STATEMENT: School Safety Commission Recommendations Would Roll Back Civil Rights Protections, Ignore Threats to Student Safety

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Federal Commission on School Safety released a new report that purports to outline the best practices and policy recommendations for enhancing school safety. The body writing the report, which was established on the heels of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, largely ignored the role guns play in mass school shootings. The body also recommends reversing guidance put in place by the Obama administration to narrow racial disparities in school discipline. Scott Sargrad, managing director of K-12 Education Policy at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement in response to the report:

It’s been clear from the beginning that this sham commission never intended to find real solutions to curb gun violence in our nation’s schools. The Trump-DeVos administration has long pushed for more guns in schools by arming teachers, even refusing to rule out the use of federal education funds to buy guns for teachers. Prioritizing hardening schools over evidence-backed strategies that foster healthy and safe learning environments is just the latest example of this administration putting special interests, such as the gun lobby, before the public.

Rather than focus on real threats to school safety, this report disingenuously recommends eliminating the Obama administration’s common-sense school discipline guidance, which was intended to help school districts reduce exclusionary discipline and ensure that students of color and students with disabilities were not subject to discrimination in disciplinary practices.

Last month, voters sent a clear message to Washington: Take action to reduce gun violence. This report makes clear that the administration isn’t listening.

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Colin Seeberger at cseeberger@americanprogress.org or 202.741.6292.