Dr. Jeanette Parker (file photo)

I thought you might be interested in the demographics of Sacramento Unified due to published high suspension rates: Enrollment 42,776: October, 2016:19.1% Asian—13.1% African American—39.8% Hispanic/Latino—2.1% Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander—18% White—6.4% Two or more races—20.4% English Learners 0.7% Foster Youth—0.7% Homeless—70.3% Socioeconomically Disadvantaged—12.5% Special Education.

Lea Luellen, senior at Inderkum [president of Black Student Union: Inderkum, High School in Natomas: “It’s time to stop the criminalization of students and start looking at ways to help students,” student Darrell Brown, 19-year old former Sacramento High School student. “I was expelled for getting in a fight at school.” Brown said he was defending his sister against another boy who was touching her inappropriately – no one in the school administration took that into consideration before expelling him from school. By the time he returned to classes after his expulsion, he was so far behind that his grades plummeted. Brown ended up dropping out of school. The greatest impact of such harsh discipline policies has been on African American students. Data for Sacramento City Unified School District schools shows that 38 percent of all suspensions in the district in the 2010-11 school year were African American students. The second highest percentage was Latino students at 35 percent. White students make up 11 percent of the total. “This is a nationwide trend, also seen in Sacramento,” Darryl White, Black Parallel School Board Chairman said: The “zero tolerance policy gives school administrators and teachers authority to set strict discipline policies for infractions related to weapons, drugs or disruptive school behavior that creates a danger to others. He also said, although the zero tolerance policy program was well-intended, implementation was inconsistent. Each school district handled the policy in a different way – some more strictly than others.” “Zero tolerance has gotten crazy,” and. “It’s gotten stupid. Zero tolerance policies take all the gray area of what’s best for students, or giving any thought to what kind of student the kid is overall.” The California Endowment, a private, statewide health foundation, states California schools average more than 720,000 suspensions and expulsions each year – nearly double Texas, which has recently come under fire for it’s suspension rate statistics. Recent data shows that extreme discipline policies are common even for nonviolent offenses like tardiness.   I [JGP] recommend to the Regional Director of NAACP NOT file lawsuit against SUSD. That legal fees take money the district. Money better used for counseling. Sometimes students just need someone to talk to about what’s bothering them. Parents need to help the school. Communication is critical between home and school. Everybody needs to listen to each other to resolve conflict. Teach the children.