Federal officials unveil school discipline guidance in visit to Baltimore

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Federal education and justice officials unveiled during a visit to Baltimore on Wednesday the first set of national school discipline guidelines to reduce out-of-school suspensions and address the disproportionate suspension rates of students of color and those with disabilities.

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Attorney General Eric Holder jointly announced the comprehensive package of guidelines at Frederick Douglass High School, the first time the federal government has issued guidance on school discipline.

Duncan said the effort was prompted by years of research illustrating how discipline is “not applied as effectively as it could be across our nation’s schools.” And he said that around the nation, where nonviolent offenses make up roughly 95 percent of out-of-school suspensions, the over-reliance on suspensions is clear.

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