Plans to Improve School Safety Do More Harm than Good

March 14, 2018
Plans to Improve School Safety Do More Harm than Good

For Immediate Release                 

Contact:  David Card
202.408.9514 x122
[email protected]

WASHINGTON – On Monday, March 12, the Trump Administration outlined plans to improve school safety that have the disability community concerned.

Proposals include:

  • Increasing the number of School Resource Officers (SROs), although SROs have not successfully prevented school shootings and data shows that school based arrests disproportionately impact children of color and children with disabilities.
  • Repeal of the Obama Administration’s “Rethink School Discipline” policies which deemphasize the use of arrests and school removals, in favor of evidenced based behavior services for children who need them.
  • Reducing funding of public schools in favor of school choice programs which predominately fund private schools.


“The items provide a clear map for how the Administration has chosen to use the school shooting crisis to remove civil rights and services from children and youth with disabilities,” said NDRN Executive Director Curt Decker. “These changes will have a disproportionate and negative impact on children and youth of color with disabilities. These kids are the victims, not the perpetrators, of the tragic events that keep occurring in our schools.”

NDRN is proposing many solutions to ensure the safety of the entire school community. These solutions include:

  • Safety planning that ensures that all members of the school community exit the building safely, including people with disabilities.
  • Evidence based behavior supports for children with disabilities and the additional staff required to implement them.
  • Early intervention for vulnerable children in a school environment that is safe from restraint, seclusion, segregation and physical punishment.


“The National Disability Rights Network is deeply concerned that proposals by the Trump Administration to address school violence will harm students with disabilities and do little to improve safety,” said NDRN Executive Director Curt Decker. “We do not need to harden our schools. They are hard enough already.”

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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.