Its new school-discipline guidelines encourage discrimination.
The Departments of Education and Justice have teamed up to make the lives of students in tough neighborhoods even tougher. Framed as a measure to combat discrimination against black and Hispanic children, the guidelines issued by the Obama administration about school discipline will actually encourage racial discrimination, undermine the learning environments of classrooms, and contribute to an unjust race-consciousness in meting out discipline.
Claiming that African-American and Hispanic students are more harshly disciplined than whites for the same infractions, the Obama administration now advises that any disciplinary rule that results in a “disparate impact” on those groups will be challenged by the government.
“Disparate impact” analysis, as we’ve seen in employment law, does not require any intentional discrimination. It means, for example, that if an employer asks job seekers to take a test, and a larger percentage of one ethnic group fails the test than another, the test is de facto discriminatory because it has a “disparate impact.”