Parent Group Files Federal Complaint Against Portland Schools For Disciplining Based On Gender Identity, Race

Parents Defending Education filed the complaint on Thursday.

Rear view of teenage girls and boys learning in classroom
(Getty Images)

A parental rights group has filed a federal complaint against public schools in Portland, Oregon, for taking gender identity and race into account when disciplining students.

On Thursday, Parents Defending Education filed a federal civil rights complaint with the Department of Education against Portland Public Schools, criticizing the district’s new discipline policy.

“Portland Public Schools has enacted several concerning policies that treat students and educators differently based on race and gender identity,” including “disciplining some students and not others, solely based on immutable characteristics,” reads the complaint.

“Accordingly, we ask that the Department promptly investigate the allegations in this complaint, act swiftly to remedy unlawful policies and practices, and order appropriate relief,” the complaint says.

The new discipline policy is part of a collective bargaining agreement between Portland Public Schools and its unionized teachers, which ended a nearly month-long strike in late November.

When a student engages in “continuous disruptive behavior,” school officials must develop a “support plan” for the student that “must take into consideration the impact of issues related to the student’s trauma, race, gender identity/presentation, sexual orientation, disability, social emotional learning, and restorative justice as appropriate for the student,” the agreement states.

“Teachers in Portland Public Schools are encouraged to discipline students based on their race and it’s appalling,” said Caroline Moore, vice president of Parents Defending Education.

“The teachers wanted to amend the policy so desperately that they included the provision in their strike agreement. This is corrupt and un-American. I’m anxiously awaiting the U.S. Department of Education’s investigation into this district’s unlawful practices,” Moore said.

The new disciplinary policy also prohibits suspending a student who threatens or harms other people. Those students may now only be removed from their classroom and sent to a “self-regulation space” within the school.

Previously, Portland schools could suspend middle and high school students for at least five days for extreme cases of students causing physical harm or threatening violence. Now, through the union agreement, the district has expanded its rapid response teams, which are supposed to intervene early in these situations.


The agreement replaces the term “unacceptable” student behavior with “continuous disruptive” behavior and refers to “support plans” rather than “behavior correction plans.”

Student discipline has been a growing concern in Portland’s public schools.

Portland teachers have said they are seeing “more students in crisis” with mental health issues, which can lead to fights.

In response, the Portland school district has been working to beef up its “restorative justice” practices over the last two years. However, after the pandemic, the district saw a spike in requests for the district’s restorative justice services, highlighting the discipline issue.

Create a free account to join the conversation!

Already have an account?

Log in

Got a tip worth investigating?

Your information could be the missing piece to an important story. Submit your tip today and make a difference.

Submit Tip
Download Daily Wire Plus

Don't miss anything

Download our App

Stay up-to-date on the latest
news, podcasts, and more.

Download on the app storeGet it on Google Play
The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Parent Group Files Federal Complaint Against Portland Schools For Disciplining Based On Gender Identity, Race