When a student says they cannot exhibit playful behavior and know that they will be disciplined more severely than their peers, and the child is only in 4th grade, it is heartbreaking. When you have a parent who endures In School Suspension (ISS) to “prove her son wrong” only to be horrified that his assessment is accurate, and she experiences the unacceptable conditions of ISS that our Black and Brown students are forced to endure, it is heartbreaking. When the stories and personal experiences are not believed, it is heartbreaking. We were told that change was going to come. And, now, we have the disaggregated data. The numbers are in black and white, indisputable facts. In Durham Public Schools, the Q1 data from 2018 compared to the Q1 data from 2019, yielded “NO CHANGE.”
Will you listen now?
Will you advocate now?
Will you address implicit bias, discipline disparities and inequities in education, NOW?
Nothing has changed in the overall referrals for discipline actions (Restorative practice center, Short term suspension and long term suspension).
- Restorative Practice Center (RPC) increased by .2% from last year
- Short term suspension increased by 1.4%
- Long term suspension remained the same at .03%
From 2014, short-term suspension has greatly decreased but it does not capture additional students going to alternative programs such as New Direction or Rebound which now captures that data under Restorative Practices opposed to out-of-school suspension. However, in some schools, as many as 37% of the Black males are being taken out of class and placed in Restorative Practice Centers. Parents have reported varying levels of trust as to whether or not the students are getting true restorative processes and if they are getting their academic lesson when they are taken out of the classroom.
Empowered Parents in Community (EPiC), organizes with on an amazing group of Black Parent Leaders who volunteer to: (1) request and analyze the data; (2) inform parents to support their students; and (3) advocate at the DPS District for systemic change. Parents of African American Children (PAAC), a sub-committee in individual school Parent Teacher Associations (PTA), stands to address discipline disparities and end the school to prison pipeline. With this data and information, will you join us.
- Join us in advocacy for increased academic rigor and decreased disciplinary push out.
- Join us in advocacy for fair practices in discipline referrals for students regardless of color.
- Join us in advocacy for an equitable education system.
- Feb.17th – Feb. 26th, we ask that if this data warrants attention and you want to see change, send an email to the DPS School Board members to make this a priority. BOE@dpsnc.net
- Feb. 18th at 8pm – Participate in a PAAC-Durham conference call to hear about specific advocacy at your school. Register here to join the call
- On Feb. 27th at 6:30pm, we will be at the Board of Education meeting to make our requests public.