More black students suspended in Henrico Public Schools - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

More black students suspended in Henrico Public Schools

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) -

The Henrico School Board heard some very interesting facts during a work session, about student suspensions: more black students were suspended last school year than white students.

At any school, the word suspension is a bad thing.

"You have to do very bad to have them suspend you," said Henrico County student, Montasia Braxton.

For Varina High School student, Tameasha Blair, hearing that black kids get suspended more - nearly four times more than white kids - is frustrating.

"It makes me think like, why does it have to be the black kids," said Blair.

Black students may have the highest suspension rate in Henrico Public Schools, but compared to four years ago it is down 20 percent.

And the study found, when it comes to disciplinary action, Henrico County doesn't discriminate. Dr. Eric Jones helped write the study.

"The data clearly shows that a student that is suspended for an offense - whatever the offense was - is going to get the same punishment, regardless of what their socioeconomic level is or what their race is or if they're special education students or not," said Jones.

So how do they fix the problem?

"On the elementary school level, we're really looking at building relationships with students, building relationships with parents, bringing them in and partnering with them in the process," said Jones.

For middle school, the idea is to carry more alternatives - like before and after school detention. And when it comes to high schools moving forward, Henrico schools say they want to take more preventative measures - like anti-bullying efforts and mentoring programs to keep kids out of trouble.

Study showed: Henrico students need more motivation, better teaching, and more parent involvement.

For a look at the data analysis, click here.

Copyright 2012 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.

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