Minneapolis public school officials will begin reviewing minority student suspensions.
The move comes just as the the school district is about to approve a settlement with the U.S. Department of Eduction for inconsistent suspension treatment of black students. Black, Hispanic and American Indian students are 10 times more likely to be sent home than white students, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Minneapolis Public Schools Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson said she wants to disrupt that statistic in any way that she can.
“The only way I can think of doing that is to take those suspensions back to the individuals and try and probe and ask questions,” Johnson said Friday, the Star Tribune reported.
But school principals wonder if Johnson will instead "grill" students while reviewing their proposed suspensions.
"No, it's a conversation," Johnson said.
Beginning Monday, every proposed suspension of black, Hispanic or American Indian students that doesn't involve violent behavior will be reviewed by Johnson or someone else on her team. Police presence at schools will also be reduced after the school found inconsistencies and questions in how law enforcement officers were used for disciplinary matters.
As part of the settlement with the Department of Education, the district for the next three years will be required to report its progress on reducing the number of suspended minority students to the Office of Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Education.
And in a sweep of new changes estimated to cost $5 million, the district plans to increase staff, create a more thorough data system, more clearly define suspension policy and increase community and student engagement.
(H/T: Minneapolis Star Tribune)
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