This is a step, maybe a leap, backwards for society. Check it.
Minneapolis Public Schools are implementing a new policy aimed at eliminating the gap between the races when it comes to suspensions. Nothing will change for white students, they will still be suspended at the discretion of each school’s principal. But for minority students, specifically black, Hispanic and Native American students, the Minneapolis Schools Superintendent’s office will personally review each case.
This new policy is part of an agreement with U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights announced last week after an investigation into why minority students made up such a high percentage suspended students in the past.
Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson told NPR, “I and all of my staff will start to review all non-violent suspensions of students of color, especially black boys, to understand why they’re being suspended so we can help intervene with teachers, student leaders and help give them the targeted support they need for these students.”
In a press release announcing the new policy, which begins Monday, Johnson’s office said, “Moving forward, every suspension of a black or brown student will be reviewed by the superintendent’s leadership team. The school district aims to more deeply understand the circumstances of suspensions with the goal of providing greater supports to the school, student or family in need. This team could choose to bring in additional resources for the student, family and school.”
Johnson hopes to eliminate the “nonviolent suspension gap” by the year 2018. “To achieve this,” the statement read, “MPS must aggressively reduce the disproportionality between black and brown students and their white peers every year for the next four years. This will begin with a 25 percent reduction in disproportionality by the end of this school year; 50 percent by 2016; 75 percent by 2017; and 100 percent by 2018.”