Photo by rick at Flickr Creative Commons, some rights reservedI've noticed a continuing theme involving a growing awareness of systemic prejudice in schools toward minority students. This manifests in higher rates of suspension and expulsion – which the Dignity in Schools Campaign describes with the phrase "School Pushout." This also shows up in increased use of metal detectors in minority communities - see this August 29, 2011 post. Restorative practices are being used to help reverse these trends.

Amy Crawford reports in the San Francisco Examiner:

Black and Latino students are disciplined more often than white and Asian students, according to national data released Tuesday by the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights Tuesday.

The data, from 2009, showed a similar pattern in San Francisco, where black students represented less than 12 percent of enrollment but 60 percent of expelled students and more than 42 percent of out-of-school suspensions.

School district officials said that they were aware of the disparity, and that the situation had improved since the federal government collected its data three years ago.

“We’re starting to see change,” said school board member Kim-Shree Maufas.

While black and Latino students still made up the majority of local suspensions last year, the total number had gone down by about 9 percent, or about 275 students, from the year before.

Maufas and other school officials attributed that to the district’s new focus on “restorative practices,” a discipline system that involves discussing problems and solutions within a school community, rather than enforcing rules with punishment.

Read more at the San Francisco Examiner. IIRP has been involved with training San Francisco Unified School District in the use of RP.



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