School Age Youth Success
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 10, 2012
Schools, Community Focused on Keeping Students of Color in School
Portland, OR- The Multnomah County Commission on Children, Families & Community released the results of a two-year project analyzing exclusionary discipline data from the six larger school districts in Multnomah County today. The report “Exclusionary Discipline in Multnomah County Schools: How Suspensions and Expulsions Impact Students of Color” represents the first time the six school districts have presented this data together publicly, disaggregated by race. Joshua Todd, Director of the Commission said “The collaboration between schools, community members, and local government represents a clear commitment to honestly and openly addressing the challenges we face in meeting our community goal of seeing all children succeed from Cradle to Career.”
Mr. Todd stated that the Commission’s efforts to mobilize the community around important issues are clearly demonstrated by this effort. "This report represents a community commitment to academic success, equity, and supportive learning environments. While there is no evidence that students of color misbehave more than their white peers, they are over-represented in disciplinary action. In many cases, exclusionary discipline contributes to permanent disconnection from school, drop-out, and involvement in risky or criminal behaviors. We have a great opportunity here to work across jurisdictions to make long-lasting, equitable change for the young people of our community."
The report developed in collaboration with district staff, parents, students, and other community members shows that students of color especially African American, Latino, and Native American students face more frequent suspensions and expulsions than their white peers. Important to note though is that across all cultural groups fighting is the most common reason students are excluded from school. Jim Schlachter, Superintendent of the Gresham-Barlow School District feels "this is our chance to prioritize supportive, culturally-responsive environments where conflicts are de-escalated and resolved in a restorative, pro-active way. We can lead the way for structural changes that influence the health and well-being of youth and our communities as a whole. By providing constructive, creative alternatives to systems that struggled to engage young people experiencing risk factors we can stop violence before it starts."
To review the full report click here.