ACLU-WA Statement on Trump Administration’s School Safety Commission Report

News Release: 
Tuesday, December 18, 2018
The Trump Administration’s School Safety Commission on December 18, 2018 released a report calling for the repeal of federal guidance on school discipline and encouraging schools to consider arming teachers and other personnel.  These recommendations, unlike others recognizing the importance of positive school climate and increased resources for mental health supports, contradict existing research on what keeps kids safe and learning in schools.
Regardless of the federal recommendations, Washington state’s constitution and laws provide additional protections for students and a create a strong mandate for schools to adopt discipline policies that are nondiscriminatory, culturally competent, and provide for every student’s education and safety. Schools and state educational agencies must still comply with these laws and, together with our allies, the ACLU-WA will continue to hold them accountable.
“Washington’s communities support the success of our young people,” said ACLU-WA Youth Policy Director Vanessa Hernandez. “It is at the state and local level where we can make the greatest positive impact to keep kids safe, ensure effective and nondiscriminatory school discipline policies and promote strong educational outcomes for all students.  The ACLU-WA will continue its work in communities across the state to end racial and disability discrimination in school discipline.”