Richard Garnett re-appointed to Indiana State Advisory Committee to U.S. Commission on Civil Rights

Author: Denise Wager

Richard Garnett, Paul J. Schierl/Fort Howard Corporation Professor and director of the Program on Church, State & Society, has been re-appointed to the Indiana State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.  

State advisory committee members conduct reviews and produce reports and recommendations concerning local civil rights issues, including justice, voting, discrimination, housing, and education. Congress mandates that the federal Commission appoint volunteer members to advisory committees in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Appointees to the federal State Advisory Committees serve two-year terms. Garnett is in his second term.

The Indiana Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights recently released a report following a series of panel discussions on school discipline policies and practices in the state. The Committee's purpose was to examine the civil rights impact of school discipline and juvenile justice policies, which may lead to high rates of juvenile incarceration-particularly among youth of color, boys, and students with disabilities-in what has become known as the "school-to-prison pipeline." The Committee heard testimony from academic experts and education professionals; community advocates; juvenile corrections officials; and individual students and families directly impacted.

Through this testimony, the Committee identified a number of concerns regarding the role of intersecting biases in implementing disciplinary measures in schools; the adverse impact of poverty on students' academic success, which disproportionately affects children of color; and exclusionary disciplinary policies and practices that may exacerbate disengagement, particularly among youth of color and youth with disabilities. The Committee identified a number of recommendations for the Commission's consideration, which may help to remedy some of these concerns moving forward.