Suspending students has enormous consequences. If a student misbehaves in class, kicking them out for a while certainly doesn’t help their educational careers. Students of color can disproportionately find themselves in the “school-to-prison pipeline” where endless suspensions leave them so alienated, they end up in the illegal economy.
New school data now lists suspension rates.
To address this, San Diego Unified adopted a process called “restorative justice.”
“Restorative programs represent a fundamental cultural shift in the way schools view behavioral issues and discipline,” Maya Srikrishnan writes.
But the effort to move the district towards restorative programs requires training, staff, and a budget. Parents and trustees have recently begun asking questions about the budget that supports those programs and whether the district is staffing appropriately for the programs to make a difference. It doesn’t look like it is, Srikrishnan wrote in her weekly Learning Curve column.
After recent budget cuts, one department that was focused on race relations and drop-out prevention was cut from seven staff down to three. The district created a new “Department of Restorative Practices,” but it has a staff of only one person.
We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?
In taking another look at the "Student justice" article it came to me that funding should be made available for students after graduation. For a time period of 5 years or so after graduation students should be afforded the opportunity to have their basic knowledge quantified. A graduate could go to an official testing center to be tested, any student that graduated high school and tests below a 12th grade level can join a class action lawsuit against public education. "Student justice" shouldn't stop when they leave the campus for the last time, many of these students have no idea of the quality of their education until they get out in the real world looking for employment. If an educational entity says a student is ready to move on with a diploma it seems to me that justice demands that diploma is backed by a warranty.
Seems fair to give these students tax payer funded legal help if they're victims of fraud.
I think we can resolve the disparity regarding school suspensions / expulsions without bothering our awesome SDUSD school board and equally important, hitting up "the rich" for yet more education dollars. In the interest of fairness we could suspend one Anglo for every minority that's disciplined. The Anglo suspension / expulsion could be done by lottery with tall good looking Anglos having two lottery numbers instead of just one entry. We could go on to give Anglos that have committed the crime of having well off parents yet another entry number. In no time at all the numbers will look great, public education can move on to addressing union grievances and its war on accountability and community organizers can work on legislation requiring the same ratios for incarcerating adults.