The recent School Discipline study arose out of the finding that black students in Knox County were 10 times mre likely to be suspended than white students. I actually analyzed discipline data, school by school, by race, gender, free lunch status and offense. The task force did, indeed, find that free lunch status was a significant common factor.
However, if you read the report, you will note that, in spite of the finding about socioeconomic status, its recommendations included several about undoing racism, as well as establishing more consistent guidelines system-wide and helping parents better understand their rights to appeal.
The report was not a finding that racism does not exist. In fact, given our political climate and the makeup of the task force, the recommendations point to a recognition that significant problems related to race do exist.
It's very difficult for members of the dominant culture, and especially those who have a vested interest in maintaining positions of power and/or influence, to recognize - much less acknowledge - that the system in which they're successful might be discriminatory.
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