For Immediate Release
Contact: David Card
Washington, DC – National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) Executive Director Curt Decker issued the following statement in response to the release of the Trump Administration’s School Safety Commission report:
“The Trump Administration School Safety Commission’s report missed an important opportunity to focus on what works to improve school safety and overall school climate, while distracting readers with proposed solutions that will not achieve that goal.
“The commission’s first mistake is rescinding the Title VI discipline guidance. The guidance provides important information to schools to prevent discrimination and is completely unrelated to the Commission’s charge. Rescinding this guidance would not have prevented a single school shooting.
“The report recommends adding more school resources officers, but this will not protect students either. Data shows that increasing the number of school resource officers results in higher arrest rates and physical restraints for some groups of students, particularly students with disabilities. Any school resource officers who do work in schools must be thoroughly trained in how to appropriately interact with all students.
“Any potential hardening of schools must protect all students, including students with disabilities. For example, door locks or safety devices must ensure that that all students can evacuate safely and at the same time.
“The importance of safety in schools for America’s 50.7 million K-12 students, as well as that of students attending institutions of higher education, cannot be overstated. However true safety for all students will not be achieved by implementing the recommendations in this report. Nor will it be achieved in closed door meetings that do not examine peer reviewed research, review available data, and benefit from the input of all groups of stakeholders.
“This report is just smoke and mirrors to distract Americans from the real and difficult conversations we must have about school safety.
“NDRN is the non-profit membership organization for the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) agencies for individuals with disabilities. P&As provide critical legal advocacy to protect the rights of hundreds of students per year who belong to more than one protected class (intersectionality), for example children of color who are also children with disabilities. This extensive expertise informs our analysis of this report.”
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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.