Racism Institutionalized in Minneapolis Public Schools

This probably shouldn’t be surprising, but still…

Minneapolis public school officials are making dramatic changes to their discipline practices by requiring the superintendent’s office to review all suspensions of students of color.

The change comes amid intensifying scrutiny of the way Minneapolis public schools treat minority students and in the wake of new data showing black students are 10 times more likely to be sent home than white students.

Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson said she wants to “disrupt that in any way that I can.”

School Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson

School Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson

Really? Why? Why does Ms. Johnson suppose that students, white, black, Asian, Hispanic or whatever, are being suspended? Presumably it is because they were disruptive and were degrading the learning environment for the other students. Does Ms. Johnson seriously believe that teachers and principals are suspending students for no reason? If so, then those teachers and principals should be identified and fired. But of course Ms. Johnson believes no such thing.

The comparison between black and white students is dubious, given that according to this source, 65% of Minneapolis public school students are non-white.

The new policy will be implemented as the district approves a settlement with the U.S. Department of Education, which was investigating the district over its inconsistent suspension treatment for black students.

Far too often school ­officials are suspending students of color for a behavior that doesn’t lead to suspensions for white students, Johnson said.

I very much doubt that that is true. It would be interesting to see the data.

Beginning Monday, every proposed suspension of black, Hispanic or American Indian students that does not involve violent behavior will first be reviewed by Johnson or someone on her leadership team.

Interesting that they don’t mention Asians. Apparently they aren’t getting suspended. One wonders why not.

The school district is also reducing its police presence at its schools after finding inconsistencies and questions in how schools used police in disciplinary ­matters.

That will help. I have been in Minneapolis public high schools where I would not have felt safe but for the presence of multiple armed police officers.

It won’t take long for teachers and principals to get the drift: don’t suspend black students. Who will suffer as a result? The other students in the classes that are disrupted by kids who ought to be suspended. Most of whom are–to adopt the racist lingo–students of color. But, as usual, no one cares about them.

A reader writes:

ALL teachers, administrators, school superintendants, administrators and major outside consultants must…MUST send their children to these schools…including any federal officials or administrators involved in this process at any level who reside locally, i.e., within the metropolitan area. Actually living in a district not covered by these policies does not count. No “white flight” for them.

The residence and schools attended by children of all political and media figures locally who support these policies must be published as well.

In the alternative, disciplinary standards and policies in place at Sidwell Friends School and/or wherever Arne Duncan and senior Dept. of Education bureaucrats send their children, public or private, constitute “safe harbor” standards and policies for any of the studied and affected public school districts.

But that would be fair. Obviously unacceptable for the public schools.


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