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Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Still Reviewing Suspension Policies

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Board of Education
Michael Tomsic

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg School system is still in the process of reviewing its discipline policies to determine why minority students are far more likely to get suspended.

In Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, African-American students are 5.5 times more likely than white students to receive out-of-school suspensions. Hispanic students are 2.6 more likely to get suspended. Students with disabilities also get suspended at a higher rate. 

That’s all according to a report CMS staff and various community agencies presented to the school board in April.

At the board meeting Tuesday night, Chief Accountability Officer Frank Barnes said CMS has updated its code of student conduct to be clear and more consistent with expectations.

Also, he said his staff is still working on a deep dive into the data “to make sure we identify hot spots, not geographic hot spots, but the types of infractions where we’re having a greater diversity of response.”

“That’s where we can begin to unearth what are the types of responses and begin to talk about what are the more appropriate responses,” Barnes said.

He said CMS staff should have more data within the next month. The goal is to maintain safety while also making sure students aren’t being unfairly punished because of a disability or the color of their skin.