For Immediate Release

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Gloria Mattera, office@gp.org

Green Party Joins Advocacy Groups Urging Devos to Retain Guidance on School Discipline

WASHINGTON - The Green Party joins advocacy groups in urging U.S. Education Secretary Betsy Devos to retain essential guidance on school discipline in regard to race.

Devos is considering whether to rescind a 2014 letter — jointly issued by the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice – that offers guidance to public elementary and secondary schools on administering student discipline in a manner that does not discriminate on the basis of race. This follows her rescission of guidance on the protection of transgender students and on campus sexual assault.

Debbie Russell, Board Member at Del Valle Independent School District, said, "My district has implemented nearly all of the alternatives to discipline recommended by all major academia and education-based organizations studying the issue amongst our 90% minority student population and have seen, quantifiably so, that they truly improve student behavior, maintain school safety, and enhance academic performance. To roll this back would be an intense blow to our students of color, especially, and the entire district."

A report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office released Apr 4, 2018 found that black students, boys, and students with disabilities were disproportionately suspended and expelled compared to other students. Students who are disciplined by removal from the classroom are more likely to repeat a grade, drop out, and become involved in the juvenile justice system.

"Broward County has seen a surge of racial disparities in education," said Elijah Manley, Green Party candidate for Broward County School Board. "Suspensions and expulsions add to the pervasive and disproportionate punishment of people of color. When elected, I will work with educators, experts, and policy researchers to identify and close all gaps and disparities in education."

The Green Party of the United States recently approved a resolution to Support HR-40 – Commission on Reparations Proposal for African Americans Act, a reparatory remedy for institutionalized slavery and discrimination to living Americans of African Descent.

"Disproportionate treatment of students by race is a continuing reminder of the grave injustice of American slavery and its ongoing effects that reparations were designed to address," said Robin Harris, Black Caucus Co-Chair and Central Florida Green Party Co-Chair.

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