Today, the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) – led by CBC Chair Cedric L. Richmond (D-LA-02) and the co-chairs of the CBC Education and Labor Task Force, Congressmembers Danny K. Davis (D-IL-07), Frederica Wilson (D-FL-24) and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ-12) – released the following statement on the school safety report the Department of Education released this morning.
“The Trump Administration’s School Safety Commission Report is not only a missed opportunity to ensure every student is both safe and supported in the classroom, but it is also a blatant affront to communities of color. Its suggestion that federal civil rights enforcement — and not the prevalence of firearms — is to blame for school shootings is baseless and wrong.
“The use of a school tragedy to roll back Obama-era evidence-based guidance to curb discrimination in education is an outrage and will lead to more students of color being funneled into the school-to-prison pipeline. Sending the message that schools are safest when they discriminate against students of color will encourage the further criminalization of non-criminal behavior – criminalization experienced daily by students living while black, whether it be while swimming at a pool, eating barbecue, sitting at a restaurant, babysitting, or merely walking home from school.
“The Congressional Black Caucus stands ready to hold this administration accountable for protecting and promoting the civil rights of all students.”
CBC Chairman Richmond is the sponsor of the Student Disciplinary Fairness Act of 2017. If passed, the bill wouldestablish within the Department of Justice (DOJ) an Office of School and Discipline Policy to reduce the number of students who are incarcerated and develop a criminal history based on activity that occurs at school.