AGs of NY, MA, VT call for equitable school discipline measures

Classroom Progress Report

BOSTON (WWLP) — Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced that she joined a coalition of 23 attorneys in calling on federal Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona to reinstate a 2014 guidance package designed to help public schools to administer student discipline equitably.

Healey joined the attorneys general from New York, Vermont, Connecticut, Maine, Rhode Island, Washington, and other states in calling for reform.

“Discipline measures can have lifelong consequences for young people, so it is particularly important that, when used, they do not fall disproportionately on some students, including students of color and students with disabilities,” Healey said.

In a letter, the coalition contends that exclusionary discipline remains prevalent across the country and continues to disproportionately impact students of color and students with disabilities.

The letter also mentions the lifelong impact these discriminatory practices can have on students, including contributing to an increased rate of incarceration often referred to as the school-to-prison pipeline.

The National Bureau of Economic Research also found that attending a school with an above-average use of suspension increases a student’s future chances of being incarcerated by 17%, for students of color, the chance of incarceration increases by an additional 3.1%.

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