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Mpls. school board approves measure to decrease suspension

Superintendent disputes claims that schools are warehouses, mini-jails

Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

The Minneapolis School Board last week approved a new district-wide discipline policy. The “Behavior Standards Policy,” which will take effect in the 2014-15 school year, “sets clear expectations, defines consistent responses and helps staff members find alternatives to suspensions.”

This came in response to an “alarming” suspension rate of one in five Black males annually being suspended compared to one in 29 White males, especially in the early grades. According to Minneapolis Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson, who spoke with the MSR during a December 19 interview, a new policy is needed to help Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) close the achievement gap between Blacks and other students. “It’s really about expanding learning time for students and reducing suspensions and out-of-school time, especially for our African American students and African American boys,” Johnson explained. “I am not saying that kids are creating an unsafe environment and leaving them [in school], and I am not sure I am interested in in-school suspension rooms either. Continue Reading →

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