Rodney Trice

Parents Call On CHCCS Board To Change Student Discipline Policies

CHAPEL HILL- Parents, students and concerned community members are calling on the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools board to change discipline and suspension policies that they say unfairly target African-American and Latino students. Karen Reid is a retired teacher from the Chapel Hill-Carrboro school district. She was one of twenty speakers on Thursday who asked the school board to re-assess discipline policies, specifically with regard to how school resource officers handle incidents with students. “They need training on child development. They are doing their job, they are arresting our children, and our children have to pay for it,” said Reid. “It’s just not a good start for them in their lives. This school system is better than that.” Reid and others argued that school resource officers are too often called upon to handle minor incidents in schools, resulting in the criminalization of non-violent behavior. James Williams is a public defender in Orange and Chatham Counties. He said the discipline and suspension policies are unfairly applied to minority students, setting many on a pathway to failure. “Discipline inequity is a denial of equal educational opportunity for children of color,” said Williams. “When you look at the data its clear that there’s significant racial disparity in how school discipline issues are handled in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro school system. It doesn’t have to be that way.” According to data collected by school officials,...

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