Trump Administration Takes Aim at Civil Rights of Minority Children, New Paper Says

November 15, 2018
Trump Administration Takes Aim at Civil Rights of Minority Children, New Paper Says

For Immediate Release

Contact:  David Card
202.408.9514 x122
[email protected]

Washington, DC – A new paper released today by a coalition of national organizations and researchers asserts that the Trump Administration is limiting the civil rights protections of children and youth of color. While these changes may not rise above the din of current news cycles, together they will result in significant change to the framework of legal protections for vulnerable youth.

Although it is not uncommon for new administrations to review policies, regulations, and guidance from previous administrations, the Trump Administration is aggressively pursuing a number of actions that are harming students.

The Department of Education (ED) delayed previously approved regulations on equity for students with disabilities, rescinded guidance on the use of race in school admissions, and signaled its intent to rescind a package of guidance documents on school discipline intended to prevent discrimination that were jointly developed by ED and the Department of Justice (DOJ), among others.

Meanwhile, DOJ rescinded key guidance documents that provide protections against discrimination for youth of color in the legal system.

“We are on a path that will set children of color and children with disabilities back for another generation,” said Diane Smith Howard, an attorney with the National Disability Rights Network. “Change is needed now, in order to prevent further harm.”

The paper outlines a number of recommendations for reform that would help undo these harms. It was released by members of the Civil Rights Roundtable (CRRT), a coalition of national organizations and academic professionals who are experts in the field of school discipline and school removal and analyze the impact of these removals on children and youth, especially those who are members of more than one protected class, for example, students of color with disabilities.

A copy of the report can be found on the NDRN website here. It is supported by the following members of the CRRT:

American Civil Liberties Union
The Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
Center for Civil Rights Remedies at the Civil Rights Project at UCLA
Center for Public Representation
Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates
Disability Rights and Education Fund
Education Law Center – PA
Juvenile Law Center
Lauren Onkeles-Klein, Director, Juvenile and Special Education Law Clinic, UDC – David A. Clarke School of Law.
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
National Center for Youth Law
National Disability Rights Network
Native American Disability Law Center
Public Interest Law Center

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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.