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Schools across the country are updating their policies on equity.

Jan 04 2022

Schools across the country are updating their policies on equity. According to a 2020 study from the Center for Civil Rights Remedies at the UCLA Civil Rights Project and the Learning Policy Institute that analyzed federal data from the 2015-2016 school year, Black students lost “five times” as many instructional days from suspensions than White students. Meanwhile, an American Psychologist study found that “among Black students, those who were suspended for a minor infraction during the first year of the study had significantly lower grades both one and two years later than students who weren’t suspended.” Now, schools in the U.S. that serve large populations of students of color are overhauling their disciplinary policies: One district in North Carolina partnered with nonprofit group Engaging Schools to develop more equitable practices and restorative policies. Districts in Dallas and Iowa City are scrapping punishment policies that “disproportionately” impact students of color who have historically “borne the brunt” of suspensions, expulsions, and other severe penalties. Meanwhile, many are replacing old practices and implementing programs and policies that are more restorative, trauma-informed, and aimed at less heavy-handed punishments, especially for subjective infractions like disorderly conduct or insubordination. Teachers are being trained to give more culturally responsive training, more classroom management skills to manage misbehavior, and are limiting suspensions—especially for much younger students. (NBC News)