State of NJ Looking at Discipline Policies of School Districts
In what seems like a growing trend in New Jersey, the state is weighing in on a topic involving local schools.
The focus now is centering on discipline in schools, and whether there is a bias in how different students are disciplined based on race, sexual preference, or disabilities.
A report was released in 2020, "An Anti-Bias Vision for the Next Generation: Report & Recommendations of the New Jersey Interagency Task Force to Combat Youth Bias." This report was a result of a sharp increase in reports of bias cases in New Jersey.
The report made 27 recommendations for dealing with the increase in complaints, including a recommendation for eliminating biases in school discipline.
The report claims that students of color, are suspended at a greater rate than their white classmates. Additionally, students of other protected groups are also seeing a higher suspension rate.
One of the recommendations of the report suggests that the state put out guidance dealing with the issue of bias in schools,
...issue guidance that assists school districts in meeting their legal obligations under the LAD and other state laws and regulations to administer student discipline without discriminating on the basis of race, national origin, gender, or disability.
To that end, the state has put out guidance for schools to ensure the schools are complying with laws against such bias.
Among the suggestions for school administrators include, reviewing current discipline policies and increasing training for staff that deals with properly administering discipline of students.
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