The Minneapolis public school system announced a major new district-wide policy for disciplining students: any suspension of a non-white student requires the district superintendent’s approval.
The MPS has been stung by reports that students of color are 10 times more likely to receive a suspension than white students. The Minneapolis school system has an enrollment of over 32,000 students. Seventy percent are non-white.
School superintendent Bernadeia Johnson, a black woman, maintains that she wants to “disrupt” the current suspension trends.
Superintendent Johnson says that her new policy is aimed at forcing local school administrators to deeply “probe” the reasons for issuing a suspension before that punishment is handed out.
Johnson claims that suspensions meted out to minority students were all too often based on behavior that would not have led to a suspension for a white student.
So, starting on Monday, November 10, every suspension of a black, Hispanic or American Indian student that does not involve violent behavior will be reviewed by Johnson’s office before being approved.