ACLU Calls on PVD School Officials to Promptly Address “Alarming” Racial Disparities in Discipline

Posted: Aug, 07, 2019

Citing a “persistently disproportionate use of disciplinary action and suspensions against students of color,” the ACLU of Rhode Island has called upon Providence school officials to take immediate action to address this problem before the school session starts next month – a problem that former school superintendent Christopher Maher attributed to “racism” before he stepped down from his post earlier this year.

In a letter sent this week to Acting Superintendent Frances Gallo and the members of the Providence School Board, the ACLU pointed to its review of the disciplinary data from the 2017-2018 school year, the latest that is available, to document severe racial disparities in out-of-school suspensions, especially  “for relatively minor and often subjective types of ‘misconduct,’ such as insubordination and disrespect.”

Among the ACLU’s findings cited in the letter from the recent data:

The ACLU’s letter asked school officials to take four immediate steps to combat these disparities and the overuse of suspensions:

A copy of the ACLU’s letter is available here.