U.S. Education Secretary Duncan and U.S. Attorney General Holder to Make Announcement and Hold Roundtable on Solutions to Enhance School Climate/Improve Discipline Policies and Practices During Visit to Baltimore

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U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will join U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to discuss school climate and discipline on Wednesday, Jan. 8, at Frederick Douglass High School in Baltimore. Duncan and Holder will participate in a roundtable discussion with students and deliver remarks during an event with civil rights advocates and local community members. The visit is part of a joint effort between the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice to assist states, districts and schools in developing solutions to enhance school climate, and improve school discipline policies and practices. A media availability will follow.

Even though incidents of school violence have decreased overall, too many schools are still struggling to create positive, safe environments. Schools can improve safety by making sure that climates are welcoming and that responses to misbehavior are fair, non-discriminatory, and effective. Each year, significant numbers of students miss class due to suspensions and expulsions—even for minor infractions of school rules—and students of color and with disabilities are disproportionately impacted. As part of President Obama’s Now is the Time proposal to reduce gun violence, the Department of Education was called on to collect and disseminate best practices on school discipline policies and to help school districts develop and equitably implement their policies.

NOTE: All media must present a government-issued photo I.D (such as a driver's license) as well as valid media credentials. Media must RSVP to Stephen Ratner at [email protected] or (202) 514-2007 no later than 5 p.m. ET, today, Tuesday, Jan. 7. All media equipment must arrive by 9 a.m. ET, Wednesday—the day of the event for a mandatory security sweep at 10 a.m. ET. Parking will be available in the lot closest to the school’s football field. Once the security sweep is complete, additional media equipment will NOT be permitted to enter and swept equipment will NOT be permitted to exit. Media should enter through the Academy of Global Leadership and Public Policy entrance. Pen and pad reporters may arrive by the start of the event if they have no equipment. Press inquiries regarding logistics should be directed to Assistant Principal Iona Spikes, (410) 396-7821.