A group that’s been a critic of Wake County’s school discipline policies had a mixed response Tuesday to new figures showing a 45-percent drop in out-of-school suspensions since 2009.
In a press release Tuesday, Legal Aid of North Carolina’s Advocates For Children’s Services calls the new figures “a positive shift” and that they’re “thrilled by the decline in out-of-school suspensions.” But the group, whose clients include students facing suspensions, says the figures “demonstrate the persistence of huge racial and disability disparities in suspensions rates.”
For instance, African-American students received over 60 percent of Wake’s suspensions last year while accounting for 25 percent of the enrollment. Students with disabilities make up 13 percent of the district’s population but one-third of suspended students.
“These data make clear that much work remains to be done to remedy the discriminatory impacts of Wake County’s school discipline policies,” said Jason Langberg, supervising attorney at ACS, in the press release. “The persistence of student and parent advocates that we have seen over the last five years will continue to be critical moving forward.”
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Click here to view the PowerPoint presentation on the discipline data from Monday’s Wake County school board committee meeting. School board members asked for additional data such as a breakdown of the suspensions by the different infractions in the Code of Student Conduct.