The intention of this article was not to race bait, it is to inform. I hope the simple use of the terms black or Hispanic or white wouldn’t provoke anger in people. This was national news presented similarly a few weeks ago and we decided to make it local. These are simply the facts reported by NC Annual Study of Suspensions and Expulsions, nothing more. Many factors probably contribute to the disproportionate showing of minorities being suspended at a far greater rate than their white counterparts, and I do not believe it is because one ethnic group is inherently more prone to bad behavior than another. To say that is not only insensitive, it's ignorant. Income of families may have a correlation with bad behavior...or maybe not. Educators’ tolerance level of bad behavior for certain students may be higher than for others…or maybe not. Also, bad or misbehavior is subjective, meaning it depends upon whoever is determining the behavior and providing the punishment, so to quantify bad or good behavior would be quite difficult. Even if the problem is economic, minority groups are at the bottom of the totem pole, and to think that racial discrimination and economic discrimination are separate issues is a bit delusional. All students should have access to the same education, and lowering this disparity may be one way to do so…or maybe not. Therefore, look at the numbers, see if there is a problem, and if there is, think of solutions. They’re just facts and figures.
Indy Week • 302 E. Pettigrew St., Suite 300, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
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