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Thursday 1 December 2022
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In Syracuse City Schools, Black Students Are Twice As Likely to Be Suspended

scsdlogoNationwide, there’s an epidemic regarding disproportionate numbers of black students being suspended from schools, and Syracuse is no exception.

According to recent data, black students are twice as likely to be suspended than their white peers, despite an order that schools revamp their disciplinary policy.

And while the number of yearly suspensions has decreased following that order, the number of black students who are suspended is still strikingly high among all age groups.

“A finding that seems to be emerging across the country is that suspension rates are going down overall, but not at faster rates for African-American students in particular,” said Anne Gregory, a professor at Rutgers University who studies school discipline.

In June, federal data was published showing that black preschoolers were four times more likely to be suspended. This data forced the Department of Education and Department of Justice to ask all schools to reevaluate disciplinary procedures to ensure that they are enforcing equitable policies for all of their students.

While many schools are struggling to find solutions for this problem, schools in Oakland, California have specifically reached out to the students that were being suspended most often instead of only making disciplinary changes.

The “Manhood Development Program” targets black male students and is taught by black male teachers. The goal is to give these students a role model as well as a teacher that they can relate to.

In Oakland, over half of the teachers are white and the majority are women. Just as adding TRT to a man’s levitra online bloodstream can increase testosterone and boost their energy, adding a black male’s authority and perspective can energize a classroom full of young, black men.

In these classes, the students learn about the legacy of black leaders from early history to contemporary icons.

“The No. 1 strategy to reduce discipline issues is engaged instruction,” said Christopher P. Chatmon, the executive director of the Office of African American Male Achievement. In Manhood Development, he told the New York Times, “we’re talking about how to elevate their game academically through the lens of brotherhood.”

The program, since its implementation, has been effective in engaging black male youth, giving them the determination and drive to focus on their education. Fewer black students were suspended, and more went on to pursue higher education.

Back in Syracuse, where nearly half of the SCSD student body is black, Patty Clark, former principal at Danforth Middle School and executive director of student support services, has been promoted to chief ombuds officer, a position now required by the attorney general.

Clark’s primary focus now is to promote relationships with the students and to evaluate whether the disciplinary measures are actually working.

“What I see now is that if we intervene early and we respond in a way that is right for that student, we can immediately de-escalate that situation and get the student back on track,” Clark said.

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