Waterbury Public Schools Male Discipline Data: The Justification of the Disposability of Black and Brown Bodies Starts in School

Our primary objective is to practice a composite advocacy that brings about a positive linear social impact. Promoting legislative or policy measures that ensure improved practices will allow the most underserved and underrepresented students to have the benefit of protections that more privileged students already have.  Unveiling the data starts the process of changing school professional practices. This process must result in substantial changes to the policies currently in place.

Over the past year R.A.C.C.E has made an attempt to understand the principles that are guiding the Waterbury Public Schools’ (WPS) policies and practices for disciplining its students. It’s partially unclear to us what those guiding principles are. We can see that teachers and administrators use office referrals as one of the primary devices to manage student behavior and ultimately school climate. Nationally, and as we confirmed by looking at the WPS, this type of practice results in disparate results for non-white students. Waterbury Public Schools have decreased total suspension numbers, but non-white students are being suspended at increasingly higher rates than their white counterparts.

Over the last few months we have engaged a process that brings us beyond the numbers and allows to unveil the WPS discipline trends for its male students. We analyzed similar data for WPS female students last year. The results for male students were similarly problematic.

• Over the last three years Black male students were suspended at a rate of 3.5 to 1 to their white counterparts (8792 vs. 2504).

• Over the last three years individual lack male students were suspended at a 2.7 to 1 ratio to their white counterparts.

• Over the last three years 29% of all Black male students were suspended while only 7.2% of all white male students were suspended.

• These data also confirm that Black male students are exposed to a 1.4 disparate impact rate for discipline sanctions over their white counterparts.

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