Former Fox News host and current top podcaster Megyn Kelly blasted a Washington school district for adopting a race-based system of discipline.
Last week, the board of the Clover Park School District, located near Tacoma, voted 3-2 to adopt a policy critics say encourages school administrators to factor in race when meting out discipline to students.
“Hi! This is 100% illegal,” Kelly tweeted in response to the story published by the Daily Mail.
Hi! This is 100% illegal.
— Megyn Kelly
“The district in the suburbs of Tacoma will now use ‘culturally responsive discipline’ that encourages school staff to impose disciplinary policies that ‘may be adapted to individual student needs in a culturally responsive manner,” The Daily Mail reported.
“Critics say the new approach is in effect a race-based disciplinary policy that will encourage harsher or lighter punishments based on a student’s race, with white students being disciplined more severely,” the paper continued.
KTTH host Jason Rantz wrote, “The Clover Park School District debated its new ‘culturally responsive’ student discipline policy. It means student discipline would not be consistent based on conduct.
“Instead, a school considers a student’s race and background. It would likely offer harsher punishments to white students, even if the conduct is identical to that of a Black or Hispanic student,” he added.
In a statement to the Daily Mail, board President Alyssa Anderson Pearson insisted, “Contrary to recent inaccurate news coverage and social media posts, Clover Park School District’s Student Discipline Policy does not make race a determining factor for administering discipline.
“It contains no such provision. … The recent update of our policy is based on a Washington State School Directors Association model policy. It has been adopted by multiple school districts and is in alignment with state law,” she added.
But John Arbeeny, a former deputy mayor of Lakewood, countered in the Suburban Times, “So ‘culturally responsive discipline’ is merely a deceptive cover term for ‘racially/ethnically based discipline’ which seeks to ‘even out’ the numbers of disciplinary incidents based upon racial/ethnic populations or some other undefined criteria.”
It has little to do with group or individual cultural differences (the determination of which is problematic), discipline generally or creating a safe academic environment. I wonder what the public would think if this were explained in plain language: ‘a discipline policy based upon race/ethnicity’?” he added.
“If indeed ‘culturally responsive discipline’ is nothing more than more favorable treatment of some over others based upon race/ethnicity are we not treading upon the US Constitution 14th Amendment, Section 1?” he asked.
“No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
Added Rantz: “The state officially ‘culturally responsive’ as ‘knowledge of student cultural histories and contexts, as well as family norms and values in different cultures; knowledge and skills in accessing community resources and community and parent outreach; and skills in adapting instruction to students’ experiences and identifying cultural contexts for individual students.’
“In practice, it means favorable treatment of racial minorities.”