Suspension gap riles St. Paul school board

  • Article by: DAAREL BURNETTE II , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 25, 2011 - 10:38 PM

About 15 percent of black students in St. Paul were suspended at least once last year, compared with 3 percent of whites.

  • 71
  • Comments

  • Results per page:
cepeda22Nov. 25, 1111:25 PM

Suspensions are necessary to keep a safe environment? No, suspensions are meant to punish a student. There is no longer a punishment or stigma for a student getting suspended. Thats why suspensions are up across all districts. Students do not see it as a punishment. Its a vacation. A lot of parents are not able to follow through with punishments because they are working a million jobs, have other children and life happens. There is no cure all for getting less suspensions. It takes an effort on all parts. Educators, parents, local mentors and most of all students! Students that lead by example and do not get suspended are labeled as "goody goody" or what have you. Teachers look at those students as non-issue students. The students that stand out are the ones that cause the problems. Ask any teacher if they want to suspend a student or get them to follow the rules in class all the time and learn. What do you think a teacher would rather have?

40
1
tuli2009Nov. 25, 1111:42 PM

"Although black students make up 30 percent of the district enrollment, about 15 percent of all black students were suspended at least once last year. " That sentence makes no grammatical sense. It should be "Although black students make up 30 percent of the district enrollment, black make up x percent of all suspensions", or something like "although only x in 10 students are black, x in ten suspensions are of black students". Also- this article skirts the issue of Somali vs. African American. Since race is a cultural construct to begin with and Somalis and African Americans are most certainly distinct cultural groups, that's an unfortunate omission. My guess is that the district isn't counting them separately so has no real idea, but that's no excuse for the Strib reporter to ignore that issue. Parents and teachers both are frustrated in those groups not being counted separately - it makes it harder to effectively help either group if we don't have good information on discipline issues, the achievement gap, etc.

37
2
justanother1Nov. 25, 1111:48 PM

I don't know...I guess it's kind of hard to give them any benefit of the doubt with any thing they say after they paid over 25K to move the SUP into the district. They should all resign.

29
6
dholanNov. 26, 1112:03 AM

What should really be looked at is "does the student deserve to be suspended". Not their race.

55
2
ruphinaNov. 26, 1112:21 AM

Amazing conclusion by the board. If EVERY suspended student was green-skinned and they were only 2% of the population, it still does not follow logic to proclaim bias. There must be specific cases of virtually identical circumstances where the punishments differ for there to be bias. Even then, the overal lbehaviour of the student before the specific incident can? (should!) change the punishment. Chronic minor offenders get less slack when they cross the line than those with a clean record. The "defensive" attitude almost never is truly defensive, but a reactionary eruption of name calling and threats. Why should the system be castigated for punishing those who actually threaten the faculty or staff? If one of them actually followed thru on the threat and other students were hurt,the inevitable lawsuits would eventually show the lack of action by the system and cost them huge $$$ in civil court. Bill G.

37
1
wunderdudeNov. 26, 1112:25 AM

St Paul Schools has bigger fish to fry. Your test scores are shameful. Forget about the race card and get back to business.

29
3
timzimmermanNov. 26, 11 1:26 AM

School districts generally have a set of rules and these rules have a set on consequences. If the student breaks a rule they should be punished in accordance to the policies. This is no different than our prison systems where the majority of inmates based on percent of population of their race are black. The bottom line is, these families generally are lower income, and parents spend less time with their children to earn a living which results in less supervision and attention to the child’s behavior. The end result is the child is more likely to have lower morals and values resulting in decreased discipline and increased consequences as a result. This is more an issue stemming from economics which drives decreases levels of attentiveness from parents and decreased discipline in the children. We need to quit trying to play the blame game every time it appears a minority is getting the short end of the stick and come to the realization that it is not a prejudice; it is a reality of the situation. Parents need to be more involved in their children’s lives, make the corrections at home, and instill values into their children. While educators have a role in this, it begins with parenting.

35
4
guest1Nov. 26, 11 2:13 AM

Don't be fooled by the %'s of %'s trick. The other poster has it right -the real question is did the student deserve to be suspended REGARDLESS of race? Forget all the other 'statistics'. The school board's philosophy will only result in dumbing bad behavior down even further, and will eventually lead to the inmates running the asylum (if they aren't already).

46
3
mothergovtNov. 26, 11 3:17 AM

Stats are fine to look at, but now the real issue is, what are they being suspended for. Is their behavior a danger to the rest of the school population? The race issue needs to be taken out of the equation and the core inappropriate behaviors need to be looked at. In Minnesota we have a very liberal and progressive court system, but if you look at prison populations, they are representative of school suspensions numbers. There is a high minority population in prison, but the police ranks are very diverse now, so race isn't the issue it once was. So who is to blame for their child getting in trouble? The parents who raise their children to believe that some inappropriate behaviors are acceptable in our society when they are not.

37
2
tomtom02Nov. 26, 11 3:45 AM

Honestly, I don't know whether to laugh (nervously) or cry.

9
2

Comment on this story   |  

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT