The Center is strongly opposed to Tennessee’s Teacher Discipline Act, which is currently moving through the state House. At a time when students in our country are encountering both a reckoning with racial injustice and a pandemic that has caused massive instructional loss and trauma, it is disturbing to see Tennessee lawmakers focus on legislation that would punish students rather than devote resources to addressing their social and emotional needs. Data clearly show that the forms of harsh discipline endorsed in this bill have been disproportionately applied to Black students and students with disabilities for decades. To now pass a bill that encourages these forms of discipline is unacceptable.
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