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August 2011

Secretary Duncan, Attorney General Holder Announce Effort to Respond to School- to-Prison Pipeline

Secretary of

Education Arne Duncan and Attorney General


Holder announced the launch of the Supportive School Discipline Initiative, a


project between the Departments of Justice and Education that will address the “school-to-prison pipeline” and the disciplinary policies and practices that can push students out of school and into the justice system. The initiative aims to support good discipline practices to foster safe and productive learning environments in every classroom.

“Maintaining safe and supportive

school climates is absolutely critical, and we are concerned about the rising rates and disparities in discipline in our nation’s schools,” said Secretary Duncan. “By teaming up with stakeholders on this issue and through the work of our offices throughout the Department, we hope to promote strategies that will engage students in learning and keep them safe.”

The Hampton Roads Messenger 11

consensus for action among federal, state and local education and justice stakeholders; 2) collaborate on research and data collection that may be needed to inform this work, such as evaluations of alternative disciplinary policies and interventions; 3) develop guidance to ensure that school discipline policies and practices comply with the nation’s civil rights laws and to promote positive disciplinary options to both keep kids in school and improve the climate for learning; and 4) promote awareness and knowledge about evidence-based and promising policies and practices among state judicial and education leadership.

In order to implement the initiative,

the two Departments will coordinate with other organizations in the nonprofit and philanthropic communities who are also working to help ensure students succeed by addressing inappropriate school discipline. These groups include the Council of State Governments and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. The Supportive

School Discipline Initiative will build upon the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights’ work to increase and enhance the school discipline data available through the Civil Rights Data Collection as well as the Departments’ complaint investigations, reviews and other proactive efforts to ensure disciplinary policies support students and are administered in a non-discrim- inatory manner.

Attorney General Holder and

Secretary Duncan announced this initiative during the quarterly meeting of the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, whose membership includes representa- tives from 12 federal agencies and nine practitioners. The Council coordinates federal juvenile justice and prevention programs to help better serve at-risk youth. A priority issue for the Council is education and at-risk youth. More information on the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice is available at www.

system is a doorway to opportunity – and not a point of entry to our criminal justice system – is a critical, and achievable, goal,” said Attorney General Holder. “By bringing together government, law enforcement, academic, and community leaders, I’m confident that we can make certain that school discipline policies are enforced fairly and do not become obstacles to future growth, progress, and achievement.”

The goals of the Supportive School Discipline Initiative are to: 1) build

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“Ensuring that our educational NBA Players FROM PAGE 7

Sasha Vujacic are more likely to take the leap than their American-born peers. Pachulia also agreed to a deal with Beşiktaş, the Euroleague team for which Allen Iverson briefly played last season.

Vujacic, the onetime Los Angeles

Laker, has joined Anadolu Efes, also in Turkey.

All three have an opt-out clause

that allows them to return to the NBA when the lockout ends. Having a viable alternative at their disposal provides the players’ union with added leverage in their stalled negations with the owners and league commissioner David Stern. And with the Chinese Basketball Association looming as another appealing suitor, league executives must be concerned that a widespread defection of the NBA’s stars could tarnish the NBA brand.

The impasse is unlikely to be settled by the scheduled start of the

season this fall-the 2011-12 schedule was released on Tuesday-and with the two sides firmly dug in, the possibility of the entire season being cancelled is conceivable. The specter of no games being held has the Orlando Magic’s Dwight Howard and men of his status keeping at least one eye widely open and private jets on standby.

”I’m not at liberty to talk about it,”

Howard told the Associated Press on Sunday, “but there’s a huge possibility about me going to China or me going overseas to play basketball. If I decide to go overseas, the main thing is for me to continue to get better, not to do the things that I normally do, but do better at the things I’m not good at.”

Even if Howard and most stars

refrain from leaving the states, the irony is evident: Stern’s tireless effort to globalize the NBA has ultimately given the players another weapon in this increasingly contentious labor battle.

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