Christina School District to alter tainted discipline policy Written by Nichole Dobo The News Journal
The Christina School District’s board of education voted Tuesday to work with federal officials to ensure students are disciplined equitably, a move that comes after a nearly three-year investigation of the district by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights.
The exact findings of the probe have not yet been disclosed.
This isn’t quite a new issue and the school board has been address this complaint that stems back a few years. The USDOE investigation has been lengthy. Councilman Jea Street has been very active on this issue and here is a complaint from 2009
An analysis by The News Journal published in June 2010 found that black students made up about 32 percent of the state’s public school population but accounted for 55 percent of students who were suspended or expelled.
Back in 2010 African-American population in Christina School District was 42.8% compared to 36.9% Whites. Some may read into this issue as some kind of white discrimination against black students. If we’re going down that road, what are the percentage of black students being disciplined by black administrators / teachers? Is there a correlation between poverty and at-risk students in regards to discipline issues? Is there more tolerance for behaviors of children in rural than rural neighborhoods? Face it kids in the city live in some tough communities unlike some peaceful Camelot communities in the suburbs. Kids living in high crime area have to be tough many times just as a defense mechanism. Not sure if these are factors but worthy of reviewing And yes racial discrimination is alive and well in Delaware. Look at some of the charter school admission practices.
Zero tolerance sounds like a fair policy where all are to be treated the same. But we seen how that worked out in Christina school district over a white students bringing a camping utensil to school. That utensil had a knife component and worthy of suspension but not alternative placement because there was no aggressive behavior associated with the incident. Same goes with the girl bringing a cake knife to school to cut the cake she brought to share. However, she wasn’t given the so-called white card.
So those of you who want to debate this issue go for it!
That year discipline rates for Delaware students were higher than the national average. The Christina School District had the highest rate among the state’s 19 school districts, but the number was trending downward.
So it looks like we need some staff development in behavior management and crisis intervention.
The school district has been working for several years on improving its disciplinary policies, including a reversal of a “zero tolerance” policy that some say lead to higher rates of students being removed from school.
So does this mean negative behavior is going unreported?
Board member George Evans disagreed that zero tolerance was a problem, and noted that the board earlier in the night voted on discipline for students found to have brought weapons to school. Even so, Evans said he welcomed support from the federal government to make improvements.
Sounds like George might be from the old school where zero tolerance has merit. Some parents us it in the home and don’t play games. Addressing discipline should be an ongoing process and if there is some culture ignorance playing into how discipline is being handled another review could be helpful.
The U.S. Department of Education declined to release findings of the Christina investigation to The News Journal. It is a longstanding policy to not release findings until the local school district and federal government both sign an agreement to solve the issues, the official said. After both sides have signed the agreement, the findings are made available to the public.
Yep give everybody a chance to cover their ass and skew data before letting the public see. Just like what goes on with testing data! If we want to address the concerns we need to see the unfiltered truth.
The News Journal has filed a federal Freedom of Information Act request seeking the investigation’s findings and associated documents.
Dama shame information is being kept from the public!