Local Data Shows Same Racial Gap on Suspensions, Calls for Reform

The national discourse on police stops has focused discussion on issues such as racial profiling and distrust in the African-American community with law enforcement. But data that was released back in September shows Davis faces its own racial disparity in the schools – we have often noted the achievement gap but there is also a discipline gap, embodied by the suspension rates.

Suspension rates have declined since 2002-03 overall – probably as educators and administrators become more cognizant that suspensions are a less-desirable form of discipline. However, suspension rates are two to three times higher for African-Americans and Latinos as they are for whites, and the gap is even wider for Asian students.

In the most recent data available, in the 2013-14 school year, 6.3 percent of African-Americans and 4.1 percent of Latino students were suspended at some point in the school year, while only 2.2 percent of whites and less than one percent of Asian students were suspended.

Jann Murray-Garcia, who headed up the project by Leadership in Diversity Student Research Scholars said, “We’ve had incredible achievement in suspension rates.”

The students also reported in a survey that they see the discipline differential. Latinos and African-American students believe they are disciplined more harshly for the same behavior always or most of the time.

The findings locally mirror overall trends in US schools. For instance, a November 26 Washington Post article found that, in “Minneapolis, a low-income black student is six times more likely than a white student to be suspended for at least one day in a school year.”

As the Superintendent of Minneapolis Public Schools noted, “That discipline gap has major implications for students’ academic success — when children aren’t in school, they can’t learn.”

She said, “I have begun implementing significant changes to how we discipline students in Minneapolis.”

Included in the plan was “a moratorium on suspensions for students in first grade and younger for nonviolent behavior – where the racial disparity in discipline begins.”

In April, a group called Racial Justice Now in Dayton, Ohio, launched “a campaign calling for a moratorium on out-of-school suspensions in pre-K and early elementary school grades, and for a moratorium on out-of-school suspensions for minor behavior infractions in all grades.”

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), schools with higher rates of school suspension and expulsion have less satisfactory ratings of school climate and less satisfactory school governance structures.

A report issued by the  APA at their summer of 2006 annual meeting found that zero tolerance policies in use throughout U.S. school districts have not been effective in reducing violence or promoting learning in school. The report called for a change in these policies and indicated a need for alternatives, including restorative practices such as restorative justice conferences.

Advocates see these reforms as a way to eliminate “the School-to-Prison Pipeline.”

Suspension gaps mirror trends in terms of racial discrepancies in the criminal justice system. This summer, a report by the Sentencing Project found that racial disparity pervades the U.S. criminal justice system. African-American males are six times more likely to be incarcerated than white males and Hispanic males are 2.5 times more likely. Not only are racial minorities incarcerated disproportionately, they are also likely to be sentenced more harshly than white defendants for similar crimes.

The War on Drugs has exacerbated racial inequalities in the criminal justice system through discriminatory law enforcement practices and disparities in sentencing laws, including the application of harsh mandatory minimum sentences. While the federal Fair Sentencing Act (FSA) of 2010 reduced the crack/cocaine sentencing quantity disparity triggering mandatory minimum penalties from 100:1 to 18:1, there is still disparate treatment in the sentencing of individuals convicted of offenses involving these two pharmacologically identical drugs.

Because African-Americans constitute 80 percent of those sentenced under federal crack cocaine laws, the disparity in sentencing laws leads to harsher sentences for black defendants for committing similar offenses to those of their white or Latino counterparts convicted of powder cocaine offenses.

At the local level, the data again calls for educators and the school district to examine discipline policies. They also need to look into policies that move away from suspension and toward more restorative practices.

In February of 2013, the Vanguard did a story on the efforts of now former Davis High Vice Principal Sheila Smith, who had been slowly implementing restorative justice principles whenever possible into peacemaking situations – anytime a conflict arises, whether it is between two students, between a student and a teacher, or even other situations as well.

In September of 2013, Da Vinci received a grant of $38,000 to fund a restorative justice initiative that would train all 30 staff members and students in conflict management, through mediation rather than discipline.

A report from the UC Berkeley School of Law, Henderson Center for Social Justice, examined a pilot program at a middle school in Oakland. They write, “Restorative justice is an alternative to retributive zero-tolerance policies that mandate suspension or expulsion of students from school for a wide variety of misbehaviors including possession of alcohol or cigarettes, fighting, dress code violations, and curs­ing. Although zero-tolerance policies have resulted in substantial increases in student suspensions and expulsions for students of all races, African Ameri­can and Hispanic/Latino youth are dispropor­tionately impacted by a zero-tolerance approach.”

Proponents of restorative justice approaches, they write that they “have begun to promote school-based restorative justice as an alternative to zero-tolerance policies. Restor­ative justice is a set of principles and practices grounded in the values of showing respect, taking responsibility, and strengthening relationships. When harm occurs, restorative justice focuses on repair of harm and prevention of re-occurrence.”

The Vanguard also met with Ron and Roxanne Claassen, authors of Discipline that Restores, which they wrote based on principles developed jointly to apply restorative justice principles in a school setting.

“What we found is that, when people start to look at and hear about the concept of restorative justice as opposed to simply punitive justice, all have had experience with the fact that punitive doesn’t work very well,” Mr. Claassen said.  “So the idea that there are some real live options is exciting.  Even some people who have been most opposed at some point often turn out to be some of the strongest advocates.”

Restorative justice in the classroom, he said, does not mean that things are let go or that chaos is allowed to rule.  It begins with the concept that whatever response there is going to be to misbehavior is going to be a constructive response.

“What we’ve been working at is developing a series of options so that,” he said, if one approach does not work, they have alternatives.  “It is all to work in the direction of the student accepting personal responsibility for what they’ve been doing and thinking about how they want to move forward.”

“When there has been an infraction it can be a process for how you repair that infraction,” he said.

Are these ways to move away from traditional approaches, like suspensions that have been proven ineffective? Time will tell.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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117 Comments

      1. wdf1

        I don’t find 2013-14 stats in the dataquest database, although 2012-13 is there.  I imagine 2013-14 data will be available statewide in a few months, but I am not surprised that the data is available from DJUSD.

  1. zaqzaq

    The school district missed a great opportunity to use restorative practices with the soccer player that they instead suspended.  They quickly suspended the students for some reason.   Were they more concerned with a very public response that they were dealing with the situation than making the incident an opportunity for learning for the involved students.  Did CIF expect the school to suspend the students?  There were many restorative options that they could have explored but did not.  Instead they went punitive in a very public way.  Someone should be asking the school board for an explanation.  We should expect better from our schools.

    1. Michelle Millet

      Agreed. I have never understood the point of using suspension as a punitive practice. I don’t see what good it does to force students to miss school, (especially if they are already struggling academically.)

      1. zaqzaq

        Just because the school district can suspend them does not mean that they should.  There were better alternatives that did not take them out of the classroom where they are supposed to learn.

  2. Alan Miller

    “In the most recent data available – in the 2013-14 school year 6.3 percent of African-Americans and 4.1 percent of Latino students were suspended at some point in the school year while only 2.2 percent of whites and less than one percent of Asian students were suspended.”

    This is outrageous!  Suspend more Asians!

    1. Barack Palin

      LOL Alan.  Being that Davis mirrors the national numbers I must conclude that either the black and Latino students are creating more trouble or we in Davis have racist school administrators and teachers. Which is it?

      1. South of Davis

        BP wrote:

        > we in Davis have racist school administrators and teachers

        Maybe they have “unconscious bias” and need “de-biasing training” like AG Eric Holder said will soon start at the NYPD (just like at the Seattle PD, New Orleans PD and other cities that Holder was investigating for alleged civil-rights violations)…

        1. Barack Palin

          SOD, well it has to be one or the other.  Either the black and Latino kids cause more trouble or the administrators and teachers show racism.  Do you notice how this question is being dodged?

        2. South of Davis

          TBD wrote

          > Are you implying that a largely white, and disproportionately

          > female, largely Democrat, teaching core is racist?

          David just feels they are “subconsciously” racist…

        3. Barack Palin

          Don’t you know, the story line is everyone is either a racist or subconsciously a racist.  You just don’t realize it.   I don’t care who you are, from the southern white KKK Imperial Wizard to the very liberal, progressive, Democrat teaching in a Davis school.

          1. David Greenwald

            I’m trying to find a good explanation – it’s not that you’re a racist and don’t realize it, it has to do with the way the brain processes information shortcuts.

  3. Frankly

    So teachers and school administrators are clearly racist.  Why don’t we see riots and looting in the inner cities, and Harvard Law school student protests and then a demand that their exams be delayed because of the related stress?

    The point and question are not a joke.

    Correlation is not causation.  And you cannot solve a problem unless you address the cause.

    What is the cause?   Is anyone on the seeing-the-work-through-race-tinted-glasses side of the debate brave enough to start a debate about cause, or will they only continue to demand more hypersensitivity protection patches to the worn out and frayed racial social justice quilt?

    Here is a very interesting and nearly honest and nearly frank discussion about race and the Ferguson and New York incidents.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sf-ZC5qQbuY&feature=youtu.be

    Note the stress of these three worrying that they might just be persecuted (metaphorically lynched?) by the self-anointed political correctness officials and their media pals.  Honesty? Frankness?  Open discussion?   It was close based on our modern tolerance.  Maybe one day we can cut the crap and reject all the hypersensitivity BS.  Maybe we can send off the race baiters and professional social justice crusaders that lack enough other meaning in their life to work on other truly helpful causes.

    Watch this and think about the media talking head comments before the video plays.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjVhjMeiGzM

    Uncut version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2b21yAeEpQ

    Hypersensitivity is killing the ability to truly communicate.   I don’t blame hypersensitivity as a cause of race relations, but I blame it as a cause of our lack of progress to improve race relations.  We have effectively stalled because of hypersensitivity.  Basically blacks and Latinos have been exploited by a certain segment of the primarily liberal population fond of maintaining their power and relevancy by “protecting” those groups they can label as “victims”.  And that “protection” is driving a wedge between the rest of society that can help make a difference, and the victim group being protected.

    1. David Greenwald

      “So teachers and school administrators are clearly racist.”

      I don’t believe that’s the case.

      ” Why don’t we see riots and looting in the inner cities, and Harvard Law school student protests and then a demand that their exams be delayed because of the related stress?”

      Probably because inequity is a necessary but not sufficient condition for rioting and looting.

      I provided some alternative approaches- restorative practices rather than suspensions, what do you think of them?

      1. Barack Palin

        “So teachers and school administrators are clearly racist.”
        I don’t believe that’s the case.

        Then what is it?  Are you admitting that black and Latino students create more trouble?

        1. Barack Palin

          So are you now saying that teachers and administrators, including our Davis school system, are subconsciously biased and because of this they come down on blacks and Latinos harder than whites and Asians?

      2. Frankly

        Before I comment on what I think of restorative practices, can you answer the question… what do you think are the root cause(s) of the higher number of black and Hispanic student suspensions if not racism in education?

        And while you are at it, since you don’t believe that the education system has a racism problem as “proved” by the over-representation in black and Hispanic punishment statistics, then please explain how law enforcement is “proved” as having a racism problem because of the over-representation of black and Hispanic punishment statistics.

        And while you are at it… you might also consider that the education system problems with black and Hispanic over-representation in punishment might be causation, or at least some preliminary source of understanding the causation, of the over-representation of blacks and Hispanics in crime and punishment.

         

        1. wdf1

          Frankly:  “What is the cause?”

          I don’t know enough African-American families in Davis to begin to hypothesize about suspension rates for black students.  But I know enough affected Latino families to suspect that the issues are connected to poverty, lower educational levels among parents, and social isolation of families because the parents don’t speak fluent English.

          Frankly:  “And while you are at it… you might also consider that the education system problems with black and Hispanic over-representation in punishment might be causation, or at least some preliminary source of understanding the causation, of the over-representation of blacks and Hispanics in crime and punishment.”

          Are you saying that blacks and Hispanics will have higher suspension rates because the parents will be of more questionable influence (I think you might be inclined to say, “crappy parents”) because a higher percentage will have been through the criminal justice system?

          The links on the issue of pre-school suspension stats that I cite included an interview with a mom, and there didn’t seem to be any indication of crime in the parents raising the black child who got suspended from pre-school.  The father was an officer in the Air Force.

        2. Frankly

          Are you saying that blacks and Hispanics will have higher suspension rates because the parents will be of more questionable influence (I think you might be inclined to say, “crappy parents”) because a higher percentage will have been through the criminal justice system?

          No.  I am saying that crappy education experience probably leads to more choosing a life of crime.

          But to your point, go back and watch the video of the three black NBA commentators.  Kenny Smith makes an interesting comment about the “family conversation”.   I don’t think it is crappy parenting, but it is probably a form of destructive conversation from the adult role models of these kids.  The kid with the father in the military… it would not matter if his father was a PHD professor at UCD… if the father was fond of communicating a black victim mentality, it could certainly result in a greater sense of hopelessness and acting out.

          My brother of Mexican descent will tell you as he tells me that if it had not been for the influence of his “Frankly” family, he would have probably not have gone to college and he would be renting some ranch land and own a few cows, goats and chickens and do landscaping work like his dad.    It is clear that the message and communication from parents makes a big difference.  But the education system, like our system of law enforcement, cannot use that as an excuse to turn the other way.   Teacher and educators have the job to teach and educate.   Law enforcement has the job to enforce the law.  If we have too much negative representation, we need to start solving the root causes.

          So what do you think the root causes are?  There is a great sound of crickets on this question.

          Don’t you agree that it is difficult to impossible to solve a problem if you don’t understand the root causes?

           

        3. David Greenwald

          You said they are clearly racist – I don’t agree with that assessment. However, I think it is a factor, as I told BP, I think unconscious bias is a better explanation and I think it goes a lot deeper than that.

          I focused on restorative justice because I think you actually have to deal with the inequities first before we can get to root causes.

        4. wdf1

          Frankly: My brother of Mexican descent will tell you as he tells me that if it had not been for the influence of his “Frankly” family, he would have probably not have gone to college and he would be renting some ranch land and own a few cows, goats and chickens and do landscaping work like his dad.    It is clear that the message and communication from parents makes a big difference.

          So if a family doesn’t have the “Frankly family influence,” then you can expect the current education system to make up for it?

          I actually think the current education system can be modified to make up for it, but it means providing regular structured homework support after school, supplemental enrichment activities (music, sports, etc.), and family counciling about post graduation opportunities.  I would even throw accessible healthcare and healthy foods as well.

          Frankly:  So what do you think the root causes are?  There is a great sound of crickets on this question.

          I gave you an anwer.

          …suspect that the issues are connected to poverty, lower educational levels among parents, and social isolation of families because the parents don’t speak fluent English. 

          You seemed to have ignored it, and you seem to have fogotten when I have mentioned it at other times.  Keep in mind that I refer to DJUSD, because those are the statistics we’re talking about.   But I suspect that some similar issues are probably in play outside of DJUSD.

          But I will expand.  In DJUSD, families are offered a menu of options to choose for their kids — GATE/AIM, Spanish Immersion, DSIS, Montessori, athletics, music/performing, Da Vinci, robotics, and maybe a few others that I’m forgetting.  You generally would know about these options because you went to grade school in the U.S. and had some experience with some of these programs, the district information is more readily available in English, because all the staff speak English,  you learn of it in conversations with local friends and neighbors, from the Davis Enterprise, and the Davis Vanguard.

          If you are a Spanish speaking parent with limited English skills, it probably also means that you probably have less education and income level.  You don’t know as readily of all these options that are available to your kids.  By the time you might learn enough of these programs to make a choice,  it is already too late to join up.  On top of that, because NCLB insists that higher needs students maintain high benchmark scores on standardized tests in English and math, the district will automatically put your kids in any remedial support programs that are available, such as pullout ELL in elementary school.

          By the time your kids get to junior high, they are often obligated to take an extra ELL class in their schedule, and maybe even AVID, because your kids may not have great study skills.  That takes up all of your elective opportunities.  If you go to Harper of Montgomery, you have a very structured after school homework club to help with homework.

          By the time your kids get to high school, there isn’t the same kind of structured homework club, and by that time, your kids have probably missed out on every socializing enrichment activity that’s out there — athletics, robotics, music, journalism/yearbook, etc.  Without a structured homework club, then your kids start getting failing grades.  They’re isolated, they think they are crappy students, and they’re somehow aware that the fact that their family speaks Spanish, that’s a liability to them and their future.  At this point they don’t see a future, and they are likelier to act up and get suspended.  What’s the point?

          Why isn’t there the same kind of structured homework club as Harper and MME?  Because the tutors for Davis Bridge all come from UCD on a student work study program.  But rules say that they can only tutor through junior high, not high school.  At Montgomery and Harper, it is possible to have plenty of tutors and a low tutor to student ratio.   Additionally, tutoring that is available in this work study program is designated only for math and English Language Arts, not other subjects.

          All ELL students, ideally, should receive some grade school academic instruction in their native language.  That would allow them to be bilingually fluent and literate.  That is the direction that K-12 education is going; if you don’t graduate from high school with some bilingual literacy, you have fewer opportunities (source).  Bilingualism is something that these students can achieve.  Most can speak and understand Spanish, but have had very little experience with reading and writing.

          I would also insist that the district make information about all the “choice” programs available in Spanish for the sake of explaining it all to the parents.  Also that their bilingual staff be given some extra training in information about these programs (perhaps with a stipend) so as to be able to discuss options with Spanish speaking parents.

        5. TrueBlueDevil

          I don’t think many here will really have the cahones to answer, but I’ll give you a few.

          Most African American and Latino children don’t act out in school, don’t create problems, and are typical everyday school children. We are talking here about the 3% or 6% which some have chosen to thus label our school systems as racist.

          1. The lack of in-the-home Fathers who also show restraint, hard work, humility, and family values. Children learn from modeling, specifically the same-sex parent has the most influence. This is likely one of the most important reasons, and impact everything else.

          2. I read recently that truancy rates in Los Angeles in the African American families was significantly higher than the norm. This has to play into the family structure, values, and a host of issues that will also affect how a small percentage of children act.

          3. Current day music, specifically rap, and gang culture – largely promote anti-social behavior. So when the children of a Dr. Ben Carson watch their 1 hour of TV, if they happen to catch a poor role model, they will likely be corrected and admonished that this is not proper behavior. Not so while the single mother is working two part time jobs, and her child is watching MTV with his uncle or friends. Don’t forget, it is rap music that taught youngsters to call women “Bs” and “Hoes”.

          4. Studies I read years ago show that African American children watch far more TV than their white counterparts. (This may be skewed with the new media choices, smart phones etc.)

          5. Studies – again, years ago – showed that a high percentage of young white male children think they will play professional sports (the power of TV); an even higher percentage of young AA male children think they will play pro sports. If you believe you are going to play pro sports, why listen to your intrusive English or math teacher who are teaching you things you don’t want to learn, that aren’t applicable to life in the NFL or NBA?

          6. For those who are really serious about this issue, read several articles about the studies and work of deceased UC Berkeley Nigerian-American anthropologist and professor Dr. John Ogbu. His “acting white” research, as well as his study of middle class black students in Cleveland broke new ground.

        6. South of Davis

          TBD wrote:

          > I don’t think many here will really have the cahones to answer, but I’ll give you a few.

          > 1. The lack of in-the-home Fathers who also show restraint, hard work, humility, and

          > family values.

          TBD’s #1 answer is the #1 reason we have problems with kids of all races.  Can anyone name a kid in Davis that beats up gay guys like Clayton Garzon who has a Dad that has dinner with him every night?  How about a kid that kills people like Daniel Marsh, anyone know of one with a great Dad who takes the kid fishing and helps the Mom prepare a family meal seven days a week?

          We would have a better country if people on the left like David tried to figure out ways to prevent black and latino dads from not getting married before having kids and leaving their kids at higher rates than other races rather than blaming a problem on the “subconscious racism” of other left leaning liberals…

        7. Frankly

          So if a family doesn’t have the “Frankly family influence,” then you can expect the current education system to make up for it?

          Absolutely!   Who else?  What other institution if not the education system?

          But I need to correct something about my brotha’ from another motha’… he also had strong “achievement” role models in high school.  Teachers and coaches that pushed him to be the best that he could be.  He graduated high school in 1979.  Things have changed since then in terms of choice and tolerance for standard boy behavior.

        8. TrueBlueDevil

          I think we have both a conscious and unconscious bias in talking about the importance of Fathers. Which also means marriage.

          How many Ethiopian or Nigerian or Japanese Christian Black Male children do we have joining gangs, dealing drugs, and talking back to teachers in a threatening manner? I think in math we call that “the empty set”.

        9. wdf1

          TBD: How many Ethiopian or Nigerian or Japanese Christian Black Male children do we have joining gangs, dealing drugs, and talking back to teachers in a threatening manner? I think in math we call that “the empty set”.

          How many?  Maybe check here.

           

      3. sisterhood

        “I’m trying to find a good explanation – it’s not that you’re a racist and don’t realize it, it has to do with the way the brain processes information shortcuts.”

        Since I don’t read Palin’s comments I can only guess it’s got something to do with race. Probably nothing useful to add. He just want to attack, as usual.

        I decided to donate to the VG the other day but am at the point where this is probably my last post. I don’t read Palin’s comments but unfortunately many comments here are a response to him. Don’t the readers realize he is just baiting them, without adding one word of substance to any discussion? I can’t get drawn into this nonsense in the comment section any longer. Waste of time.

        1. Barack Palin

          It’s just another attack on me from this same poster, I thought these kinds of personal attacks were against Vanguard policy.  She claims she doesn’t read my posts but she might leave because of them? Hard to figure that one out.

          Since I don’t read Palin’s comments I can only guess it’s got something to do with race. 

          Um, the topic of this article was about race.  So yes, most of the comments were also about race.  Of course you won’t read this though because you don’t read my posts so I guess I’m typing this for no reason.  LOL

           

        2. Frankly

          Come on sisterhood.  Don’t go.  Your contribution is valued just as is Mr./Ms. Palin’s.  Can we just agree that this is a topic that rises passions on both sides.  I have not read one post that indicates that the writer does not care about the issues.  There are just different perspectives and different ideas toward a better tomorrow.  And along the way of explaining our differences, I think we should allow a bit of heat to boil off.

          I was thinking about the Ferguson and New York incident and all the riots, looting and protests.  I was wondering how much the growth in racial hypersensitivity and political correctness speech codes have contributed to the problems we see.   We are all risk averse to some degree.  If we have a problem with our neighbor of a different race, but we cannot have a frank and honest discussion for fear of breaking one of the hundreds of political speech code rules or causing some hypersensitive response, and then being labeled a racists by the relentless race-focused social justice crusaders, then we will just stop talking to that neighbor and likely we will move away from that neighbor.

          I think this is true across the board.   If we go so far to protect certain groups we consider victims then they might become isolated because other groups don’t accept the risk of damage from making some mistake in the large and growing rule book of protection.  I have seen this in the workplace.  The hypersensitive employee complaining to management about what should be normal human encounters… and then noting that the hypersensitive employee becomes quite lonely at work as other employees seek to mitigate risk of being a subject of a complaint.  It seems we would be much better off fighting hypersensitivity while we also demand civility and empathy.   Teaching coping skills.  Teaching that “diversity” should not just be about race, gender, sexual preference etc… but a deeper consideration that humans are all different and their differences should be accepted.

        3. South of Davis

          Sisterhood wrote:

          > Don’t the readers realize he is just baiting them

          It is scary that someone is so far left that she thinks that posts from a right leaning moderate can’t be real views and are just posted to “bait” others…

        4. tribeUSA

          re: Frankly’s 9:22 post

          Well said Frankly! I especially like your last couple of sentences.

          Sisterhood, could you consider that one of the reasons that racial relations have not improved markedly (some would say they have gotton worse lately) might be that the dominant storyline pushed by academia and the mainstream media (and also reflected in Vanguard articles like this one) might not be entirely accurate or helpful? Perhaps by examining the dominant line of public discourse on the subject of racism, we can improve it; any legitimate stance on a controversial subject can withstand challenges (at least in the long run).

        5. KSmith

          Sisterhood: I would suggest giving it a bit longer. You’ve offered some valuable comments on several articles, so it would be a shame for you to leave because of this.  All such online discussion tools have this same issue–how to deal with users who just want to bait others.  It’s a nuisance sometimes, but you can focus on the more substantive comments.

          Plus, it gets tiresome to see the same half dozen or so people always talking amongst themselves and not very often engaging with less frequent commenters or newbies, so having your comments and those of others who have recently joined is a nice change.

  4. wdf1

    Source, podcast, Is This Working?  or transcript

    In March this year, the Department of Education issued a report that said black children make up 18% of preschoolers, but they make up 48% of preschool children suspended more than once.

    Evidence that this starts at a very early stage, at an age when it is questionable if they fully know the difference between right and wrong.

     

    1. South of Davis

      wdf1 wrote:

      > Evidence that this starts at a very early stage, at an age when it is questionable

      > if they fully know the difference between right and wrong.

      Does this mean that you think black children learn the “difference between right and wrong” at a later age than white and asian kids?

      1. wdf1

        SoD: Does this mean that you think black children learn the “difference between right and wrong” at a later age than white and asian kids?

        No.  If you listen to the podcast (or read the transcript), you will hear a brief interview with a four-year old black child who doesn’t understand why he was suspended.  He doesn’t even quite know what “suspended” means.  Having raised four year olds who were not African-American, I doubt my kids would have understood that punishment at that age either.  I question why these percentages of suspensions happen in pre-school the way they do.

        1. South of Davis

          wdf1 wrote:

          > I doubt my kids would have understood that punishment at that age either. 

          Some kids are just better at following rules.  Most of my friends have all white kids yet most of them have a single kid that gets in trouble/breaks the rules more than the others.

          My parents have some good friends that worked real hard and did real well financially, but couldn’t have kids of their own.  They ended up adopting one infant from Korea and one infant from Columbia.  One of their boys was a national merit scholar who was bad at sports while the other struggled in school but was the superstar of every soccer team he was on.

        2. Alan Miller

          “They ended up adopting one infant from Korea and one infant from Columbia.  One of their boys was a national merit scholar who was bad at sports while the other struggled in school but was the superstar of every soccer team he was on.”

          God, I just have to ask what everyone is wondering . . .

        3. Rich RifkinWDE 73

          “They ended up adopting one infant from Korea and one infant from Columbia.”

          Columbia: An Ivy League university in NYC, NY.

          Colombia: A South American country which gave the world Sofia Vergara and her lovely assets.

          Colorado: A baseball team which usually finishes in last place in the NL West.

    2. Barack Palin

      My wife is a preschool administrator and teacher.  They never suspend kids but they will kick kids out of school if they are hurting other kids.  That usually won’t happen until after many warnings and meetings with the parents.  If the kids don’t shape up they have no choice because the other parents won’t put up with their children coming home hurt.

  5. South of Davis

    David’s Headline:

    “Local Data Shows Same Racial Gap on Suspensions, Calls for Reform”

    My Headline:

    “Local Data Shows Blacks and Hispanics still getting in trouble more than Whites and Asians, Calls to Suspend more Whites and Asians for Minor Offences so the School District does not appear Racist”

    1. Frankly

      Yeah… based on the article and headline you can actually draw that conclusion.  It is the egalitarian social justice tendency to seek easy emotional comfort by dragging down everyone else instead of undertaking the more difficult challenge to actually lift up the downtrodden.  Misery loves company.  Envy is a call for empathy instead of scorn.  Victim of this, victim of that… your momma’s too thin and your daddy’s too fat.

      People are more equal in Cuba except for the politicos who live high on the hog even though they produce nothing of value other than oppression that keeps everyone else equal.   Last I checked there are very few Asians living in Cuba.

  6. South of Davis

    wdf1:

    > the issues are connected to poverty, lower educational levels

    > among parents, and social isolation of families because the

    > don’t speak fluent English.

    If suspensions are “connected” to “lower educational levels among parents, and social isolation of families because the don’t speak fluent English” any idea why Asians in the United States with “lower educational levels among parents, and social isolation of families because the don’t speak fluent English” don’t have the same issues?

    1. wdf1

      SoD: any idea why Asians in the United States with “lower educational levels among parents, and social isolation of families because the don’t speak fluent English” don’t have the same issues?

      Why did you leave out poverty?  You don’t think poverty would be a factor?

      I think across the board, regardless of race, suspensions in secondary grades are heavily influenced by enivornmental factors of families being in poverty, having lower educational levels, and if they don’t speak fluent English, that’s an additional barrier. In Davis it so happens that there are more Latino than Asian families that fall into this situation.

      1. Frankly

        So you are making the case that the root cause of these negative over-representation stats in education suspensions are due to poverty?

        What are the root causes of poverty?

        1. Don Shor

          According to Wikipedia, these are the root causes of poverty:

          War
          Genocide
          Slavery
          Imperialism
          Colonialism
          Disease
          Declining union influence
          Economic structures
          Lack of education
          Parents leaving the family
          Divorce
          Teenage pregnancy
          Domestic abuse
          Employment abuse
          Immigrant status
          Minority status
          Physical and mental illness and disability
          Loss of job
          Low wage rates
          High medical bills
          Fraud
          Theft
          Disasters
          Fires
          Flood
          Poverty Imperative
          Lack of or inability to afford adequate health insurance
          Lack of awareness of government policy
          Industrial change
          Apathy
          Greed
          Overpopulation
          Inequality
          Dictatorships
          Racism
          Globalization
          Social Factors
          High taxation
          High growth rate of population
          Lack of job opportunities in secondary sector
          Lack of land resources
          Lack of industrialization
          Over dependence on agriculture
          Inflationary pressure
          Unemployment
          Drug abuse
          Income inequalities
          Accidents
          Stolen money
          Natural disasters
          Vulnerability
          Government
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Causes_of_poverty

        2. wdf1

          Frankly:  So you are making the case that the root cause of these negative over-representation stats in education suspensions are due to poverty?

          For “achievement gap” students who are Latino in Davis, yes.

          Frankly: What are the root causes of poverty?

          For “achievement gap” students who are Latino in Davis, those causes are generally, from Don’s list, some combination of

          Economic structures

          Lack of education (which also relates to limited English ability)

          Immigrant status

          Low wage rates

          Lack of awareness of government policy

          Social Factors

           

        3. TrueBlueDevil

          Don, why did wikipedia leave off these more important factors in causing poverty?

          Communism

          Socialism

          Military juntas

          Anarchy

          Lawlessness

          Corruption

          On the flip side, we know for a fact that democracy and capitalism have led to prosperity the world over.

          1. Don Shor

            why did wikipedia leave off these more important factors

            You’re welcome to edit it. I assume you know how Wikipedia works.

        4. wdf1

          TBD:  Don, why did wikipedia leave off these more important factors in causing poverty?
          Socialism
          How does Socialism cause poverty?  European socialist countries seem to have lower rates of poverty than the U.S.

        5. TrueBlueDevil

          wdf1, how has socialism fared in Cuba, North Korea, or elsewhere? Not too well. India also abandoned it after trying it for many decades, and when they changed to a capitalist system, their lot in life improved dramatically. I’m no expert in the area, but please, educate me. Singapore, Hong Kong, their economy screams.

          Yes, places like Sweden and Germany have a much bigger social contract, but they are not a pure socialist system, just as we aren’t a pure capitalist system.

          You ask how it causes poverty? There is a lack of motivation, when you can work 30 hours at a slow pace, and make as much as the person working 50 hours diligently. It’s called the “race to the bottom”. There are also poor or no market feedback mechanisms as no one is pursuing profit. East Germany is a perfect example. After the wall came down people realized that they were 30 or 40 years behind West Germany. No motivation, no profits, no reason to innovate or become more efficient. Even the USSR failed, and still struggles to this day for various reasons.

      2. South of Davis

        wdf1 wrote:

        > Why did you leave out poverty?

        Sorry I just didn’t cut and paste your entire post.  Even when you just look at Asian kids in poverty they are not getting in trouble much.

        My cousin teaches in SF where there are a lot of Chinese kids living in poverty (many are exploited by relatives who bring them here and make them work more than 8 hours every day after school), yet even the Chinese kids living in POVERTY who come from Chinese poor uneducated peasant families, who are isolated washing dishes after school every day and don’t speak fluent English are rarely a discipline problem (unless you count falling asleep in class more than other kids a big problem)…

        1. Biddlin

          If your story is true, your cousin has legal and moral obligations to report the plight of those exploited children to the appropriate law enforcement and protective agencies.

          ;>)/

        2. Miwok

          Biddlin,

          there are many Chinese immigrants who live in SF who never learn enough English, even after 20 or more year,s who get their US citizenship. I don’t know who filled out the forms for them, because when I interviewed them, they knew no English. I don’t know who would deny their kids and grandkids a shot at a better life.

          I grew up on a farm, and if these laws had reported ME working as a child, my family would not have eaten. I also worked construction as soon as I could talk my dad into taking me along, crawling steel at 12 years old.

          Just another view… Exploitation? Maybe in a restaurant, hardware store, each case a little different.

  7. Frankly

    War
    Genocide
    Slavery
    Imperialism
    Colonialism
    Disease
    Declining union influence
    Economic structures
    Lack of education
    Parents leaving the family
    Divorce
    Teenage pregnancy
    Domestic abuse
    Employment abuse
    Immigrant status
    Minority status
    Physical and mental illness and disability
    Loss of job
    Low wage rates
    High medical bills
    Fraud
    Theft
    Disasters
    Fires
    Flood
    Poverty Imperative
    Lack of or inability to afford adequate health insurance
    Lack of awareness of government policy
    Industrial change
    Apathy
    Greed
    Overpopulation
    Inequality
    Dictatorships
    Racism
    Globalization
    Social Factors
    High taxation
    High growth rate of population
    Lack of job opportunities in secondary sector
    Lack of land resources
    Lack of industrialization
    Over dependence on agriculture
    Inflationary pressure
    Unemployment
    Drug abuse
    Income inequalities
    Accidents
    Stolen money
    Natural disasters
    Vulnerability
    Government

    These are all root causes of poverty that explains more Davis black and Hispanic kids being expelled, of just the root causes of all global and historical poverty?

  8. Frankly

    Recent research by a Cornell University professor found greater levels of chronic stress in low-income families who live in adverse conditions, which leads to lower levels of cognitive stimulation for children in those neighborhoods. Therefore, it’s clear that stress stemming from income, employment and poverty can severely affect one’s well-being.

    So let’s assume that this is accurate and that poverty IS the primary root cause of greater suspension of blacks and Hispanics.

    How do we fix it?

    Let me start with some hypothetical ideas.

    – Seal the border and deport all illegal immigrants.

    – Implement a robust foreign guest worker program for farm labor.

    – Implement trade apprentice and trade boot camp programs.

    – Stop and reverse all the extreme environmental regulation and other regulation that stifles economic development and growth.

    – Implement tax reductions to spur economic development.  Offer business tax credits for the number of American jobs the company develops and retains.

    – Increase economic development policy and public-side investment to start and grow business is undeserved markets.

    – Completely reform the public education system so that it better engages students and prepares them for the workforce.

    – Implement public-side investment in private community moral institutions that promote traditional strong family values (Note, that these should not include any material gender, racial, ethnic or gay bias.)

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      Former esteemed Democratic Senator Barbara Jordan of Texas was for halting immigration for five years to allow poor African Americans a chance to catch up and move up within our economic system.

    2. wdf1

      Frankly: …deport all illegal immigrants.

      This is how you would suggest resolving the issue of higher rates of suspensions among Latino students in the Davis schools?

        1. TrueBlueDevil

          We’d have to know why they were suspended, if they are dealing drugs, if there is a gang connection (M13, Nortnos, Sorenos, etc.)… lots of unknown factors.

        2. wdf1

          Many families have mixed legal status, so I take it deporting all illegal immigrants trumps keeping families together and having a father figure present as a positive influence on the kids?

    3. KSmith

      “– Implement public-side investment in private community moral institutions that promote traditional strong family values (Note, that these should not include any material gender, racial, ethnic or gay bias.)”

      By “private community moral institutions,” I’m assuming you mean churches and other similar organizations?  What is going to be the criteria for “any material gender, racial, ethnic or gay bias?”  What exactly do you mean by “material bias?”

      Under this idea, what are some example organizations that would fit your proposed criteria?

      What do you mean by “traditional strong family values?”

  9. Miwok

    In some of the fluff pieces from PBS and CBS about schools with poor students and high achievement, I see faculty are largely the same race as the students. Some are even segregated (wow) according to sex (which now has to be also LGBTQIA classes) to help the students. Would this be an option for local schools as well?

    Is the inherent racism of the teachers holding back the students? The experiment of over 100 years ago demonstrates this with the taking of Native Children “off the rez” to immerse them in schools. We must have some History people on here that can speak to that?

    I think we all agree the children are capable, if the adults in the room don’t hold them back?

    1. wdf1

      Miwok:  In some of the fluff pieces from PBS and CBS about schools with poor students and high achievement, I see faculty are largely the same race as the students.

      In Dana Goldstein’s book, Teacher Wars, she explains that in the aftermath of Brown v. Board of Education, integrating schools generally meant firing/laying off African-American teachers, who were generally the most highly educated and motivated members of their community.  Grade school teaching in a segregated black school was apparently the best job opportunity usually available to educated African-Americans.  This historical argument suggests that African-American grade school teachers, at least at that time, might have had more personal motivation to help African-American students to succeed.  In spite of that, segregated schools were more poorly funded.

      1. Miwok

        Very interesting comment, but I am talking about the present – if that was something happening in the 60’s, then we have had a generation to recover?

        integrating schools generally meant firing/laying off African-American teachers,

        What happened to these teachers?

        1. wdf1

          Miwok: What happened to these teachers?

          I don’t know.  Many did not teach in the integrated schools.  There was a clear preference to have non-African-American (white) teachers when additional teachers were needed. There’s a copy of this book available in the Davis Public Library.

  10. MrsW

    “In the most recent data available, in the 2013-14 school year, 6.3 percent of African-Americans and 4.1 percent of Latino students were suspended at some point in the school year, while only 2.2 percent of whites and less than one percent of Asian students were suspended.”

    I was interested in the actual number of student’s lives we are talking about, so I looked up the “student group” make-up on DSHS’ School Accountability Report Card for 2012-13

    http://djusd-ca.schoolloop.com/file/1356617245223/1356617245942/993395201369893775.pdf

    In 2012-13, DSHS had a school population of 1064 that included 33 blacks, 146 Latinos and 595 whites.  If you take the above statistics, 6% of 33 is 2 black students; 4.1% of 156 is 6 Latino students; and 2.2% of 595 is 13 white students.  That’s 21 student lives, mostly white.  I wonder how many of them are boys.

    What I don’t understand is why suspension is used at all, particularly with students who have any kind of risk factor.  It seems to me that, as a deterrent, only the high achieving or engaged (sports, theater) students would care if they missed school.  Shouldn’t we be trying to welcome and pull children into our community, not push them out?  On a related note, is anyone else bothered by the educational practice of suspending students who are also often truant? Isn’t a big part of school success related to being in-class?

     

     

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      Maybe we should find out what some of the sample offenses are. Cursing at a teacher, threatening a teacher, getting high at school, selling pot at school, etc.

      Yes, the numbers you cited are very, very small.

      1. Don Shor

        6% of 33 is 2 black students; 4.1% of 156 is 6 Latino students

        Yes, I’d say those numbers are so small as to make this whole discussion statistically pretty meaningless in terms of the demographics. So I guess the question remains as to why any of the 21 were suspended, and whether suspension is an effective method of changing behavior.

      2. TrueBlueDevil

        Don, the first portion is something we can both agree with. If David is going to ride this horse – then we need more information. I’m guessing / hoping that the graduation rate for AA students is good, and we really need to know what offenses all students commit who receive a suspension. This would give us n=much better context.

        I know of one teenage who was suspended from school for a few days, not in Davis, … she was caught getting high at lunch, and had marijuana and a pipe on her after the lunch break.

    2. wdf1

      MrsW: In 2012-13, DSHS had a school population of 1064 that included 33 blacks, 146 Latinos and 595 whites. 

      In 2012-13, DHS did not have a population of 1064.  It had a population of 1747 that included 53 African-Americans, 278 Latinos, and 998 whites.   source

      If you take those revised statistics, 6% of 53 African-Americans is 3, 4.1% of 146 is 11 Latino students, and 2.2% of 998 is 22 white students.  That’s about 36 students.  But what you’re doing is taking 2013-14 suspension rates and applying them to 2012-13 enrollments.

      But the 2012-13 suspension rates reported for “Federal Offense” comes out to 151 un-duplicated students.  source

      Your number, 1064, is the number of DHS students who took the API standardized test (STAR test) that year, 2013.  That number leaves out seniors, who don’t take the test, and other students who opt out of taking the test for whatever reasons.

  11. Barack Palin

    The students also reported in a survey that they see the discipline differential. Latinos and African-American students believe they are disciplined more harshly for the same behavior always or most of the time.

    Ask a child of any race in any family or school setting and they’ll tell you they get harsher treatment than their siblings or fellow students.

    1. Frankly

      “Is this what you mean by communicating a black victim mentality?”

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P25ig2Dwmw4

      wdf1 – did you actually watch the entire video?

      Burton apologizes on air to the cop for his bad behavior and admits that the cop had probable cause to treat him as a suspect.

      So, yes, this is exactly an example of victim mentality.   Conflating a single incident with a much larger abstract emotional pile of dog doo doo…. and potentially making the situation much worse.

      The only time I about got taken away in handcuffs or worse was leaving an ugly family conflict where I was overheated… then speeding… and then even more heated when I got pulled over.  I took it out on the officer by being an asshole.  Even though the officer had nothing to do with my family problems and the stress I was dealing with.  I had a momentary victim mentality.  It was all about me… my stress… my problems… my lack of satisfaction that things were going the way I wanted them too… hell… even my history came into my mind… all the struggles in my life and my family’s lives and then this damn cop has the audacity to compound my misery by not ignoring my speeding and pulling me over and writing me a ticket!  At one point in my angry outburst after being pulled over, the officer put his had on his weapon.   I did not get to apologize to him until my court appearance where I did so and then plead guilty to speeding and paid the full fine.

      Sure, my ancestors were not enslaved (well, at least not in this last 150 years)… and neither me nor my parents had to sit in the back of the bus.  But shouldn’t there be a statute of limitations for feeling victimized when the acts were historical?   Victim mentality is the source of crappy decision making… just like Levar Burton seems to have experienced and I did in my traffic encounter.

      Victim mentality is toxic.  It can be debilitating, but generally it is only a source of crappy decision-making.

      1. wdf1

        Frankly: Burton apologizes on air to the cop for his bad behavior and admits that the cop had probable cause to treat him as a suspect.

        Yes, I did watch the entire video.  Did you?  because I notice you focused on just one part of it.  How about the rest?  Agreed he apologized for one incident, and he says that he reacted poorly because of the cumulative experience of past incidents.  He also highlights being stopped multiple times as a frat member at UCLA.  And then he mentions talking to his son in particular in both clips about dealing with the cops in ways that cannot quite imagine having to discuss with my grown boys.

        1. Frankly

          He was a frat member about 40 years ago.  And by his own admonition he was the only black frat member.  This was in the 1970s about a decade after the Watts Riots and smack in the middle of a giant crack epidemic.  And frankly (because I am) I believe the old Roots and Star Trek star is at least embellishing his story, an at most he is lying about it.  Has anyone else confirmed it, or is it just his word?  We have experienced a great deal of fantastic claims of white on black racism that have proven to be outright lies.

          But even if everything he says about his past is true.  GET OVER IT!  It is 2014.  We have a black President.  Even Burton himself is a multimillionaire.

          And his point that he puts his hands out his window when stopped… I put my hands clearly on the top of the steering wheel.  It is common courtesy.  Cops don’t know why they are pulling over and what might happen.   And my guess is that Mr. Burton drives a very nice car with darkened windows.  It is likely that the cops would not even know what race he was until they got to his window.

        2. wdf1

          I’m inclined to believe him because I found credibility in his ability to be self-reflective — to admit his own shortcomings.  But I see you use that same self-reflection to discredit him.

          Frankly: the old Roots and Star Trek star

          My kids grew up watching him on Reading Rainbow.  He was a role model to them when they were growing up.

    2. TrueBlueDevil

      BP – this is the God’s honest truth. I have a friend in her 40’s, a single mother, who’s parents just paid off her mortgage in the Bay Area 100%. Prior to that, they paid off the ex husband so she could stay in the house. She works part time. Her parents also take her on international vacations 2 or 3 times a year, Mexico, Europe, airfare and accommodations paid.

      We hear several times a year how her sibling is treated better by the parents… of coarse, said sibling lives closer to the parents, makes an effort to see the parents, and has more children for the grandparents to fuss over. But she is mistreated.

  12. Alan Miller

    “Clearly I need to do a more detailed article on unconscious bias.”

    I doubt I’d be able to understand it, due to my unconscious bias.

    PS.  Please also to do an article on “the way the brain processes information shortcuts” and how that relates to the proposed innovation parks.

  13. South of Davis

    David wrote:

    > Because African-Americans constitute 80 percent of those

    > sentenced under federal crack cocaine laws

    What does this have to do with school suspensions in Davis?

    P.S.  If the fact that ~80% of the people put in jail for breaking crack cocaine laws are black is due to racism why are  ~80% of the people put in jail for breaking crystal meth (and insider trading) laws white?

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      It is the unconscious bias of the drug user themselves, who decide to fry their brain with meth.

      I also wondered how we got from the low numerical suspension rate of y-ethnic group, to the arrest rates of a drug that brings a whole lot of violence with it. That’s why we enacted tougher laws, we were scared and troubled at how crack was taking over whole neighborhoods and decimating everything in it’s path. The tough laws, btw, were passed with the support of some black leaders, and we didn’t know that there was any huge ethnic tilt in the usage rates.

      FWIW, last time I went to a courtroom there were a whole lot of white people who were in various stages of being convicted for DUI offenses / wet reckless.

  14. Rich RifkinWDE 73

    If the fact that ~80% of the people put in jail for breaking crack cocaine laws are black is due to racism why are  ~80% of the people put in jail for breaking crystal meth (and insider trading) laws white?

    Come now, South. You are just making sh** up. There is no evidence that 80% of those in jail for meth are white. In fact, it is much lower, though whites may be a plurality, if not a majority.

    Here are the numbers from the US Dept. of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics, Dec. 2011: “Three-quarters (75%) of crack cocaine suspects were black, and less than half of all methamphetamine suspects were white (41%).”

    Source.

  15. South of Davis

    Rich wrote:

    > and less than half of all methamphetamine suspects were white 

    That does not tie in to what I have read and heard (about 10 years a California cop told me that over 90% of the people they arrested for crack were black and that about 90% of the people they arrested for meth were white).

    I don’t want to spend all night on Google but the National Institutes of Health said (in 2007):

    ” Using nationally representative data, and examining the age group most prone to methamphetamine use (ages 18-26), the study found that young adult users are disproportionately white and male and live in the West”

    http://www.nih.gov/news/pr/jun2007/nida-15.htm

    I spent time in Wyoming last summer and in addition to seeing close to a dozen giant bilboards warning of the dangers of meth I talked to some rangers who said it was a big problem for poor whites and fortunately they have not heard of ANY Latinos using meth (there are not many blacks in Wyoming).

    I would be interested if anyone with law enforcement contacts in Yolo County can ask about the race of the typical meth user since the ones I have heard about in the county have been overwhelming white.

    P.S. I clicked the link below pretty sure I would not see a black or latino woman:

    http://www.ifyouonlynews.com/weird-news/woman-wearing-i-heart-crystal-meth-shirt-arrested-for-meth-possession-and-trafficking/

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      SOD, a friend of a friend has a stone business in another state in that area, and a number of years ago he found it very difficult to hire white blue collar workers who weren’t on meth.

      So like your story, this small business owner started hiring Latinos. He said there might be a few beers or mota (weed) on the weekend, but no heavy drug problems. I guess this could be a ruse to hire cheaper workers, but this was the claim.

  16. TrueBlueDevil

    I guess if David is committed to running with this story in whatever light – unconscious bias, DJUSD achievement gap – it would be much more useful if he provided a number of data points.

    1. Suspensions – percentage – for 5 or 7 years (year by year).

    2. Suspensions – numeric – same.

    3. Graduation rate of African American and Latino students at DHS.

    4. The number of AA and Latino students who go on to 4-year institutions.

    5. More direct examples of why these students are being expelled. Names and identifying information can be redacted.

    My guess would be that African American students probably have a good or very good graduation rate at DHS, but there are just a handful of students who have had problems. But this is just a guess.

    If we are to buy David’s ongoing suggestions of unconscious bias, we’d also have to assume a whole lot to Democratic women, and an African American Superintendent, are blind or are also biased. That doesn’t hold water for me, but maybe it does for David.

  17. Rich RifkinWDE 73

    South, that is just more anecdotes–“a cop told me”–and bogus info. The 18-26 year old user data really is quite apart from your claim that 80% of those in jail for meth are white. Moreover, the 18-26 info was likely gathered more than a decade ago.

    I don’t have a problem with anyone saying “I think the numbers are …” My problem is you made it sound as if you were quoting hard data, and really it was not hard and not even close to being correct.

    To the guy who said it was better to hire Latinos for blue collar work because they don’t use meth so much, you might want to look closer at the BJS numbers to see who the biggest users and dealers of meth are today. You might be more than a bit surprised.

    1. David Greenwald

      I agree with you Rich. My anecdotal observations suggest that while there are probably more white meth users than other crime classes, there is a heavy Hispanic group that ends up in the system.

    2. South of Davis

      Rich wrote:

      > Moreover, the 18-26 info was likely gathered more than a decade ago.

      I have actually read multiple sources over the years showing that almost all crack users were black and almost all meth users were white, but as I’m getting older it may have been MORE than 10 years ago (that seems like just yesterday).

      I just went to Wikipedia and read: “The American crack epidemic was a surge of crack cocaine use in major cities across the United States between 1984 and the early 1990s.”

      I did see a TV show on meth withing the past 5 years that mentioned that most users were white, but is may have been a re-run.

      Sorry if my data was old and things have changed, It looks like “Breaking Bad” may have helped to make meth more popular to other races…

      P.S. I bet most people arrested for making moonshine are still white…

      1. Rich RifkinWDE 73

        P.S. I bet most people arrested for making moonshine are still white…

        Since whites make up a majority of the U.S. population, you’re probably right. However, even though most of the popular tales of moonshiners regard Southern white rednecks, I suspect there are, as a share of the population, as many blacks who make tax-free booze as whites. I looked for arrest data on this but could not find any.  I do know that there is a long a history of blacks making moonshine.

        Anecdotally, back in the 1920s and later, where Blues and some jazz and other popular black musical forms were born in black-owned nightclubs and roadhouses, most of the alcohol sold in those establishments was illegal, tax-free booze (aka moonshine) made and sold by black entrepreneurs.  FWIW, basketball star Charles Barkley, who grew up in a small black town in Alabama, has said that his mother and grandmother supported their family by making and selling moonshine. I would suspect this sort of “crime” goes on in black (and white) communities all over the U.S.

  18. Tia Will

    TBD

    Are you implying that a largely white, and disproportionately female, largely Democrat, teaching core is racist?”

    I think that one fundamental error is to focus on the demographic, or the person, rather than focusing on the specific behavior.  What we should be looking at here , as  suggested by Rich, are the statistical facts. Each of us will have our own interpretation of what factors contribute to those facts and the underlying roots. What I think is critical to effecting change is to consider all the possibilities and to work on all in a comprehensive fashion rather than ignoring or minimizing those that we personally do not like or find inconvenient.

    As humans, we do alter our behaviors based on categorizations of other human beings whether we want to believe it or not. I will give two relatively benign examples from my own behavior. I have an African American colleague who frequently uses the expression “girl” in addressing me. I have always interpreted this as a friendly intensifier or way of calling my attention directly to what she is about to say. I have found that sometimes in conversation with her, I use this expression back to her in the same context. I do not use this expression with any of my other friends or colleagues and yet both she and I accept it as a completely normal part of our interactions.

    I have an Asian colleague with whom we great each other with very slight, almost imperceptible bows. This is not part of my cultural heritage and I do not greet my other Asian friends and colleagues with this slight physical gesture which has become an integral part of our relationship invariably followed by a small smile from both of us acknowledging what is unique in our interaction.

    I developed both of these small gestures unknowingly. It was certainly in neither case a deliberate choice to treat them differently because of their race, and yet it both cases it has become an automatic part of my relationship to them which I really had not seen so clearly until now.

    Is it really such a stretch to imagine that if I can develop behaviors that are clearly related to the ethnic or cultural background of the individual with whom I am interacting, that it might be possible for completely well intentioned individuals to develop negative behaviors when responding to individuals of differing ethnic, cultural, or socioeconomic backgrounds ? Can we not consider the adverse effects of the cumulative effect of small but recurring acts of differentiation on the basis of these characteristics without dragging out the label “racist”.

     

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      Instead of serious accusations based one limited fact – and the group analyzed isn’t a large enough sample size – let’s look at two actual cases I have knowledge of, one in education. The legal fears regarding even highly questionable claims of racism are very real.

      A colleague with a small business hired an African American (AA) man. Three workers simultaneously engaged in a horrible encounter, witnessed by multiple, independent individuals. All three were let go, only one was AA. The African American gentleman sued twice. Even though all three individuals were treated exactly the same. This owner had to deal with this for over a year. There are other sordid details I won’t share. My colleague later told me, “This is the second AA I have hired, and the second time I’ve been sued with zero basis.”

      Over a decade ago I volunteered for a school (liberal town, not Davis) which lived with looming lawsuits from one mother and son.

      The student was incredibly disruptive, but because of pending lawsuits, the accepted status was “hands off”. The multi-cultural school had few white students, but the claims were racism. I was invited into a large group meeting of all the teachers, and everyone was told that names couldn’t be used, and no reference to their ethnicity was allowed. The classroom teacher had his class held hostage by the pair, and whenever the student acted out (which was almost daily), the teacher went through an elaborate recount to his whole class why the student was being disruptive, as a CYA method. This could take up to an hour a day, plus time documenting every occurrence. But the child had to stay in the class. All of the teachers were fearful of interaction with this litigious individual.

      The parent was suing the previous school, the school district, and several schools were under a legal mandate not to refer any more African American students to alternative or different schools for misbehavior. I don’t even think suspensions were allowed. I believe the whole basis for ‘hands off’ was that AA students were referred out at a higher rate than other students. Lawyers (it may have been the NAACP) for the plaintiff argued that it didn’t matter what the students behavior was, it was the numerical imbalance which proved racism.

      Several teachers eventually transferred to a predominantly Asian-American school where they felt that students and parents made learning the number one priority, and misbehavior was not tolerated.
       
      I don’t think DJUSD administrators and teachers are naïve, or aren’t aware of these legal implications.

      1. Tia Will

        Miwok

        I do not disagree with your assessment. And I feel that perhaps there would be less discrepancy in opportunity and discipline if everyone were to be more open to the “window of the world” of others.

    2. Rich RifkinWDE 73

      TIA: I have an Asian colleague with whom we great each other with very slight, almost imperceptible bows.

      I have an Asian colleague with whom we great each other with very slight, almost imperceptible karate chops, followed by nearly imperceptible pokes in the eyes with imaginary chopsticks.

      See: http://ia.media-imdb.com/images/M/MV5BMjIyNTk2OTg3M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMTEyMTMyNA@@._V1_SX640_SY720_.jpg

      Oddly, I rarely engage in very slight, almost imperceptible martial arts attacks with my Pacific Islander, Peruvian, Bahamian or Algonquin colleagues. For them I have other subtle greetings, but they are imperceptible to me.

  19. MrsW

    “What we found is that, when people start to look at and hear about the concept of restorative justice as opposed to simply punitive justice, all have had experience with the fact that punitive doesn’t work very well,” Mr. Claassen said.  “So the idea that there are some real live options is exciting.  Even some people who have been most opposed at some point often turn out to be some of the strongest advocates.”

    I’ve been thinking about this post and the ensuing discussion since yesterday.  I wonder what our discussion would have been like, if the essay had been structured differently–if it had started with (1) how teaching students restorative justice principles and practices holds great promise for our schools and community, followed by (2) the exciting hypothesis that long standing race-related institutionalized inequities might be reduced or eliminated if ALL students were shown and taught better social tools, specifically conflict resolution ones, and (3) differential suspension rates between ethnic groups is one place where positive change might be seen fairly quickly.  If the blog had been organized that way (essentially backwards from how its presented), I think the discussion would have gone another way.  I think I would have offered another hypothesis.  If DJUSD adults were modeling and our students were raised within a environment where restorative justice was practiced, everyone would feel safer at school.  If people feel safe, they are more compassionate, more creative,  and achieve more.

     

  20. TrueBlueDevil

    I’m surprised that those who are perpetually aggrieved for various groups when there is the slightest possibility of injustice, ignore the recent bombshell regarding Sony Pictures.

    For those who aren’t aware, Sony had it’s computers hacked, and documents and email are being made public by the boatload. Of particular note was an email exchange between Amy Pascal, one of the heads of Sony, and I believe Rubin (a producer).

    It starts off innocent where one of them tells the other that they will be meeting President Barack Obama, and what should they ask him. The first reply is something like “Can he help fund our next movie?”

    Then an alleged email reply is, “What movies does he watch. DJANGO?” The email reply is then “12 Years a Slave”, and then “Butler”, and so on, back and forth.

    Both have made public apologies where they spin their comments as “insensitive”. **cough**

    I’m guessing the reasons why many liberal groups are avoiding this proven ghastly exchange are various.

    1. Hollywood is liberal, they don’t want to slay their own.

    2. Hollywood gives a lot of money to Democrats.

    3. The two power players who made these remarks are both Jewish American.

    4. Hypocrisy.

    If this is what these leaders of Hollywood actually say via email, guess what they think and say in private.

  21. TrueBlueDevil

    If one is really worried about stereotypes, racism, etc., and there have been numerous discussions over the years saying that Hollywood doesn’t portray minorities in a good light, doesn’t show the breath of minorities contributions in America, then yes, it is quite telling and relevant, given the power and reach of television and movies.

    (The same email hack revealed that 15 of the 16 top paid people in Hollywood are men.)

    LEAKED: Sony Execs Made Racist Jokes About Movies Obama Might Like

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/leaked-sony-emails-show-obama-racist-jokes-2014-12#ixzz3LqeALN00

    ‘Selma’ director calls Sony emails ‘sickening and sad’
    http://www.bostonherald.com/business/media_marketing/2014/12/selma_director_calls_sony_emails_sickening_and_sad

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