The School Climate and Discipline Guidance Package

In collaboration with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the U.S. Department of Education (ED) released a school discipline guidance package on Wednesday, January 8, 2013. The package is intended to assist states, districts, and schools in developing policies and practices to enhance school climate, and ensuring that those policies and practices comply with federal law. It provides concrete action steps that schools should take to create safe and supportive learning environments for students and teachers.

The resource package consists of four components:

  • The Dear Colleague guidance letter on civil rights and discipline describes how schools can meet their legal obligations under federal law to administer student discipline without discriminating against students on the basis of race, color, or national origin;
  • The Guiding Principles document describes key principles and related action steps that can help guide state and local efforts to improve school climate and school discipline;
  • The Directory of Federal School Climate and Discipline Resources indexes the available federal technical assistance and other resources related to school discipline and climate; and
  • The Compendium of School Discipline Laws and Regulations provides an online catalogue of the laws and regulations related to school discipline across the country.

The ED guidance is aligned with the recommendations that will be released by the CSG Justice Center as part of its School Discipline Consensus Project due to be released in the coming months.