Episode 15: When School Discipline and Implicit Bias Collide (ft. Miriam Rollin and Sharif El-Mekki)

In this episode, we discuss the potential rescinding of the Obama-era guidance on school discipline and what it means for the fight to make education more equitable. First we talk to the director of the Education Civil Rights Alliance, Miriam Rollin, about the current state of the Guidance: what it is, how it's been working, and what it means for it to be repealed. Then, we have a broader conversation about inequity and school disciplinary philosophy with Sharif El-Mekki, the principal at Mastery Charter School-Shoemaker Campus. We discuss Sharif's approach to discipline at his own school as well as his opinions on the repealing of the disciplinary Guidance. [spp-player url=http://traffic.libsyn.com/voices4ed/15_-_Education_Post_-_School_Discipline.mp3] [spp-tweet tweet="When the standard is something like ‘willful defiance’ or ‘ungovernability’ or something that is really vague and can be interpreted in different ways, those tend to be interpreted in a way that’s discriminatory against kids of color. – Miriam Rollin"]

Episode Details:

  • What’s at stake with the potential rollback of Obama-era Guidance on discipline
  • On the effectiveness of the Guidance
  • How the Education Civil Rights Alliance (ECRA) is working to advance equitable school discipline policies and implementation
  • Sharif’s approach to discipline at Mastery Charter School-Shoemaker Campus
  • How restorative justice is administered when faced with a violent student
  • Sharif’s compassionate approach to “no-excuses” discipline
  • How disciplinary models play out in integrated classrooms
  • Why it’s so important to focus on the emotional regulation of adults in the classroom

Links Mentioned:

[spp-tweet tweet="We have to look at emotional health in our entire ecosystem, not just how do we respond to a kid that has done poorly. – Sharif El-Mekki"]