Multiple districts in Minnesota take steps to reduce disparities in school discipline

Jun 29, 2018 by

So far, 20 state districts say they’ll review how misbehavior is addressed.

The Minnesota Department of Human Rights reached three-year agreements with nine school districts and charter schools Thursday to put in place a system that reduces disparities in school discipline for students of color and those with disabilities.

The nine districts and charter schools that have signed on include St. Paul Public Schools, Hopkins, Columbia Heights, Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan and Bemidji.

The state’s Human Rights Department said it has reached agreement with 20 school districts on the plan.

Kevin Lindsey, Human Rights commissioner, commended school leaders for their willingness to eliminate disparities in discipline for nonviolent behaviors for disabled students and students of color.

He said this effort will ultimately shrink the state’s achievement gap between students of color and their white peers and will “help build a stronger Minnesota that is ready to embrace the dramatic demographic changes in our near future as our population ages and becomes more diverse.”

Nekima Levy-Pounds, a civil rights attorney and former law professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law, said she is heartened by the gesture but said policies and practices that crack down on the school-to-prison pipeline are long overdue. She said the agreements will be effective only if there is sustained accountability and regular monitoring from the Human Rights Department and the public.

Source: Multiple districts in Minnesota take steps to reduce disparities in school discipline – StarTribune.com

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