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News & Press: Policy

Children Need Services Not More Bias

Tuesday, March 13, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Denise Marshall


HR 4909 places the most vulnerable children in schools at-risk for discrimination


WASHINGTON, DC – In response to the U.S. House of Representatives pending consideration of H.R. 4909, the Students, Teachers, and Officers Preventing (STOP) School Violence Act, the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA) opposes the bill and executive director, Denise Marshall issued the following statement:


“We are extremely concerned that H.R. 4909 does not assure that school districts are required to meet all of their obligations under civil rights statutes, including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and that harmful provisions promoting the criminalization of children remain. This means students are not guaranteed they will receive fair treatment, equal protection, and a right to due process when a school or district overstep in taking disciplinary actions against students. It also means that students may not be at the center of developing plans to make a school safe. While school systems, school leaders and teachers need more funding and resources, these resources should be targeted to promote a positive school climate that include staffing and policies that successfully resolve behavioral challenges without suspension and expulsion and aversive disciplinary actions.  They include positive techniques that are trauma-informed, promote emotional well-being, and lead to students who are safely engaged in learning, with ongoing support for behavioral needs. H.R. 4909 does not accomplish these goals and therefore, we urge Congress to pass school safety legislation that encompasses these priorities so that every student and teacher can feel safe.”


Read COPAA’s full statement on Parkland here: http://www.copaa.org/news/387624/Statement-on-Parkland-Time-to-Take-Action-to-Protect-Our-Children.htm

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