Different strokes for different folks — and with the blessing, moreover, of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights. According to MPRNews, Minneapolis Public Schools will apply different standards to student suspensions based on the color of the offender’s skin.
If a student who violates district policy is black, Hispanic, or Native American, administrators will scrutinize the case before making a final determination about whether a suspension is warranted. If the kid is white, the suspension is enforced: No questions are asked.
The “rationale” behind this very clear double standard is that a disproportionate number of students of color are suspended each year. While black students comprise a third of the district’s total enrollment, they accounted last year for 76% of suspensions. The goal, thus, is to reduce the “suspension gap.”
Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson is quoted as saying that, starting new week:
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.
If this all sounds racially discriminatory, that’s because it is. In order to appreciate that, simply imagine that the ethnicity of students was reversed — that Johnson had declared that “I and all of my staff will start to review all non-violent suspensions of white boys, to understand why they’re being suspended.” The outrage on the left would be palpable.
MPRNews notes that the district has already reduced the number of black and brown suspensions by redefining what constitutes a suspendible offense. It seems not to have occurred to officials that maybe the solution to the problem is exploring factors that prompt students to act out or up in class, regardless of race, creed, or color.
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