The following is a statement by Emily Martin, Vice President for Education & Workplace Justice at the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC):

“Today, during the week before Christmas when millions may not notice, Secretary DeVos once again took steps to undermine the civil rights of students. By calling on the Department of Education to revoke guidance that reminded schools of their responsibility to address racial discrimination in school discipline, Secretary DeVos’ so-called School Safety Commission endorsed the criminalization of Black and brown students. Across the country, girls of color are unnecessarily punished for minor offenses, based on race and gender bias. They’re pushed out of school because of their “attitudes,” their clothes, and the trauma they’ve experienced. While Betsy DeVos may abdicate her responsibility to these students, schools still have a legal obligation to address discrimination in discipline—regardless of her actions. It’s up to us to hold schools to that obligation. We must ensure schools treat students fairly and respond to trauma with support, not punishment. Together, we can create schools that let all students learn.”

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For immediate release: December 18, 2018
Contact: Maria Patrick (mpatrick@nwlc.org)

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