All students deserve access to welcoming, supportive, and safe schools and classrooms. Successful school climates and student discipline involves setting all students up for success by meeting their academic, social, emotional, behavioral, and mental health needs and ensuring schools have the necessary tools to assist students with addressing any behaviors that could otherwise interfere with their learning or others' learning or impact school safety. It also means preventing and eliminating discrimination in the administration of student discipline.
The Department recognizes and appreciates school administrators, teachers, and educational staff across the nation who work to provide a safe, positive, and nondiscriminatory education environment for all students, teachers, and other school staff. The Department is committed to protecting our students’ wellbeing, and we recognize that a strong foundation in building healthy and productive relationships with others helps students thrive. A key component of supporting schools is ensuring they have information and guidance about their obligations under federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination by states, local educational agencies, and schools that receive federal funds. The Department has taken steps to address the needs of schools by providing substantial resources to support the challenging work of setting all students up for success and meeting their academic, behavioral, and mental health needs.
Administrators, educators, students, parents, guardians, and other stakeholders can find on this site tools, data, and resources to:
Meet students' social, emotional, behavioral, and mental health needs;
Help schools understand and comply with Federal laws, including laws that prohibit discrimination based on race, color, or national origin, sex, and disability; and
Find information and resources for promoting welcoming and safe schools.
A letter from Secretary Cardona to our nation's Educators, School Leaders, Parents, and Students about the importance of supporting the needs of students with disabilities. July 19, 2022
Dear Colleague Letter: Supporting Students with Disabilities and Avoiding the Discriminatory Use of Student Discipline under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. July 19, 2022 — English [PDF, 1.3MB] | Español [PDF, 1.06M]
Fact Sheet: Supporting Students with Disabilities and Avoiding the Discriminatory Use of Student Discipline Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. July 19, 2022 English [PDF, 299KB] | Español [PDF, 299K]
Dear Colleague Letter: Addressing the Needs of Children with Disabilities and IDEA's Discipline Provisions. July 19, 2022 — English [PDF, 324KB] | Español [PDF, 366KB]
Questions and Answers: Addressing the Needs of Children with Disabilities and IDEA's Discipline Provisions. July 19, 2022 — English [PDF, 998KB] | Español [PDF, 635KB]
Stakeholders' Guide: Positive, Proactive Approaches to Supporting Children with Disabilities. July 19, 2022 — English [PDF, 622KB] | Español [PDF, 638KB]