The Education Department’s new strategy would be to prioritize individual complaints instead of generalized, systematic issues
When Obama’s administration was in control, the strategy of the Education Dept. was to examine the school as a whole whenever a student filed a complaint of discrimination, to check whether there was a broad, potentially systemic problem that had to be addressed like generalized racism.
The department has proposed a series of revisions to procedures pertaining to civil rights. New guidelines distributed in the last week to officials working in civil rights revealed that the term “systemic” had been entirely removed.
These alterations would let schools have greater freedom to choose how cases are handled, eradicate the process of appeals, and also minimize the parent or student’s involvement in how cases are dealt with.
This is the latest move from the Trump administration which is working to reduce budgets for a variety of federal agencies, aiming to cut a total of $9 billion from the budget for education – something that will result in over 40 employees losing their jobs at the OCR (civil rights office).
Changed guidelines result in “superficial” treatment of incidents
A former Obama administration staff member, Seth Galanter, stated that this change in guidelines directly went against the office of civil rights’ principal objective, which is to solve, identify, and avoid systemic discrimination issues in schools.
Galanter said an example of how the new guidelines are unsuitable is a recent complaint regarding a minority and white student engaging in a fight, yet the two students were not disciplined equally: the non-white student received a harsher punishment.
Galanter claimed that under the Obama administration’s procedure, the OCR would ensure to investigate the school staff members involved in the incident to ensure there was no discriminatory behavior taking place at higher levels.