Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Dear Common Dreams Readers:
Corporations and billionaires have their own media. Shouldn't we? When you “follow the money” that funds our independent journalism, it all leads back to this: people like you. Our supporters are what allows us to produce journalism in the public interest that is beholden only to people, our planet, and the common good. Please support our Mid-Year Campaign so that we always have a newsroom for the people that is funded by the people. Thank you for your support. --Jon Queally, managing editor

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

For Immediate Release

Contact

NOW Press Team; press@now.org;(202) 628-8669

Press Release

Betsy DeVos Doubles Down On Criminalizing Students Of Color

Statement by Toni Van Pelt, President of NOW
WASHINGTON -

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has revoked the “Rethink Discipline” guidelines, issued during the Obama administration, which reminded schools of their responsibility to address racial discrimination in school discipline. Without these guardrails, schools can continue to funnel minority students into the “school to prison pipeline,” which removes students from public schools and places them in the criminal justice system, often for minor infractions or contrived offenses pertaining to their “attitude,” their clothes, hairstyle, or the trauma they’ve experienced.

This is the latest example of how Betsy DeVos—and Donald Trump—want to retool the federal government into an instrument of shredding civil rights, rather than protecting them. The effect will be to further marginalize the already marginalized, and criminalize the too-often criminalized students of color.

Students of color are more likely to have learning disabilities or histories of poverty, abuse, or neglect. They need caring and culturally competent teachers, a safe learning environment and comprehensive counseling and mental health services. Instead, under Betsy DeVos’ cruel plan, they will be further isolated, punished, and denied the opportunity to continue their education.

NOW calls on Secretary DeVos to cancel her unwarranted, unjustified and racially discriminatory guidance and stop using minority students as political pawns in Donald Trump’s politics of division. Our public schools are the backbone of our civil society and students should feel safe, respected, and valued as they strive to learn.

###

The National Organization for Women (NOW) is the largest organization of feminist activists in the United States. NOW has 500,000 contributing members and 550 chapters in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Harris Says White House Not 'Discussing' Use of Federal Land for Abortion Care

Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are among the Democratic lawmakers who have expressed support for the idea as GOP-controlled states move to outlaw abortion.

Jake Johnson ·


Abortion Rights Defenders Applaud Judge's Block on Utah 'Trigger Ban'

"Today is a win, but it is only the first step in what will undoubtedly be a long and difficult fight," said one pro-choice advocate.

Brett Wilkins ·


Scores Feared Dead and Wounded as Russian Missiles Hit Ukraine Shopping Center

"People just burned alive," said Ukraine's interior minister, while the head of the Poltava region stated that "it is too early to talk about the final number of the killed."

Brett Wilkins ·


Biodiversity Risks Could Persist for Decades After Global Temperature Peak

One study co-author said the findings "should act as a wake-up call that delaying emissions cuts will mean a temperature overshoot that comes at an astronomical cost to nature and humans that unproven negative emission technologies cannot simply reverse."

Jessica Corbett ·


Amnesty Report Demands Biden Take Action to End Death Penalty

"The world is waiting for the USA to do what almost 100 countries have achieved during this past half-century—total abolition of the death penalty," said the group.

Julia Conley ·

Common Dreams Logo