On January 8, 2014, the US Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) and the US Department of Justice (“USDOJ”) jointly issued a School Discipline Guidance Package to assist districts in developing practices and strategies on administering student discipline in a nondiscriminatory manner.  The School Discipline Guidance Package consists of four components:

(1)   A Dear Colleague Letter which summarizes districts’ obligations to avoid and redress racial discrimination in the administration of student discipline.  In the Dear Colleague Letter, OCR and the USDOJ also offer recommendations to assist districts in developing and implementing discipline policies and practices in a manner consistent with their Federal civil rights obligations.

(2)   A Guiding Principles document which describes three key principles and related action steps that can help districts improve school climate and school discipline.

(3)   A Directory of Federal School Climate and Discipline Resources which indexes Federal technical assistance and other resources available on school climate and school discipline.

(4)   A Compendium of School Discipline Laws and Regulations which is an online catalogue of the laws and regulations related to school discipline around the country.

(5)   An Overview of the Supportive School Discipline Initiative document which outlines recent federal efforts on school climate and school discipline.

 In addition to the School Discipline Guidance Package, OCR and the USDOJ also issued a frequently asked questions document and post-card/mini-factsheet.  The School Discipline Guidance Package in its entirety as well as these documents can be found in the “Legal Resources”- Guidance Documents – Federal section of this website.

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