Today at 5 p.m., school activists and parents plan to rally outside the San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education (SFUSD) meeting in support of a new motion designed to revamp discipline policies.
The board, which meets at 555 Franklin Street, is expected to introduce the Safe and Supportive Schools Resolution. The resolution specifies that “out-of-school suspensions should only be an absolute last resort,” according to the nonprofit Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth, and that schools are to be required to find alternatives to suspensions.
“More often than not, school suspensions in SFUSD are issued to students of color. African-American and Latino students make up 77 percent of all SFUSD suspensions and 81 percent of all suspensions for “willful defiance,” a category under state education code that includes a wide range of student behavior including coming late to class, talking back, or failing to turn in homework,” writes Samantha Liapes of Coleman Advocates, in a press release publicizing the rally. Coleman Advocates has published a report on SFUSD suspension rates by race, found here. Despite making up just eight percent of the student body, African-American students comprise 50 percent of those suspended.