of school removal (e.g. suspension and expulsion) and juvenile justice referrals on children and youth, especially those who are members of more than one protected class.

A copy of the white paper can be found at https://www.ndrn.org/images/Documents/publicpolicy/Education/CRRT_White_Paper_Misinformation_Campaign_Final_for_Distribution.pdf on the NDRN website.

# # #

The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) is the nonprofit membership organization for the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) Systems and the Client Assistance Programs (CAP) for individuals with disabilities. Collectively, the Network is the largest provider of legally based advocacy services to people with disabilities in the United States.