When President Trump rescinded an Obama-era directive pressuring schools to adopt lenient discipline policies, almost every major education advocacy organization united in outrage.
Despite Pulitzer-Prize-winning reporting showing how similarly lenient disciplinary policies allowed the Parkland school shooter to slip through the cracks, the liberal media insinuated that it was absurd for the Trump administration to recommend rescission of Obama-era lenient policies.
And despite study after study showing that these leniency policies hurt some students, advocates insinuated that the Trump administration was oppressing students of color by ending a policy intended to help them.
Fortunately, a recent Thomas B. Fordham institute teacher survey has given teachers a real voice on this issue. The Obama administration declared flatly that “suspensions don’t work.” The report reveals that teachers overwhelmingly disagree.
Roughly 80% of teachers believe that suspensions are useful to send a signal to students’ parents about serious misbehavior and around 85% believe that temporarily removing disruptive students helps well-behaved students learn. Meanwhile, nearly 80% believe that suspensions help ensure a safe school environment and almost 70% think suspensions encourage other students to follow the rules.
Max Eden is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and author of a new report, Safe and Orderly Schools: Updated Guidance on School Discipline. Follow him on Twitter here.
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