Minneapolis teacher weighs in on federal review of discipline policy

April 6, 2018 GMT

MINNEAPOLIS — Educators from across the country met in Washington on Wednesday to weigh in on federal guidance concerning school discipline.

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is considering whether to keep or rescind the Obama-era instructions to schools, which aim to reduce racial disparities in school discipline.

Minneapolis charter school teacher Charise Powell attended the meeting and said the document helps her deal with discipline problems in her classroom.

“If the guidance goes away, we lose all those resources and we lose that toolkit for staff members and teachers who might not know what next steps are when behaviors arise in the classroom,” said Powell, a fourth-grade teacher at Hiawatha Academies.

Critics of the guidance argue it discourages schools from using appropriate discipline and makes schools less safe. Federal education officials planned a second meeting to hear from opponents of the guidance.