SEPTEMBER 23, 2009
A public school district in Arizona has imposed a race-based disciplinary system that’s more lenient towards black and Hispanic students in order to reduce the rate of minority suspensions that could be construed as racially disparate.
To avoid the appearance of racism, officials in the Tucson Unified School District have devised a two-tiered form of student discipline—one for black and Hispanic students and one for everyone else—with the goal of creating a “restorative school culture and climate” that convey a “sense of belonging to all students.”
The only way to accomplish that, according to the publicly elected board, is for schools in the 60,000-student district to reduce the number of suspensions or expulsions of minority students until the numbers reflect “no ethnic/racial disparities.” School data that show disparities in suspension/expulsion rates will be examined in detail for root causes and special attention will be dedicated to numbers regarding African-American and Hispanic students, according to the board’s new plan.
In other words, some students will face strict penalties for their wrongdoing and others won’t, depending on the color of their skin. Under the plan, an Anglo student will receive a much harsher punishment than a black or Hispanic student who commits the very same disciplinary violation.
This will occur even though a newly created “Equity Team” is purportedly ensuring that the district follow through with its commitment of social justice for all students. No wonder the Tucson newspaper columnist that broke the story calls the new system genuine apartheid and an invitation to chaos.
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