Obama Directive Affected Student Discipline

The author of a state bill that would give teachers more protection in the classroom feels an Obama Administration directive impacted the way school districts disciplined unruly students. State Representative Jeremy Thiesfeldt says in January of 2014 the U.S. Education Department and U.S. Justice Department sent out one of their “Dear Colleague” letters to school districts across the state threatening investigations if minority students were disproportionately disciplined. He notes the Milwaukee School District certainly took it to heart. In 2013-14 the district expelled 290 students, after the letter came out the next school year the district expelled 38 students. Thiesfeldt says the district chose simply not to deal with students causing problems. Teachers in Milwaukee reported that students were not behaving better, but in fact worse. Thiesfeldt’s bill would give teachers more protection and deal with students causing problems in the classroom.