Dayton Public Schools Asked To Halt Suspensions

Apr 16, 2014

Credit Michael Kellen

A local group has asked Dayton public schools for a moratorium on out of school suspensions. Racial Justice now presented their request at a school board meeting last night.  

According to the group, Black students accounted for 80% of school suspensions in 2011.

Professor Vernellia Randall with the University of Dayton is co-founder of Racial Justice now. She says removing students from the school system for non-violent offenses sets up an unfavorable pattern..

"The research shows that a child who is suspended one time is more likely to drop out of school, more likely to end up in prison." The advocate says, "Our community is crying about the troubles we have with our children. Well, suspension is part of the problem."

The group asked for a moratorium on all out of school suspensions for grades K through third grade starting in the 2014-2015 school year.

Randall also says high numbers of suspensions could be tied to the high failure rate Dayton experienced in Ohio's Third Grade Reading Guarantee. 

Maria Holt, a parent and co-founder of RJN, believes the moratorium effort will have support among school administrators. 

"We think that the school district is trying to make changes, and we think that they are putting forth the effort to make changes.  One of the things that we want to see, however, is a policy change," she said.

The school board says they will comment after reviewing the group's request.