The problems with America’s public education system…Underpaid teachers? Poor funding? Poor parental engagement? Restrictive and oppressive laws regarding minority neighborhood schools?
Nope. None of that, according to Donald Trump’s Attorney General pick, Jeff Sessions. Back in 2000, Sessions, before the Senate, argued that while it’s good for schools to accommodate disabled students, it had “gone too far:”
“… we have created a complex system of federal regulations and laws that have created lawsuit after lawsuit, special treatment for certain children, and that are a big factor in accelerating the decline in civility and discipline in classrooms all over America. I say that very sincerely.
Teachers I have been talking to have shared stories with me. I have been in 15 schools around Alabama this year. I have talked to them about a lot of subjects. I ask them about this subject in every school I go to, and I am told in every school that this is a major problem for them. In fact, it may be the single most irritating problem for teachers throughout America today.”
Sessions’ comments about disabled students appear to be drawn from his own experience as Alabama’s attorney general. In the mid 1990s, Sessions fought school equality after a judge ruled on behalf of about 30 of the state’s poor school districts who sought reforms. The case continued to languish in the courts while disability advocates worried that the poorest school systems didn’t have enough to fund the bare essentials for special needs students, according to a New York Times account. The case ended in 1997 ― after Sessions won a senate seat.