Jeff Sessions is Anti-Inclusive Education

All of the Trump cabinet appointees are likely to be, in my estimation, bad choices. There are few elite Republicans whose position on the function of the federal government I share in any way. That said, there are two clear types of appointees.

1) Those who are eager to use the coercive power of the states.
2) Those who do not believe in the function of the department they would run and who intend to destroy that function.

DeVos (ed), Carson (HUD), Price (HHS) are type two.

Flynn, Clarke, and DOJ nominee Jeff Sessions are type 1. Still, Sessions will also have the power to act in type 2 ways, undermining the oversight role of the DoJ on governmental functions he dislikes.

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) put out a statement about Sessions highlighting his thoughts on inclusive education.

For the past several years, the Department of Justice has actively enforced the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Olmstead decision, resulting in increased community inclusion for disabled people across the country. But Senator Sessions has suggested increasing the segregation of disabled students in public schools, calling the inclusion of students with significant disabilities “the single most irritating problem for teachers throughout America today.” We have grave concerns that under Sessions, the Department of Justice would not protect the rights of disabled people and other marginalized populations.

Olmstead enforcement from the Obama Justice Department has been important (and underreported in terms of federal policies that change lives), but the Bush Administration – and the family of the man who signed the ADA generally – had genuine concern about disability rights and improving the lives of disabled Americans.

UPDATE: Huffington Post reports on Sessions’ attacks on IDEA. Blames inclusion on a “decline in civility and discipline” in schoolrooms.

Sessions, it seems, does not.
Stopping him is one of the first fights to come. It’s a fight we can win. Call your Senators. Write. Organize.

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