Understanding—and getting rid of—Minnesota’s discipline disparities

Recently, there have been a number responses from the op-ed “Undisciplined,”  published in the Star Tribune on March 19, 2018.
Below are some of the excellent responses from folks currently in the school system as administrators, teachers, and parents. They tell a different story that was what originally presented in the Strib op-ed, and are important for understanding why these disparities exist and the work we can do to change them.
 A Solutions Not Suspensions Coalition member penned an op-ed to tell her side of the story as a parent of color to school-aged children. Unfortunately, Laura’s experience, her kids’ experience, and the experience of so many others — is real and is far too common. We are proud to support Laura and her efforts to shift the narrative so students can feel safe and supported in their schools.
Damaging assumptions are far more common and at least as harmful as what appeared in the “Undisciplined” commentary.
Note: Minnesota and school discipline is on the radar nationally:

One of MnEEP’s values is “History Matters”. Here, understanding history is essential for creating change.

History Matters.

We believe the histories and treatment of communities of color and low-income people in our society are important for understanding and changing  current-day institutions, policies, and practices. We cannot address these inequities by first not understanding the complexity of these histories within our communities.

We so often leave out the larger context that lead to schools systems the way they are now—redlining, segregation, racism, boarding schools, to scratch the surface. We cannot separate current happenings from actions of the past and present – especially when it comes to how our young people are treated in schools today.

 
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