Punishment of NON-WHITE students now requires district approval in Minneapolis

Hispanic and black students can no longer be suspended by a teacher or principal in Minneapolis. Is that reverse discrimination?
The suspension of non-white students in the Minneapolis public school system now requires approval from the district superintendent.

The school superintendent who will be giving those approvals is Bernadeia Johnson, herself a black woman.

Johnson claims that suspensions handed out to minority students, who comprise 70 percent of the district’s 32,000 students, have been based on behavior that would not have led to suspension for white students, and that the new suspension policy will help close the achievement gap.
Minneapolis graduation statistics from earlier this year show that 85 percent of white students graduated in 2013, compared to 56 percent of black students and 58 percent of Hispanic students.
Johnson’s non-white suspension approval policy is coupled with a reduced police presence in the city’s schools and is part of a settlement with the U.S. Department of Education over the district’s lopsided suspension rate (10 times more likely for non-white students). The disparity resulted in a civil rights investigation by the Department of Education in 2013.
Minneapolis teachers and principals have previously been critical of across-the-board suspension bans, saying that they force teachers to contend with disruptive students who are jeopardizing the learning experience for all students.They say the children often have untreated mental health or behavioral issues that can make learning difficult for other students.
Is this policy not discrimination against white students who can still be suspended for non-violent behaviors without Johnson’s approval?
Readers, what do you say?


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Lonnie K. Martens


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