“From a public health perspective, we know that education is a key social determinant of health — a major factor in economic stability, chronic disease prevention and even life expectancy. Yet for many children, a quality education is nearly impossible to achieve.
"Due to unfair and inequitable laws, policies and practices at federal, state and local levels, disparities in opportunity persist among children from communities that are systemically oppressed. School discipline procedures for preschool and K-12 students are just one example of the ways in which unjust legal and policy tools deprive children of a critical social determinant of health: their education.
"Many schools deliver harsh, predetermined punishments that disproportionately impact the same students who experience high rates of childhood adversity and trauma — specifically, children of color, children with disabilities and children who identify as LGBTQ. . . .
"In honor of American Education Week, let us, as public health advocates, health care providers and community stakeholders, commit to supporting leaders on the front lines in schools to ensure that every child has the opportunity to learn, heal and thrive.”