Schools give unequal discipline based on race, gender? Senate wants to know

By Guy Page

A bill under review by the Senate Education Committee today at 1:30 pm seeks more data on whether Vermont schools unfairly  discipline racial minorities. Sponsors want this information to “understand what strategies are effective and to encourage the adoption of these strategies at the local level.”

Sen. Kesha Ram

S16, sponsored by Sens. Richard Sears (D-Bennington) and Kesha Ram (D-Chittenden) would create  the School Discipline Advisory Council “to collect and analyze data regarding school discipline in Vermont public and approved independent schools.” It notes that nationally “Black students (representing approximately 15 percent of the U.S. student population) are suspended and expelled at a rate two times greater than white students (representing approximately 50 percent of the U.S. student population).” 

According to Kickboard.com, national gender and racial differences on school discipline are striking. Boys are almost five times more likely to be suspended or expelled. Black children account for 50% of preschool suspensions, but just 15% of the Pre-K student population. Educators list these alternatives to expulsion and suspension:

  • Problem solving/contracting
  • Restitution
  • Mini-courses or skill modules
  • Parent involvement/supervision
  • Counseling
  • Community service
  • Behavior monitoring
  • Coordinated behavior plans
  • Alternative programming
  • In-school suspension

Senate Education also will receive an update on Act 1 of 2019, “ethnic and social equity studies standards for public schools.” Witnesses will include Amanda Garces, Director of Policy, Education and Outreach, Vermont Human Rights Commission, and Mark Hage, Vice Chair, Ethnic Studies and Social Equity Working Group.

Support Vermont DailY Chronicle TODAY for $9/MONTH

4 replies »

  1. Is it race, gender or behavior that’s important here? Could it be that when boys are disciplined more than girls, that boys actually behave badly more of the time than girls? And what does that say about the disciplinarians. Do male disciplinarians discipline boys more than girls. Conversely, do female disciplinarians discipline boys more than girls. And what happens when gender dysphoria enters the picture?

    Much more importantly, I want this commission to at least determine the behavior data for students (of any race or gender), who use tuition vouchers to choose the school they believe best meets their needs, compared to the data on students who have a limited choice of schools.

  2. The fact that there are disproportionately less minorities, leads to a very high likelihood that we will see some bullshit figure come out of this stupid study! WhT the hell are these people doing down there?? How much will they pay some associate of theirs for this cushy job?? This is mind blowing!

  3. For every student of color who is disciplined, there should be a student without color selected from the class to serve the same discipline, at the same time. Those students without color would only have to fill the quota once every month to make sure all persons without color would have a fair chance to help with equity!

    The data shows that there is no need to reverse this – No need for a student of color to serve equity discipline – with
    a student without color who has broken the rules.

    It’s simple! Perfect Equality of discipline! No group gets singled out.

Leave a Reply