The Delaware Department of Education will not be moving forward to finalize the current proposed version of Regulation 225. The department received more than 6,000 comments in response to the revised proposed 225 Prohibition of Discrimination Regulation, which was published in the June Register of Regulations. Those comments now are available online for public review at – https://www.doe.k12.de.us/antidiscrimination .
Education officials add that recent court decisions have raised legal questions regarding this issue. The large amount of public comment also makes it clear that the Department of Education has not found the right balance.
Governor Carney’s Statement on Regulation 225
Governor John Carney on Thursday released the following statement on the Delaware Department of Education’s announcement that the department will not be finalizing the current version of Regulation 225:
“Last July, I asked Education Secretary Susan Bunting to draft a new regulation that would require Delaware’s school districts and charter schools to create consistent, meaningful anti-discrimination policies. We acted on the simple premise that no child should be made to feel uncomfortable or unwelcome at school because of who they are. Every student deserves to be respected and affirmed. Our goal was to help protect Delaware children from discrimination at school so they could focus on their education. That remains our goal today.
I also believe that families are critical to the education of Delaware’s children. Parents are their children’s first teachers, and they are our partners in this endeavor. The more engaged and involved families are in their children’s education, the better off our students will be.
Throughout the process of creating this regulation, I carefully listened to the feedback of Delawareans. Secretary Bunting did the same. We heard concerns from parents who wanted to ensure they had a say in the decisions schools make regarding their children. We attempted to address those concerns. On the other hand, we heard and understand concerns that have been raised by the LGBTQ community. They are working to protect some of our state’s most vulnerable children.
In light of the recent Boyertown decision by the Third Circuit, and the comments received from across our state, we are considering our next steps on Regulation 225. We will remain committed to public engagement as we determine the path forward. I want to thank Secretary Bunting and her team for their work on this regulation, and for their commitment to public engagement throughout this process. I also want to thank members of the development team that crafted the original regulation – including students, parents, superintendents, principals, school board members, and advocates.
The most important part of my job is to make sure each and every child in Delaware has an opportunity to be successful in the world. This is difficult work. And our work is not done. I look forward to continued discussions with members of the General Assembly, Delawareans, and Delaware families across our state about how best to make progress.”