[Ed. – What a surprise: this was prompted by a federal investigation.]
[A]ny suspension of a non-white student requires the district superintendent’s approval.
The MPS has been stung by reports that students of color are 10 times more likely to receive a suspension than white students. The Minneapolis school system has an enrollment of over 32,000 students. Seventy percent are non-white.
School superintendent Bernadeia Johnson, a black woman, maintains that she wants to “disrupt” the current suspension trends.
Superintendent Johnson says that her new policy is aimed at forcing local school administrators to deeply “probe” the reasons for issuing a suspension before that punishment is handed out.
Johnson claims that suspensions meted out to minority students were all too often based on behavior that would not have led to a suspension for a white student.
So, starting on Monday, November 10, every suspension of a black, Hispanic or American Indian student that does not involve violent behavior will be reviewed by Johnson’s office before being approved. …
The changes come after a review of suspensions made during the 2012-13 school year found a jump in suspensions for student in grades K through 4 even in the midst of questions that were already being asked by the federal government.
This and previous suspension rates brought an investigation by civil rights investigators from the Department of Education in 2013. The federal probe reviewed the records of 11 district schools.