Society and Culture
Does Minneapolis Have a Race-Based Suspension Gap?
Apparently there is a serious problem in Minneapolis where students classified as minorities are being suspended at a higher rate than other kids. Except the district that Minneapolis School Board Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson represents has about 32,000 students, 70 percent of whom are “people of color.”
Johnson has implemented a new policy that non-violent suspensions given out to minority students must undergo a review process by the district. Shouldn’t any non-violent suspensions be reviewed no matter the color of the students’ skin if it is going to really work? Johnson claims that there is a ‘racial suspension gap’ that she is working to correct.
This new policy will also expand local government, with staff increases, the creation of a stronger data system, clarified suspension rules, and an increase in community and student engagement. Shouldn’t there already be clarifications on suspension rules? Obviously teachers and administrators are suspending these kids for a reason. There is some kind of disruption going on in the classroom that requires them to be removed.
I have never believed in suspending a kid who acts bad. In the eyes of a kid who gets suspended it is just an extra day off from school. One less day to worry about an assignment and they can do whatever they want.
I like the idea of giving more work to the local government and creating more jobs, but I don’t think it is right to second guess teachers. Lay out the rules and guidelines that the teachers should follow and they will follow them. Teachers are educated people who were hired to educate our youth not babysit them only to be second guessed when it comes time to implement the rules.
Let’s also take a moment and really see that everything is racially charged these days. I can’t turn on the television or read through a news outlet without seeing something about race and how one group is being treated more unfairly than another. For such an open-minded society that is supposedly desegregated, we certainly do spend a lot of time looking at the color of someone’s skin and not what’s underneath. Maybe if we didn’t have such a superficial culture we would be more advanced instead of on the decline.