DeVos and DOJ Repeal Discipline Guidance that Clarifies Children’s Civil Rights

December 21, 2018

For Immediate Release
Contact: Shin Inouye, 202.869.0398, [email protected]

WASHINGTON – Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement after the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Justice rescinded the Dear Colleague Letter on the Nondiscriminatory Administration of School Discipline. The guidance was issued jointly by both departments in January 2014:

“This decision is further proof that our children cannot count on the Department of Education under Secretary Betsy DeVos or the Department of Justice to protect their rights. Rescinding this important school discipline guidance signals that the federal government does not care that too many schools have policies and practices that push children of color out of school. Federal nondiscrimination laws have not changed. Any school with discipline policies or practices that discriminate against children based on race, ethnicity, sex, or disability is still breaking the law. We urge educators and schools to implement evidence-based strategies that will create the safe, welcoming schools all of our children deserve.”

The Leadership Conference and 153 local, state, and national civil and human rights and education groups earlier this year sent a letter to DeVos opposing any changes to or rescission of the 2014 school discipline guidance. That letter is available here.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit