Press Release

WASHINGTON – Denise Forte, president and CEO of The Education Trust, released the following statement following the release of the US Department of Education Dear Colleague Letter Calling for End to Corporal Punishment in Schools and Guiding Principles on School Discipline:

“There is no place for corporal punishment in our nation’s schools. I applaud the Department for asking states to end the practice of paddling, spanking, or otherwise imposing physical punishment on students, and Congress must support this action by the Department by banning the practice nationwide.

“Black and Latino students are disciplined at higher rates than their White peers. This is especially true for Black students, who are suspended at rates more than twice their share of total student enrollment for the same or lesser offenses than their white peers. The persistence of disproportionate discipline rates further underscores the need for the Department to reinstate a strengthened version of the 2014 guidance issued by the Departments of Education and Justice related to the nondiscriminatory administration of school discipline.”

“I’m also heartened to see the release of strong principles for states to rely upon when adopting their own school discipline policies. School discipline policies need to move away from corporal punishment and exclusionary discipline toward policies that are known to support students’ social and emotional learning, such as restorative practices. I applaud the Administration’s continued push to invest in mental health services for our students.