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Full text of "Discipline in Michigan public schools and government enforcement of equal education opportunity"

CP-i x'.MS'i^ 



Discipline in lyiichigan 

Public Schools and 

Government Enforcement of 

Equal Education Opportunity 



3 1428 03492673 9 



/Hichi£|an Advisory Cemmittee to the 
L. $. Commission on Civil Pi£|hts 




ilA .^'"eood Marshall Law Library 
vOTy rT'''"^ of Maryland School of Law 
-5^^ Baltimore, Maryland .^^^^^ 

March 1996 

j^ report of the 94ichigan Advisory Committu to t(U Zlnited States Commission on Civil ^fits prepared for the 
information and consideration of the Commission. This report vHiC be considered by the Commission and the Commission 
■wiU maiic ptiBCic its reaction. The findings and recommendations of this report shoiddnot be attributed to the Commission 
but onCy to the 9^ichigan Sldvisory Committee. 



The United States Commission on Civil Rights 

The United States Commission on Civil Rights, first created by the Civil Rights Act of 1957, 
and reestablished by the United States Commission on Civil Rights Act of 1983, is an 
independent, bipartisan agency of the Federal Government By the terms of the 1983 act, as 
amended by the Civil Rights Commission Amendments Act of 1994, the Commission is charged 
with the following duties pertaining to discrimination or denials of the equal protection of the 
laws based on race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, or national origin, or in the administra- 
tion of justice: investigation of individual discriminatory denials of the right to vote; study and 
collection of information relating to discrimination or denials of the equal protection of the law; 
appraisal of the laws and policies of the United States with respect to discrimination or denials 
of equal protection of the law; maintenance of a national clearinghouse for information 
respecting discrimination or denials of equal protection of the law; investigation of patterns 
or practices of fraud or discrimination in the conduct of Federal elections; and preparation and 
issuance of public service announcements and advertising campaigns to discourage 
discrimination or denials of equal protection of the law. The Commission is also required to 
submit reports to the President and the Congress at such times as the Commission, the 
Congress, or the President shall deem desirable. 

The State Advisory Committees 

An Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights has been established 
in each of the 50 States and the District of Columbia pursuant to section 105(c) of the Civil 
Rights Act of 1957 and section 3(d) of the Civil Rights Commission Amendments Act of 1994. 
The Advisory Committees are made up of responsible persons who serve without compensation. 
Their functions under their mandate from the Commission are to: advise the Commission of 
all relevant information concerning their respective States on matters within the jurisdiction 
of the Commission; advise the Commission on matters of mutual concern in the preparation 
of reports of the Commission to the President and the Congress; receive reports, suggestions, 
and recommendations from individuals, public and private organizations, and public officials 
upon matters pertinent to inquiries conducted by the State Advisory Committee; initiate and 
forward advice and recommendations to the Commission upon matters in which the 
Commission shall request the assistance of the State Advisory Committee; and attend, as 
observers, any open hearing or conference that the Commission may hold within the State. 



Discipline in IMichigan 

Public Schools and 

Government Enforcement of 

Equal Education Opportunity 



/Hichi£|an Advisory Ccmmittee t€ the 
ii. $. Ccmmissicn en Civil Pifi|hts 



March 1996 

J? report of the O^ichigan Advisory Committu to the. Zlnited States Commission on Civil "Rights prtpared for the 
information and consideration of the Commission. This report lOifC 6c considered Sy the Commission and the Commission 
zinitmaiie pubCic its reaction. The findings and recommendations of this report should not 6e attributed to the Commission 
but only to the 94ichi£an Advisory Committee. 



Letter of Transmittal 



Michigan Advisory Committee to the 
U.S. Commission on Civil Rights 

Members of the Commission 

Mary Frances Berry, Chairperson 

Cruz Reynoso, Vice Chairperson 

Carl A. Anderson 

Robert P. George 

A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr 

Constance Homer 

Yvonne Y. Lee 

Russell G. Redenbaugh 

Mary K. Mathews, Staff Director 

The Michigan Advisory Committee submits this report, Discipline in Michigan Public Schools and 
Government Enforcement of Equal Education Opportunity, as part of its responsibility to advise the 
Commission on civil rights issues within the State. The Advisory Committee is indebted to the staff of 
the Midwestern Regional Office for statistical analysis, background research, and editorial assistance 
in the development of this report. The report was unanimously adopted by the Advisory Committee by 
a 13-0 vote. 

The Advisory Committee held a factfinding meeting on August 3 and 4, 1994, to obtain perspectives 
and facts on the administration of discipline in Michigan secondary public schools. Those invited to 
participate included the Governor, the State board of education, government officials, researchers, the 
local school districts of Lansing and Ypsilanti, other local school administrators, community groups, 
and parents. The Michigan Board of Education, the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of 
Education, the Lansing Public School District, and the Ypsilanti Public School District were aff"orded 
the opportunity to review the report prior to its submission to the Commission. 

The Advisory Committee finds minority students in Michigan being suspended and expelled from 
public schools at a disproportionately higher rate than nonminority students. Acknowledging that a 
finding of disproportionate discipline is not tantamount to a judgment of discrimination, such findings 
are disturbing. With productivity — both for individuals and society — related to educational achieve- 
ment, such school practices may lead to a group of citizens less educated, less prepared, and less willing 
to contribute to society. 

Of additional concern to the Advisory Committee is finding that, in the face of this disproportionate 
discipline, neither the State, through the Michigan Department of Education, nor the Federal Govern- 
ment, through the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, has invested time or resources 
to assist local school officials examine this problem and determine if alternative or corrective measures 
could be taken. 

Respectfully, 



Mi^A^^ Jj,. Ji^:^ 






Janice G. Frazier, Ed.D., Chairperson 
Michigan Advisory Committee 



Michigan Advisory Committee to the 
U.S. Commission on Civil Rights 



Janice G. Frazier, Chairperson 
Detroit 

Dennis L. Gibson, Jr. 
Detroit 

Robert J. Gordon 
Detroit 

Ellen G. Ha 
Detroit 

Prince E. Holliday 
West Bloomfield 

Roland Hwang 
North ville 

Peter Kobrak 
Kalamazoo 



Jack Martin 
Bingham Farms 

Marylou Olivarez-Mason 
Lansing 

Noel John Saleh 
Detroit 

Sue Hamilton-Smith 
Detroit 

Larrain Thomas 
Detroit 

Joan Webkamigad 
Lansing 



Contents 



1. Introduction 1 

2. Discipline and Minority Students in Michigan Public Schools 8 

Law & Policy Institute Discipline Study 8 

Advisory Committee Analysis of Minority Discipline 11 

Personal Statements 19 

3. School Discipline and the Community: Local School Districts, 

the Judicial System, and Community Programs 27 

The Lansing Public School District 27 

The Ypsilanti Public School District 33 

The Judicial System and Community Efforts 39 

4. The State of Michigan: Authority and Equal Education Opportunity 44 

School Funding 44 

Board of Education and Department of Education 45 

Michigan Department of Civil Rights 51 

5. The Federal Government and the Enforcement of Nondiscriminatory 

School Discipline 56 

Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education 56 

Community Relations Service, U.S. Department of Justice 62 

6. Discipline and Students with Disabilities 66 

7. Addendum 70 

8. Conclusions and Recommendations 73 

Tables 

1-1. Race/Ethnic Population Rates and Race/Ethnic Public School Enrollment Rates 4 

2-1. Suspension Rates by Racial Group for a Sample of Michigan School Districts in 1990 . . 10 
2-2. Michigan Public School Districts Surveyed by Office for Civil Rights, 

U.S. Depart,ment of Education 12 

2-3. Student Enrollment, Disciplines, and Poverty 13 

2-4. Suspension Rates by Race/Ethnicity 14 

2-5. Regression Results for Minority Suspensions 15 

2-6. Regression Results for Minority Suspension Rates 17 

2-7. Minority Suspension Rates for Surveyed Schools 18 

3-1. Student Race/Ethnicity, Lansing Public Schools 28 

3-2. Suspension Incident Rate and Student Enrollment Rate for the Lansing School District . 30 
3-3. Student Suspension Rate and Student Enrollment Rate for the Lansing School District . 30 

3-4. Racial Composition of Ypsilanti Public Schools 34 

3-5. Comparison of Ypsilanti School Population with Suspension Population 36 

4-1, Real State Spending on the Department of Education, 1990 and 1994 49 

4-2. Education Complaints to the MDCR, 1987-1993 53 

5-1. National Comparison of White and Black Student Suspension Rates 60 

5-2. OCR Survey of Student Discipline, Michigan, 1992 60 



5-3. Poverty Rates for Students in the Kentwood Schools 64 

6-1. Suspension Rates of Nondisabled Students and Disabled Students 69 

Figure 

4-1. Michigan Department of Education 46 

Appendices 

I. Presenters at the Factfinding Meetings 81 

n. Michigan Public School Enrollment by District 83 

III. Lansing School District Suspension Report 95 

rv. Michigan State Board of Education, Guidelines to the Rights and 

Responsibilities of Students 100 

V. Michigan Civil Rights Commission 1968 Report: Discipline and Suspension 

Policy and Practices in Michigan Public Schools Ill 

VI. Letter of Understanding between Kentwood School District and Concerned 

Students and Parents 118 

VII. Public Act 328 131 

VIII. Violence and Vandalism Study Group Recommendations 134 



Chapter 1 

Introduction 



In releasing the 1993 U.S. Commission on Civil 
Rights monitoring report, Enforcement of 
Equal Employment and Economic Opportunity 
Laws and Programs Relating to Federally As- 
sisted Transportation Projects, former Chair- 
person Arthur A. Fletcher spoke of the need for 
vigorous civil rights enforcement to ensure do- 
mestic racial peace. 

If we as a Nation are going to address the pervasive 
causes of racial tension and urban unrest, and put an 
end to the cycle of rioting that has most recently shaken 
cities like Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Washington, D.C., 
a vigorous civil rights enforcement effort is critically 
needed.' 

William J. Bennett, former Secretary of Educa- 
tion, often stressed the importance of education, 
and wrote in support of the responsibility society 
has in providing equal educational opportunity. 

Plato taught that a civilization faces one fundamental 
task above all other the upbringing, nurture, and pro- 
tection of its children. This solemn commitment must 
be upheld in special measure with respect to those in 
our society with special needs. 

In education, the primary responsibility for meeting 
those needs rightly belongs with State and local au- 
thorities. But the Federal government can— indeed, the 
Federal government must— assist those efforts. It 
must, for example, ensure equal access and opportunity 
in education for all its citizens. It should provide na- 
tional leadership by focusing the country's attention on 



quality education. It should serve as a clearinghouse of 
important research and statistical findings. And it 
should provide assessments on educational programs 
which will improve educational performance.^ 

At the Federal level, the Office for Civil Rights 
(OCR), U.S. Department of Education, enforces 
four Federal statutes that prohibit discrimination 
in programs and activities receiving Federal fi- 
nancial assistance. Discrimination on the basis of 
race, color, and national origin is prohibited by 
title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; sex dis- 
crimination is prohibited by title IX of the Educa- 
tion Amendments of 1972; discrimination on the 
basis of disability is prohibited by section 504 of 
the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; and age discrimi- 
nation is prohibited by the Age Discrimination 
Act of 1975. 

The principal enforcement activity of OCR is 
the investigation and resolution of complaints. In 
addition OCR addresses potential systemic prob- 
lems by conducting compliance reviews of se- 
lected institutions.^ On December 11, 1990, OCR 
released its "National Enforcement Strategy" for 
FY 1991 and 1992. In that strategy, OCR set out 
its enforcement goals for the next 2 years, and 
included six priority issues for special emphasis. 
One of those issues was discrimination on the 
basis of race and national origin in student disci- 
pline.* 

The State of Michigan has two agencies that 
deal with civil rights enforcement in education. 
The Michigan Department of Civil Rights is 



U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, news release, Jan. 11, 1993. 

U.S. Department of Education. "Educating StudenU With learning Problems: A Shared Respomiibility,' foreword by 
William J. Bennett, November 1986. •- ^. ^ 

OfTioe for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education. 'Education and Title VI.* 



mandated by law to protect the rights of students 
and has the authority to receive and investigate 
complaints in education where discrimination 
based on race, sex, religion, national origin, age, 
marital status, or disability is alleged. The Mich- 
igan Department of Education accepts complaints 
from parents and guardians of children in public 
schools. Among the common categories of com- 
plaints are: behavioral problems, discipline, sus- 
pension, and expulsion. 

Charles Vergon reported that in 14 out of the 
17 years since the inception of the Gallup Educa- 
tional Survey, student discipline has ranked as 
the single greatest public concern regarding our 
nation's schools. A succession of studies, initially 
focusing on school disruption in the late 1960s, 
then student rights in the early 1970s, and, more 
recently, on violence and vandalism has made 
school discipline a staple of our public debates on 
education.^ 

Michigan ranks sixth in the Nation in its reli- 
ance on suspensions and expulsions as a disciplin- 
ary tool.^ Although there is no recent data to 
indicate Michigan's current rating, anecdotal tes- 
timony would suggest that it has not improved. 
Between 1978 and 1986, school suspensions in the 
State increased by 40 percent. African American 
and Hispanic students in Michigan were sus- 
pended during this period at much higher rates 
than whites. 

Between 1976 and 1986, the suspension rate 
for African Americans was 167 per 1,000 stu- 
dents; for Hispanics the rate was 100 per 1,000 
students. The rate of suspensions for whites was 
56 per thousand students. American Indian and 
Asian students were suspended at rates lower 
than whites.^ One recent local study showed this 
pattern continuing. In the 1990-1991 school year, 
Ypsilanti black students, who are one-third of the 



school population, accounted for nearly two- 
thirds of the disciplinary suspensions.* 

There are two government agencies charged 
with collecting data on school discipline; those 
data are sparse and virtually nonexistent. Section 
388.1757 of the Michigan State School Aid Act 
requires "each district . . . furnish the department 
[of education] the information . . . that is neces- 
sary for the preparation of suspended or expelled 
students in grades K to 12 as required by section 
307 of the 1991-92 department of education ap- 
propriations act** In addition, OCR is charged 
with collecting survey data from districts in the 
State on the type of discipline and the race of the 
disciplined student 

Although public education has always received 
a great deal of attention, the interest has in- 
creased in recent years as economic and social 
concerns have increased over the role of public 
education and its cost. In 1989 President Bush 
and the Nation's Governors identified six m^or 
goals that public education should attain by the 
year 2000. The six goals are: 

• Goal 1 — readiness: All U.S. children will 
start school ready to learn. 

• Goal 2 — high school completion: The high 
school graduation rate will increase to at least 
90 percent. 

• Goal 3 — academic outcomes: U.S. students 
leaving grades 4, 8, and 12 will have demon- 
strated competency in important subjects such 
as english, mathematics, science, history, and 
geography; in addition, students will be pre- 
pared for responsible and productive lives as 
citizens and employees. 

• Goal 4 — science and mathematics: U.S. stu- 
dents will be the first in the world in science 
and mathematics. 



Charles B Ver(?»n. "Di.sciplinary Actions in Michigan Public Schools: Nature, Prevalence and Impact 1978-1986,* mimeo. 
Law and Policy Inslitule, University of Michigan, unpublished (hereafter cited as Michigan Disciplinary Actions). 

Michi(;aa Disaplinary Actions, p 2. 

Michigan Disciplinary Actions, p. 3. 

Janet Miller, "Blacks still suspended more oflen,' Ann Ar&orA'eu's, Sept. 10, 1992, p. CI. 

Michigan State School Aid Act. Mich. Corap. Laws } 388.1757 (1991). 



• Goal 5 — adult literacy: Every adult American 
will be literate, possessing the knowledge and 
skills necessary for competing in a global econ- 
omy and for exercising the rights and responsi- 
bilities of citizenship. 

• Goal 6 — safe, drug-free schools: Every U.S. 
school will be free of drugs and violence and 
will offer a safe environment conducive to 
learning. 

This is the Michigan Advisory Committee's sec- 
ond examination of educational issues in the 
State in recent years. Earlier the Advisory Com- 
mittee examined the issue of minority dropouts in 
it report. Civil Rights Implications of Minority 
Student Dropouts, released in March 1990. In 
that report it was suggested that a relationship 
existed between unfair discipline practices to- 
ward minority students and minority dropouts. 

Many reasons for the high rate of minority student 
dropouts were advanced by forum participants and in 
various research reports submitted to the Advisory 
Committee. Reasons cited were segregation, unfair dis- 
ciphne practices, curriculum bias, teenage pregnancy, 
low achievement and self esteem, shortage of qualified 
teachers, and poverty. '° 

Subsequent to the Advisory Committee's re- 
port, a study by the National Center for Education 
Statistics found significantly higher dropout rates 
for minority students. The dropout rate for non- 
Hispanic whites is 7.7 percent, while the dropout 
rate for non-Hispanic blacks is 13.7 percent; for 
Hispanics it is 29.4 percent ' ' However, the report 
also notes that although the dropout rate for 
blacks was higher than the rate for whites. When 
comparing blacks and whites by income level, 



there were no differences between dropout 
rates. '^ 

The issue of out-of-school discipline and the 
loss of academic work and its impact on minority 
students also affects minorities and their partici- 
pation in higher education. Suspensions and the 
loss of academic work handicap students in their 
opportunity to prepare and succeed at the college 
level. Although the proportion of African Ameri- 
cans who had completed 4 or more years of college 
rose from 4 percent in 1970 to 8 percent in 1980, 
more recent studies show a widening gap in mi- 
nority and nonminority college graduation rates. 

Black college-student retention communicatc[s] a . . . 
dismal situation. By 1991, . . . while approximately half 
of White college students were graduating six yeeirs 
after entering college, barely 25 percent of all success- 
fully recruited minority students were doing so.*^ 

The issue of discipline and violence in the pub- 
lic schools is a growing concern in many commu- 
nities. In a 1993 survey of parent and student 
perceptions of the learning environment at school, 
overall American parents and youth express 
mildly positive opinions regarding the learning 
environments at the schools with which they have 
personal experience.'* 

When parents were asked about the adequacy 
of disciphne at their children's schools, an 88 
percent majority agreed that the child's teachers 
maintain good discipline in the classroom, and a 
91 percent majority said the principal maintains 
good disciphne. Among students, 81 percent ex- 
pressed at least mild agreement that their teach- 
ers maintained good discipline in the classroom, 



10 Report of the Michigan Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civi] Rights, CwU Rights Implications of Minority 
Student Dropouts. March 1990, p. 25. 

11 U.S. Department of Education. OfTice of Educational Research and Improvement, National Center for Education Statistics, 
Dropout Rates m the United Stales: 1992. September 1993, p. 16. 

12 Ibid., pp. 17-18. 

13 Peter Kohrak. 'Black Student Retention in Predominantly White Regional Universities: The Politics of Faculty Involve- 
ment," Journa/ o/"N«gnD Education, vol. 61, no. 4 (1992), p. 509. 

14 U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement, National Center for Eihication and 
Statistics, 'Parent and Student Perceptions of the Learning Envirooment at School,' September 1993, p. 2. 



TABLE 1-1 

Race/Ethnic Population Rates and Race/Ethnic Public School Enrollment Rates 





Public school enroflment 


State population 


White 


77.8% 


82.2% 


African American 


17.1 


13.9 


Hispanic 


2.9 


2.2 


Asian 


1.3 


1.1 


American Indian 


0.9 


0.6 



Source: Midwsstorn Regional Office, USCCR. 



while 89 percent agreed that their principal main- 
tained good order at the school.'^ 

Some studies suggest that discipline issues in 
the secondary schools have their roots in the ear- 
lier grades. A longitudinal study relating early 
school behaviors to later school outcomes was 
reported by Spivack and Cianci. The study re- 
vealed a consistent pattern of significant associ- 
ation between behavior in the early grades and 
discipline in the later grades. With regard to 
school conduct disturbance, the dominant predic- 
tors were early classroom disturbance, impa- 
tience, and disrespect Euid defiance.'® 

Michigan Demographics 

The population of Michigan is 9,295,407.*' Al- 
most 20 percent of the population is minority. 
There are 1,292,208 ( 13.9 percent) African Ameri- 
cans; 202,347 (2.2 percent) Hispanics; 105,101 
(1 percent) Asians and Pacific Islanders; and 
56,298 (fewer than 1 percent) American Indians. 

There are 562 public school districts in Michi- 
gan with an enrollmentof 1,633,981 children.'* Of 
these, 1,258,734 are white; 275,386 are African 
American; 47,265 are Hispanic; 20,933 are 
AsiarL'Pacific Islander; and 13,988 are American 
Indian. Another 21,675 are classified as other. A 



listing of all students by race, ethnicity, and 
school corporation is in appendix 11. 

The enrollment rates of public school children 
diverge ftx)m State population percentages. All 
minority groups make up a larger percentage of 
public school enrollment than their percentage of 
the State population. African Americans, who are 
13.9 percent of the State population, are 17.1 
percent of the students in public schools. Asians, 
Hispanics, and American Indians also have 
higher public school enrollment rates than popu- 
lation rates. Whites, the largest group in the 
State, are the only group with a student enroll- 
ment rate lower than their percentage of the pop- 
ulation. Whites are 82 percent of the State's resi- 
dents, but are 78 percent of the students in public 
schools. 

The Factfinding Meeting 

This study by the Advisory Committee to the 
U.S. Commission on Civil Rights examines 
whether there is disproportionate discipUne of 
minority students in public schools and assesses 
the enforcement efforts of State and Federal 
agencies to ensure eqiial educational opportunity 
in this regard. The central issue of this report is 
whether minorities are being adversely afTected 



15 Ibid. 



G. Spivack and N. Cianci. "HiRh Risk Early Behavior Pattern and LaUr DeUnquency," Ji. Burchard & SH. Burchard (Eda) 
in Prevention of Delinqurnl Behavior. Beverly HilU, CA; Sa^ Publications, 1992. 

1990 public census. 

State orMichigan, Inrormaimn Ccnter/DMB. frona U.S. Bureau of Census and National Center for Education Statistics. 



in the discipline practices of the Michigan pubHc 
schools. 

In examining this issue the Advisory Commit- 
tee uses the term disproportionate in relationship 
to discrimination in the following sense. Dispro- 
portionate refers to a situation where the ratio of 
actions taken with respect to one group compared 
to that group's population differs significantly 
from the ratio of similar actions taken with re- 
spect to another group compared to its population. 
Evidence of discrimination is not implied by ob- 
servations of disproportionate treatment*^ 

The study is fourfold: 

• First, determine the extent that minority 
students are being disproportionately sus- 
pended and expelled from public schools. 

• Second, examine the actions of the State 
government with respect to: ( 1) the collection of 
discipline data, (2) studies of disproportionate 
discipline, (3) compliance reviews of discipline 
in school corporations, and (4) investigations 
and resolutions of individual complaints of dis- 
parate discipline. 

• Third, examine the actions OCRhas taken on 
the issue of discipline in Michigan with respect 
to: (1) the collection of discipHne data, (2) an 
overall study of disproportionate discipline, 
(3) compliance reviews of discipline in local 
school districts, and (4) investigations and res- 
olutions of individual complaints of disparate 
discipline. 

• Fourth, examine ancillary problems related 
to this issue, specifically matters of disability 
and discipline, the use of the judiciary to en- 
force school conduct, discipline issues and solu- 
tions at the local level, and community con- 
cerns. 

The issue of school discipline is a matter of real 
concern in many communities. The issue is often 
frustrating and contentious among different seg- 
ments in a community — all equally concerned 
about quality education. Opinion is divided on the 
optimal approach to disciplining students, some 



arguing for more punishment and others calling 
for more prevention. The Advisory Committee 
conducted a 2-day factfinding meeting. Three 
half-day sessions were held in two different loca- 
tions. The first day's meeting was in Lansing, 
Michigan, on August 3, 1994, the second session 
was held in Ypsilanti on August 4, 1994. 

Those invited to testify before the Advisory 
Committee included current officials with the 
OCR, members of the State board of education 
and the Michigan Department of Education, 
school superintendents, school officials, educa- 
tors, and parents firom the local school corpora- 
tions of Lansing and Ypsilanti, juvenile court 
judges. State legislators, researchers, and com- 
munity groups. To ensure that a balanced presen- 
tation was received by the Advisory Committee, 
presenters included State legislators fi-om both 
poUtical parties, school officials who implement 
disciplinary policy, individuals in the community 
affected by those policies and decisions, and a 
public session at which anyone could address the 
Advisory Committee. An agenda of presenters is 
in appendix L 

Dorothy Beardmore, a member of the Michigan 
Board of Education, recounted some of the recent 
debate in the State on school discipline and the 
State's recent political decision. She offered her 
opinion that the recent direction of school disci- 
pline in Michigan is more focused on punishment 
than on prevention. 

There are some differences of philosophy . . . between a 
punitive approach and a preventative approach, and 
much of the legislation becomes focused more on pun- 
ishment. For example, there was a time when there 
were school safety grants that were permitted by the 
legislature. The State board of education's position was 
that the focus of those grants should be for preventing 
violence and misdemeanors in the schools and that it 
should not be spient for punitive methods and it should 
not be spent — as a most typical example at that time 
which was — for metal detectors. So what happens in 
the p>olitical process? The next year people who wanted 
to have metal detectors and police officers as the pri- 
mary focus of preventing disciplinary problems have 



19 See U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Report of the United States Commission on Civil Rights on the Civil Rights Act of 1990, 
July 1990. 



convinced enough legislators that that was the way to 
go. Therefore, the next year the school safety grants 
were speafically permitted by legislation to cover metal 
detectors. Since that time that is one of the primary 
expenditures for attempting to solve problems in edu- 
cation. The school safety grants have long disappeared 
and there is not State funding in that same way that 
there once was.^ 

Wilbur Brookover, a researcher of education 
and retired professor of education at Michigan 
State, claimed that discipline arguments center- 
ing on prevention measures versus punishment 
were both faulty. From his 50 years of research, 
he offered that in spite of the evidence and dem- 
onstration in a few schools that essentially all 
children can learn and will learn what they are 
expected to learn and learn what they are taught, 
schools continue the practice of discrimination in 
the instructional programs.^' He believed that is 
this discrimination that causes discipline prob- 
lems in the schools. 

I would speculate that a major factor in the problems of 
discipline and suspension grow out of the discrimina- 
tory practices of public education There is extensive 

discrimination in educational opportunities and pro- 
grams which is characteristic of almost all schools and 
almost all school systems in the United States. ... I 
submit that the differentiation of school programs and 
the placement of many students in inferior low level 
instructional programs produce the problems of disci- 
pline and suspension we have been talking about. . . . 
The disciplinary problems are almost exclusively 
among those students who are in whatever may be 
called the lower academic programs.^ 

Chapter 2 of this report defines the issue of 
school discipline and presents statistics on disci- 
pline in the Michigan public schools. The first 
data set is a 1987 study by the Law and Policy 



Institute of the University of Michigan. This is 
followed by an Advisory Committee analysis of 
data from an OCR survey during the 1991-1992 
school year. Both analyses present evidence that 
minorities, and in particular African American 
students, are disproportionately disciplined in 
Michigan public schools. It concludes with ex- 
cerpts of personal stories and experiences from 
parents, community members, administrators, 
and students of how the administration of discipl- 
ine has affected the students and their famiUes. 
The stories and accounts highlight the complex- 
ity, seriousness, and cost of the issue in personal 
terms. 

Chapter 3 explores the experiences of two local 
school corporations in Michigan with regard to 
the discipline issue, as well as perspectives from 
a county juvenile court, and alternative education 
programs in the area. The two school districts are 
Lansing and Ypsilanti. The districts were not 
selected because of any particular problems these 
corporations had in the area of school discipline, 
but because both had a large percentage of stu- 
dents from several racial £md ethnic backgrounds 
and significantly large minority populations. 

Chapter 4 examines the structure and author- 
ity of both the Michigan Board of Education and 
the Department of Education. Data collection ef- 
forts by these agencies and their roles in ensuring 
that disciphne is race neutral are examined. In 
addition, the role of the Michigan Department of 
Civil Rights is explored, including the number of 
education complaints it has acted upon in recent 
years and the outcome of those investigations.^ 

Chapter 5 looks at the role of the Federal Gov- 
ernment in school discipline. Most of this exam- 
ination centers on the Office for Civil Rights of 
the Department of Education. The complaint pro- 
cedure, investigations, and resolutions are 



Testimony before the Michigan Advi.sory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, factrinding meeting, Lansing, 
MI. Aug. .3. Ann Arbor, MI. Aug 4, 1994. transcript, pp. 20-21 {hereafter dt«d as Transcript). 

In support of this a-sscrtion. Brookover cited research that showed cases of minority students from lower socioeconomic 
backgrounds, who were afTordcd appropriate college preparatory opportunities, graduating at the same level and going to 
college at nearly the same level as students from the higher socioeconomic strata. (See Transcript, p. 73.) 

Transcript, pp. 49. 62. and 5.3 

The Michigan Department of Education was given the opportunity to review a draft of this report prior to its publication. 



analyzed. The Community Relations Service 
(CRS) of the Department of Justice is also men- 
tioned in this chapter, as this agency has the 
authority to mediate racial and ethnic disputes in 
local communities, and this authority extends to 
local school corporations. The CRS has success- 
fully mediated at least one racial issue in a public 
school in Michigan in recent years.^* 

Chapter 6 addresses an ancillary issue to the 
matter of disproportionate minority discipbne: 
the relationship of disability to school suspen- 
sions and expulsions. The chapter presents both 
statistics and perspectives on the association of 
discipline and disability. 

Chapter 7 is an addendum to the report con- 
taining significant developments subsequent to 



the factfinding. These developments include the 
enactment of State legislation regarding school 
suspension and expulsion policy, the recommen- 
dations of the State's department of education's 
task force on school violence and vandalism, and 
recent initiatives by the Michigan Department of 
Civil Rights to focus on school discipbne issues. 

Chapter 8 presents the Advisory Committee's 
findings and its recommendations. The Michigan 
Advisory Committee is structured to be diverse, 
representing a broad spectrum of political views, 
and independent of any national, State, or local 
administration or policy group. Its findings and 
recommendations are made in a genuine spirit of 
cooperation and bipartisanship. 



24 The OfTice for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, was given the opportunity to review a draR of this report prior 
to pubUcation. 



Chapter 2 

Discipline and Minority Students in Michigan Public Schools 



Robert Schiller, superintendent of public in- 
struction, State of Michigan, said, T think we 
all realize that students in Michigan schools 
are involved in acts that require disciplinary ac- 
tion; particularly for violent acts."' The concern of 
the State board of education is that the staff and 
students of school districts be able to survive and 
educate in a safe environment, free from harm, 
and free from any serious impingement on the 
educational process. Schiller supported 
Brookover's claim that students who succeed in 
school are least likely to engage in violence at the 
school, "^e know that children who succeed at 
school are at least risk for violence than their 
nonsuccessful peers."^ But he added that schools 
alone cannot solve society's problems, and when it 
comes to disciplining students "schools have very 
few tools and policies available to them in order to 
deal with those incidents and those students who 
cause concern."^ 

Percy Bates, director of Programs for Educa- 
tion Opportunity, testified that his examination 
of data shows minority students in Michigan 
schools being disciplined at higher rates thsin 
nonminorities. Further, since it is minority males 
who are incurring the most discipline, to Bates, 
"It is quite clear that we have to be able to find a 
way to cut through this issue that seems to run 
through many of our schools."* In Bates view, the 
issues of school discipline and suspensions are a 



particularly timely subject, given the discussions 
about educational quality. 

We spend a lot of time talking about achievement gaps. 
But it is pretty clear that one cannot be educated if he 
or she is not in school. When we take all of the reasons 
and put them together as to why some children are not 
in school and count those numbers, I think it becomes 
readily apparent that we are going to have a serious 
problem educating the children . . . because many of 
them are not there.^ 

Law & Policy Institute Discipline Study 

Using data collected from school districts 
across the country by the Office for Civil Rights of 
the U.S. Department of Education, the Law & 
Policy Institute studied the nature, prevalence, 
and impact of various disciplinary measures for 
the State of Michigan and for selected samples of 
Michigan public school districts between 1978 
and 1986. Included in the 1986 sample were 115 
Michigan school districts including urban, subur- 
ban, and rural systems. The Detroit Public 
Schools, because of its uniqueness in size and the 
changes in how it defined suspensions over the 
period studied, was excluded from both the state 
projections and district analyses. Similar analy- 
ses of the nature, prevalence and impact of sus- 
pensions and expulsions were carried out for the 
Midwest and the United States, allowing compar- 
isons between Michigan's practices and broader 
regional and national patterns.^ 



TeMtimDny before the Michigan Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, ractflnding meeting, Lansing, 
Ml. Aug .3, 1994, transcript, pp 9-10 (hereafter cited as Transcnpt). 



2 


Ibid., 


p. 14 


3 


Ibid. 


,p U. 


4 


Ibid., 


. p 469. 


6 


Ibid., 


, p 467. 



According to Charles Vergon, author of the 
study, in 1986, and each year since 1978, over 
100,000 Michigan elementary and secondary 
school students became enmeshed in disciplinary 
proceeding leading to corporal punishment or sus- 
pension. This resulted in a Michigan suspension 
rate of nearly 70 students per 1,000, as contrasted 
to a national rate of about 50. Michigan students 
were 44 percent more likely to experience suspen- 
sion than were their classmates nationwide.' 

According to Vergon, the State of Michigan has 
a very high suspension rate, and minority stu- 
dents are suspended from public schools in the 
State at much higher rates than white students. 

Compared with the other 50 states and the District of 
Columbia, only five states suspended a greater propor- 
tion of their school-age population than did Michigan. 
These states were Maryland, Florida, Louisiana, Dela- 
ware, and South Carolina. By contrast three states — 
Texas, North Dakota, and South Dakota — suspended 
fewer than 15 students per thousand. Even within 
Michigan, substantial variations emerged among the 
114 districts studied in depth. Although the suspension 
rate for the entire state was 70 students per thousand, 
it ranged from a low of in four districts to a high of 311 
students per thousand in one community. A total of 17 
distncts reported rates in excess of 100 students per 
thousand. Further analysis revealed that about one- 
fifth of the districts, enrolling 22 percent of the stu- 
dents, accounted for nearly 50 percent of all the stu- 
dents suspended in 1986. 

This research also examined the impact of disciplinary 
actions on various student populations to ascertain if 
some were at greater risk of suspension. . . . We found 
that in Michigan, like the U.S. and the Midwest, males 
accounted for approximately 7 of every 10 suspensions. 
Minority students as a group, and African Amencan 
and Hispanic students in particular were suspended at 
higher rates than whites in Michigan. The suspension 
rate for minorities was 141 as compared to a rate of 56 
students f)er thousand for non-minority students. By 



far the highest incidence of suspension involved Afri- 
can Americans who were suspended at a rate of 167 
students per thousand, followed by Hisp>anic8 at a rate 
of 100 per thousand. American Indian £md Asian stu- 
dents were suspended at rates lower than whites. Afri- 
can Americans also had the highest suspension rates in 
the United States, although because of the high inci- 
dence of suspension in the state, Michigan blacks were 
almost twice as likely to experience suspension as their 
black counterparts nationwide. 

While the suspension rate for African Americans rose 
by a substantial 61 percent between 1978 and 1986, the 
relatively small Asian population registered the largest 
increase in suspension rate, a jump of 148 percent over 
the 8-year period. The suspension rate for Hispanics 
also increased by more than 100 percent, although 
most of the increase was attributable to a sharp rise in 
a single 2-year period between 1984 and 1986. Even 
with these trends, the larger picture remained rela- 
tively constant. In each of the four years examined, 
Michigan suspended a greater proportion of its enrolled 
student population than did districts in the nation, and 
in four of the five years at a rate greater than districts 
in the Midwest.* 

Vergon told the Advisory Committee that the 
Institute is extending the analysis into the 1990s. 
Direct comparisons between the two studies are 
precluded because of differences in the sampling 
techniques employed by the Federal Government. 
Still, a pattern of high minority discipline rates is 
observed in both studies. 

The study of 144 Michigan districts ... for which data 
are available for 1990, reveals the continuing persis- 
tence of high levels of suspension and disparities at 
least within this sample of districts. They reported an 
overall suspension rate of 63 per 1,000 students. Afri- 
can American students were more than twice as likely 
to experience suspension as their white classmates: 117 
as contrasted to 52 students per 1,000. Suspension 
rates by racial groups and gender for 1990 are 



Charles B. Vergon, Law & Policy Institute, Statement to the Michigan Advisoiy Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil 
Rights, Ann Arbor, ML Aug. 4, 1994, p. 1. 

Ibid., p. 2. 

Ibid., pp. 2-3. 



TABLE 2-1 

Suspension Rates by Racial Group for a Sample of Michigan School Districts in 1990 



Sutp«n*ion rat* p«r thousand ttudanli 




American Indian 



Hispanic 



Minority 



Source: Vergon. Charles B., from OCR sample of 144 public school districts. 



displayed in (table 2-1] for this group of Michigan dia- 
trictB. As in pnor periods and samples, the rate of 
suspensions varied substantially from district to dis- 
tnct. In 1990 suspension rates ranged from to in 
excess of 300 students per 1,000, with 18 districts sus- 
pending over 100 students per 1,000. . . . The pattern 
suggests that while a significant number and propor- 
tion of all districts operate with little reliance on sus- 
pensions, a small cluster of distncts suspend in excess 
of 1 in every 10 students at least once each academic 
year." 

The reasons for the racial disparity are argu- 
able, according to Vergon. His research notes 



three generally proffered causes for the dis- 
proportionality in terms of suspension: (1) differ- 
ential behavior on the peirt of students from 
groups with low socioeconomic status, (2) differ- 
ential treatment by school staff or by organiza- 
tional and institutional policies, and (3) inconsis- 
tent applications of school procedures or niles. 

Roberta Stanley, director of the Tenure and 
Federal Relations Commission, Michigan Depart- 
ment of Education, advised the Advisory Commit- 
tee that this study might be flawed. Responding 
to a question that the study demonstrates a prob- 



9 Ibid, p. 3. 



10 



lem with respect to disparate treatment, Stanley 
told the Advisory Committee: 

In reviewing that [study], one it is somewhat dated 
today, but two, we . . . wondered about the sample from 
which that study was drawn. Ninety percent of the 
pupils in the State of Michigan are in 10 percent of the 
districts. So you can ask [whether] the district, depend- 
ing on the sample, and the community takes on differ- 
ent tenors based on the leadership of the community at 
any given time. As I mentioned, during difficult eco- 
nomic times, if a plant had closed in a district, for 
instance, in Ypsilanti we have had that, ... it causes 
great disruption in the community. And those factors 
can come into play. Otherwise there would not be those 
kind of difficulties present in the schools or on the 
streets. The character of our State is very disparate 
from one end to the other. '° 

Advisory Committee Analysis of 
Minority Discipline 

The Advisory Committee analyzed the most 
recent discipline survey data from the Office for 
Civil Rights to determine the impact of school 
discipline on minorities. The survey, concluded in 
January, 1993, covered 112 Michigan public 
school corporations and included each school in 
the surveyed district. The 1991-1992 school year 
was the year of record for the survey. T^e list of 
school corporations in the OCR survey is in table 
2-2." 

The discipline section of the survey asked for 
the total enrollment by race/ethnicity and gender, 
corporal punishment administered by race/ 
ethnicity and gender, and suspensions by 
race/ethnicity and gender. Since corporal punish- 
ment is not allowed in Michigan public schools, 
only suspension data was analyzed. In addition, 



the survey asked for the number of total disabled 
students at the school and the total of corporal 
punishments and suspensions administered to 
this group. Discipline meted out to disabled stu- 
dents was not broken down by race and ethnicity. 

The number of suspensions and student popu- 
lation by race and ethnicity were tabulated for 
each school district in the survey. The race EUid 
ethnic categories included white (not Hispanic), 
black (not Hispanic), American Indian (not Hispa- 
nic), Asian/Pacific Islander (not Hispanic), other 
(not Hispanic), and Hispanic. For the purposes of 
this data analysis, students classified as other 
were considered minorities. Added to the data 
were the number of students in each racial/ethnic 
category within the school district defined as be- 
ing in poverty status. ^^ Poverty is an arbitrary 
measure of the quality of life and was included as 
a proxy for socioeconomic status.*^ The percent- 
age of persons below the poverty line in Michigan 
is 14.3." 

Using this data set, four ratios were calculated 
for each school district: 

• the percentage of minority students in the 
school district, 

• the percentage of suspensions given to minor- 
ity students, 

• the percentage of students in poverty, 

• the percentage of minority students in pov- 
erty, 

• the percentage of suspensions given to black 
students, and 

• the percentage of black students in poverty. 

There was a wide range among the school dis- 
tricts in the number of students, the number of 



10 Transcript, pp. 45-46. 



11 U.S. Department of Education, OfTice for Civil Rights, Fall 1992 Elementary and Secondary School Civil Rights Compliance 
Report and Individual School Report: ED 102, 0MB no. 1870-0550. 

12 Poverty status data was obtained from the Michigan Information Center/DMB. 

13 Relying on studies that found the average family in the United States spent about a third of its income on food, when the 
Federal Government decided to begin measuring poverty in the 19608 it calculated the cost of buying food that met a 
predetermined nutritional standard and multipUed that cost by 3. 

14 U.S. Department of Commerce, Sutistical Abstract of the United SUtes, 1992, table do. 723. Percent of Persons Below 
Poverty Level, by SUte: 1984 to 1990, p. 458. 



11 



TABLE 2-2 

Michigan Public School Districts Surveyed by Office for Civil Rights. 

U.S. Department of Education 



Alcona 

Almont 

Alpena 

Ann Arbor 

Bangor 

Baraga 

Bark River Harris 

Bath 

Beecher 

Belding 

Benzie 

Berrien Springs 

Big Rapids 

Birmingham 

Biissfield 

Bloomfield 

Brandywine 

Bridgman 

Brimley 

Buena Vista 

Burt Township 

Byron 

Byron Center 

Cadillac 

Calumet 

Caro 

Carrollton 

Carson City Crystal 

Cassopolis 

Central Montcalm 

Charlotte 

Chassell Twp 

Climax 

Constantine 

Delton Kellogg 

Dowagiac 

East China Twp 



East Detroit 

East Lansing 

Easton Rapids 

Engadine 

Falmouth 

Farmington 

Fenville 

Ferry 

Flint City 

Fraser 

Ganges 

Garden City 

Gobies 

Greenville 

Hancock 

Harbor Springs 

Hartland 

Haslett 

Hillsdale 

Hott 

Hudsonville 

Huron Valley 

Ida 

Lake Orion 

Lakeview 

Lapeer 

Lawton 

Les Cheneaux 

Leslie 

Lincoln Park 

L'Anse Creuse 

Manistee 

Marcellus 

Mar Lee 

Marlerte 

Mason 

Whitmore Lake 



Michigan City 

Millford 

Mio Au Sable 

Mona Shores 

Montague 

Morenci 

Morley Stanwood 

Munising 

New Buffalo 

Oakridge 

Okemos 

Oxford 

Peck 

Petoskey 

Pinconning 

Pittsford 

Portage 

Ravenna 

Reeths Puffer 

Riverview 

Rockford 

Roseville 

Rudyard 

Saginaw 

Saline 

Shepard 

South Redford 

Southfield 

St. Joseph 

Sturgis 

Swan Valley 

Thornapple 

Trenton 

Van Dyke 

Vassar 

Walled Lake 

Woodhaven 



Source: Midwestern Regional Office. USCCR, from Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, January, 1993. 



12 



TABLE 2-3 

Student Enrollment. Disciplines, and Poverty 





Mean 


Maxjnum 


Minimum 


Students 


3,377 


28,922 


40 


Suspensions 


184 


2,942 





Suspension ratio 


0.04 


0.19 





Students in poverty 


597 


15,670 


4 


Poverty ratio 


0.17 


0.61 


0.01 



Source: Midwestern Regional Office, USCCR. 



minority students, the number of suspensions, 
and the number of students in poverty. Among 
the school districts in the sample, tiie average 
number of students was 3,377. The largest dis- 
trict had 28,922 students, and the smallest had 
40. The number of minority students also varied 
widely. The average number of minority students 
in a district was 582, with the largest number of 
minority students being 19,519. One school dis- 
trict had no minority students. 

The average number of suspensions per school 
district was 184. The largest number of suspen- 
sions in one district was 2,942. Seven districts had 
no suspensions. More critical is the ratio of sus- 
pensions to students. The average ratio of suspen- 
sions-to-students was 0.04, or 4 suspensions per 
100 students; the highest ratio was 0.19, 19 sus- 
pensions per 100 students; the lowest rate of sus- 
pension among the sampled schools was 0, in the 
seven school districts with no suspensions. 

There was a positive, but not significant corre- 
lation, between the number of students in a 
district and the ratio of suspensions-to-students, 
p = 0.23. This suggests that the decision to use 
suspension as a discipline is more a decision vari- 
able of the individual administration. 

The average number of students in poverty per 
school district was 597. The largest population of 
students in poverty was 15,670, while the lowest 
number of students in a school district in poverty 
was 4. The poverty-to-student rate averaged 0.17, 
or 17 students in poverty for every 100 enrolled 
students. This rate is slightly higher than the 
overall rate of poverty (14.3 percent) in the State. 

A wide variance (o=0.11) was observed in the 
poverty-to-student ratio among the surveyed 
school districts. The largest poverty-to-student 



ratio was 0.61, or 61 of every 100 students living 
in poverty. The smallest ratio was 0.01, one stu- 
dent in every 100 students living in poverty. The 
correlation between a school district's poverty-to- 
student rate and its suspension-to-student rate 
was 0.33, suggesting there may be some positive 
relationship between suspension and poverty. 
This association is stronger when the absolute 
numbers of suspensions and the absolute number 
of students in poverty are determined. The corre- 
lation between the number of suspensions in a 
school district and the number of students in 
poverty is 0.89. This implies that as the number 
of students in a school district who live in poverty 
increases, the number of student suspensions also 
increases, and offers some support to Brookover's 
claim that lower student socioeconomic status ad- 
versely effects educational opportunities, which 
in turn cause greater discipline problems at the 
school. 

Minority Discipline 

At issue in this report is whether minorities are 
being adversely affected in the discipline prac- 
tices of the Michigan public schools. The aggre- 
gate data from the OCR survey suggests that 
minorities do receive a disproportionately high 
number of suspensions, and the disproportionate 
impact of school suspensions is particularly evi- 
dent with respect to African American £ind His- 
panic students. 

The schools in the OCR survey meted out 
20,702 suspensions during the 1991-1992 school 
year. The 313,020 white students, who are 82.7 
percent of the total sample enrollment, received 
14,158 suspensions, or 68.4 percent of all suspen- 
sions. The 65,174 minority students, who are 17.3 



13 



TABLE 2-4 

Suspension Rates by Race/Ethnicity 





Student enrollment rate 


White 


82.7 


Black 


10.8 


American Indian 


0.8 


Asian 


1.8 


Hispanic 


2.7 


Other 


1.2 



Student suspension rate 

68.4 
27.2 

0.8 

0.4 

3.2 




Source: Midwastarn Regional Office, USCCR, from OCR survey data. 



percent of the sampled student population, re- 
ceived 6,544 suspensions, or 31.6 percent of these 
disciplinary actions.*^ 

African American students bore the burden of 
this disparity. There are 40,729 African American 
students in the sampled school districts, a ratio of 
10.8 percent Suspensions of black students in 
those districts totaled 5,619, a rate of 27.1 per- 
cent. Hispanic students also had a higher suspen- 
sion rate than enrollment rate. Hispanic students 
were 2.7 percent of the student population and 
received 3.2 percent of the suspensions. The sus- 
pension rate for American Indian students was 
equal to their student enrollment ratio, and the 
suspension rate for Asian students was lower 
than their percentage of the total enrollment 

To further test the relationship of minority 
suspensions with selected independent variables, 
a model of probability was developed. Estimates 
of the relationships between the level of poverty, 
student population, number of disciplines, and 
the minority school enrollment rate were derived 
from a statistical procedure known as multiple 
regression. Regression analysis isolates the rela- 
tionship between an individual variable and the 
studied variable, in this case minority suspen- 
sions, holding other variables constant. 



The considered regression was: 

NWS = a + BiP + B2D -I- fiaN + fi^NWR + 
fi6NWPR + 

where, 

Bi are the coeflBdents,** 

NWS is the dependent variable, i.e., the num- 
ber of minority suspensions, 

P is the number of students living in poverty, 

D is the number of student suspensions, 

N is the total student enrollment, 

NWR is the ratio of minority students in the 
school district, 

NWPR is the ratio of minority students living 
in poverty, and is the error term. 

The results of the regression are displayed in 
table 2-5. The number of students in the school 
district living in poverty has a positive and signif- 
icant effect on the number of minority students 
disciplined (B=0.12). Similarly, the total number 
of suspension discipUnes imposed and the per- 
centage of the student enrollment that is minority 
are both positive and significant predictors of mi- 
nority student suspensions (fi=0.35, 6=220.63). Of 
interest is that school size displays a significant 



1& The number ofRiispeDsioos does not necessarily equal the Dumber of studenta suspended. One student may incur muhipk 

suspensions. 

16 A coefTiaent is the weight applied to the independent variable in the best prediction of the dependent yariable. It ii 
interpreted as the slope of the relation between the independent variable and the dependent variable. 



14 



TABLE 2-5 

Regression Results for Minority Suspensions 



Dependent variable is minority suspensions 



VariaMe 

Students in poverty 
Student suspensions 
Student enrollment 
Minority student ratio 
Minority poverty ratio 

n = 112 
R' = 0.95 



Coefficient 

0.12 
0.35 

-0.01 
220.63 

-0.47 



T-«tst 

13.05 
7.75 

-5.56 
4.20 

-1.31 



Source: Midwestern Regional Office, USCCR. 



and negative relationship with minority student 
suspensions (D=-0.01). 

The analysis also presents a disturbing por- 
trait of intergroup relations. There is a significant 
and positive relationship between an increased 
percentage of minorities at a school and a higher 
level of minority suspensions. For every 2.2 per- 
cent increase in the minority ratio of the student 
population, there is an increase in minority sus- 
pensions. An opposite result was found for white 
students. An increase in the percentage of the 
student population that was minority was signif- 
icantly and negatively related to white suspen- 
sions." Vergon found a similar pattern: 

Interestingly, districts with limited numbers of minor- 
ities tend not to have particularly high suspension 
rates or levels of dispropwrtionality. But there is a 
dramatic effect as one begins to exceed about 20 per- 
cent minority. Both the rates and the disproportional- 
ity of the suspension escalates dramatically through a 
level of about 60 or 70 percent minority enrollment in 



those communities, after which the rates and ^e dis- 
parities tend to decline somewhat again.** 

Regression analysis for African American stu- 
dents yields similar results. Substituting blacks 
for minorities, black student population ratio for 
minority student population ratio, and black pov- 
erty rate for minority poverty rate, the indepen- 
dent variables poverty, student suspensions, and 
black student ratio have positive and significant 
relationships with suspensions of black students. 
Also, similar to the minority student regression, 
the independent variables, student enrollment 
and black poverty rate, display negative relation- 
ships with bla^ suspensions. *° 

The data portrays an interesting relationship 
between poverty status and discipline. Although 
the number of students disciplined increases as 
the school district has an increased enrollment of 
students living in poverty (p=0.89), an increase in 
the proportion of minority students in the school 
district who live in poverty has neither a positive 



17 A similar regression with white Ruspensions as the dependent variable yields: 
WS = -10.0 - 0.32 P + 0.66 D ♦ 0.02 N - 293 NWR + 3.17 WPR. 

18 Transcript, p. 480. 

19 The regression result with black suspensions as the dependent variable yields: 
BS = -30.8 + 0.12 P ♦ 0.27 D - 0.01 N + 232 NWR - 0.11 BPR. 



15 



nor a significant relationship with the number of 
suspensions given to minority students. 

This imphes that the disciphne measure of sus- 
pension is imposed more oflen in school districts 
where the student body comes from a lower socio- 
economic strata. In the OCR survey, 39 percent of 
all minority students, 25,455 of 65,174, live in 
poverty. For African American students, 48 per- 
cent, 19,659 of 40,729, live in poverty. With school 
districts having larger populations of children 
from poverty observed to employ suspensions 
more often, minorities in general, and African 
American students in particular, are in environ- 
ments where suspension is more likely, and there- 
by end up disproportionately suspended when 
compared to white students who are more likely 
to be from higher socioeconomic strata. 

The data supports studies by the Law & Policy 
Institute and Brookover's assertion that suspen- 
sion, and by inference other forms of discipline, is 
disproportionately used in less affluent school dis- 
tricts. Vergon told the Advisory Committee: 

I have analyzed [suspensions] by community type, size, 
racial compwsition, and SES| socioeconomic statusl and 
there does tend to be correlations with rates and dis- 
proportionality in particular with the socioeconomic 
status and the racial composition of the districts.^ 

Eugene Cain, superintendentof Highland Park 
schools, also asserted a connection between pov- 
erty and discipline, suggesting that suspension is 
a more likely discipline option for students who 
come from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. 

It is my feeling that a lot of expulsions and suspensions 
are largely dn ven by your particular economic strata. I 
think that you will find this more of a problem with 
poor white kids and minority kids than you will find 
with kids in [affluent areas]. I think you will find kids 
in [affluent areas] with problems . . . but not to the 
extent, not to the magnitude of the problems that are 
associated in fjoor areas.^' 



Minority Discipline In Secondary Schools 

The Advisory Committee was interested in the 
discipline imposed in the secondary schools, par- 
ticularly discipline of African American students. 
Using OCR 1992 survey data, the Advisory Com- 
mittee examined suspension discipline meted out 
to students at the sampled secondary schools. 

The Advisory Committee received data on 105 
Michigan secondary schools. African American 
students matriculated at 94 of the schools. The 
range of total black student population was from 
1 student to 1,366 students, with the average 
number of black students at 87. The Africfin 
American percentage of the total student popula- 
tion at these schools ranged from less than 1 
percent to 99 percent, the average being 8.6 per- 
cent 

The Advisory Committee compared white and 
black suspension rates at the 94 schools. The 
mean black student suspension rate was 17 per- 
cent, while the mean white suspension rate was 
approximately half that — 9 percent Examining 
the relationship between a school's suspension 
rate and the African American student popula- 
tion, the Advisory Committee found a positive 
correlation (r=0.49) between the percentage of the 
student population that is African American and 
the rate of suspensions imposed on the student 
body by the school. In other words, an increase in 
the percentage of students who are African Amer- 
ican at a school is associated with an increase in 
the rate of suspensions among the student body. 
The Advisory Committee was interested in de- 
termining whether there was a relationship be- 
tween an increase in the rate of African American 
students attending a school and the rate of sus- 
pensions meted out to African American students. 
Specifically, the Advisory Committee surmised 
that there might be a student threshold, some- 
where in the range between a very small African 
American student population rate emd a very 
large African American student population rate, 
that maximized the amount of disciphne imposed 
on African American students. 



20 Tranncnpt, p. 480. 

21 Ibid, p. 570. 



16 



TABLE 2 6 

Regression Results for Minority Suspension Rates 



Dependent variable is minority suspension rate 



Variable 


Coefficient 


Total student population 


-0.33 


Student suspension rate 


0.93 


Black student rate 


-0.05 


n = 94 




R' = 0.08 





T-stat 

-0.49 

2.62 

-0.63 



Source: Midwestern Regional Office, USCCR. 



Analysis of the 94 secondary schools shows, 
however, virtually no relationship between the 
black student population rate and the black 
suspension rate (r=0.09). This implies that sus- 
pensions of black students are independent of 
their percentage of the student population, and 
instead more likely a function of the individual 
school's discipline implementation. 

To test this further, regression analysis was 
employed to examine the relationship of the black 
suspension rate at a school with the variables: 
total student population, school suspension rate, 
and black percentage of the student population. 
The results again show the black student percent- 
age rate independent of the school's black suspen- 
sion rate. The size of the school in terms of total 
enrollment is also found to be independent of the 
school's black suspension rate. However, the 
school's aggregate suspension rate is positively 
and significantly associated with the school's 
black suspension rate. The results are shown in 
table 2-6. 

The Student Advocacy Center (Ann Arbor, 
Michigan) surveyed selected school districts on 
the number of suspensions by race and ethnicity 
during the 1992-93 school year. Sixteen school 
districts were selected, with selection based on 
the district's minority student population and the 
Center receiving complaints from parents con- 
cerning the discipline of their children by the 
schools. Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti were selected 
because they were located in the geographic area 
of the center, while the Monroe and Kentwood 
districts were surveyed because of complaints to 



the center. Benton Harbor, Flint, Grand Rapids, 
and Highlfuid Park were chosen because of their 
high African American student population. Col- 
oma, Fenville, and Holland were surveyed be- 
cause of their high Hispanic student population. 
The Dearborn district was surveyed because of its 
large Arab student popiilation. Brimley, Chip- 
pewa Hills, St Ignace, and Sault St Marie dis- 
tricts were chosen because of their American In- 
dian student populations. The school districts and 
their response data are shown in table 2-7. 

Nine school districts responded with suspen- 
sion data. Five of the districts responded with 
exclusively high school data. In each of these 
districts, minority suspension rates were higher 
than nonminority suspension rates. In the two 
Ann Arbor high schools, minorities had a suspen- 
sion rate of 1 1.9 percent while the suspension rate 
for white students was 3.0 percent At the Kent- 
wood and Benton Harbor high schools, suspen- 
sion rates for both groups were very high and the 
minority suspension rate was twice that of non- 
minority students. At Kentwood high school, the 
minority sus(>ension rate was 111.3 percent com- 
pared to a nonminority rate of 67.5 percent; at 
Benton Harbor, the minority suspension rate was 
150.2 percent while the nonminority suspension 
rate was 72.9 percent At Monroe high school the 
minority suspension rate was six times the non- 
minority rate, 48.9 percent to 8.2 percent Sus- 
pension rates for minority and nonminority stu- 
dents were only similar at the two Dearborn high 
schools, though the rate for minorities was still 
higher than that of whites. 



17 



TABLE 2-7 

Minority Suspension Rates for Surveyed Schools 





Student 


District 


population 


Local districts of 




interest to the center 




Ann Arbor (HSs)' 


3,596 


Kentwood (HS)' 


1,949 


Monroe (HS)' 


1,583 


Ypsilanti* 


5,037 



Total Suspension rate 

White Nonwhite suspensions White Nonwhite 



2,529 1,067 224 

1,585 364 1,486 

1,493 90 166 

2,922 2,115 612 



3.0 


11.9 


67.5 


111.3 


8.2 


48.9 


7.9 


17.4 



Districts with large A frican 
American populations 
Benton Hbr (HS)' 1,518 

Flint T 

Grand Rapids' 26,821 

Highland Park t 



192 


1,326 


2,131 


72.9 


150.2 


13,190 


13,631 


6,720 


15.7 


33.9 



Districts with large 








Hispanic populations 








Colema' 


2,488 


1,753 


735 


Fenville 


1,569 


1,120 


449 


Holland 


5,707 


3,832 


1,875 



Districts with large American 
Indian populations 
Brimley 560 

Chippewa Hills 2,386 

St. Ignace' 863 

Sault St. Marie 3,526 



631 



305 255 

1,915 471 

351 512 

2,507 1,019 



80 



18.7 



8.0 



41.4 



10.2 



Districts with large Arab 
populations 
Dearborn (HSs)' 



2,383 



1,806 



577 



915 



36.7 



42.1 



Sourca: Student Advocacy Center, Ann Arbor, Ml. 

Key: 

"i" suspensions reported by incident 

*8* suspensions reported by student 

TDid not respor>d 

'Data not provided 



18 



Personal Statements 

The administration of a disciplinary action 
does not occur in a vacuum. Individual students, 
families, and the community are often inter- 
twined in and affected by the decision. Numerous 
parents, students, and individuals came and tes- 
tified at the factfinding meetings. They offered 
their perspective of events that lead to a discipbn- 
ary suspension, and the effect of that decision on 
themselves, the families, and the children in- 
volved. 

School administrators counter, however, that 
suspensions and other disciplinary actions are not 
frivolously or thoughtlessly administered. Usu- 
ally such discipline is the result of a series of 
behaviors, leading up to a final act that causes the 
suspension. Michael Foster, principal of Ypsilanti 
High School, expressed this sentiment: 

Susjjensions are only done by administrators, not by 
teachers, not by other staff. So with that knowledge, 
our administrative team sat down and decided how we 
were going to best manage the climate of our school for 
the most efTective instruction. . . . [There] are instances 
that we feel . . . the suspension is an appropriate 
alternative. Now we do not go from point A to suspen- 
sion, but rather we do a process. If there is a series of 
misbehaviors, we deal with it at the teacher level. 
There is ... a referral to the counselor, school social 
worker, school psychologist when those are appropri- 
ate. We then deal with parent conferences.^ 

Nine accounts of student discipline are pre- 
sented to put a face on the issue of school discipl- 
ine and minority students. These are prefaced by 
testimony from Margaret Harner, a volunteer 
court-appointed surrogate parent in Washtenaw 
County, who shared several personal episodes 
with the Advisory Committee. Her testimony sup- 
ports reports from juvenile court representatives 
that school districts were delegating the educa- 
tion responsibilities of some of the more difficult 
children to the courts. 



Margaret Harner, court-appointed surrogate 
parent: 

I have been involved in an advocacy role for 10 years. 
In virtually every one of my cases, suspension or other 
[school] exclusionary measures are part of the issue. 
Likewise, nearly every child whom I advocate is black, 
and most are male. My experience absolutely shows 
that we move to the suspension end of the consequence 
continuum with far greater speed for black children.^ 

The first case I will tell you about is a 13-year-old 
African American male entering junior high school 
with special education certification as an emotionally 

impaired student Decisions had been made that his 

total school program would consist of 30 minutes of 
instruction each day at the home of a person he had 
been court ordered not to visit. No medical doctor had 
been involved in this, his due process rights had been 
ignored. . . . 

By the end of the first semester he had been out of 
school, he had been suspended from his regular class- 
room in excess of 80 days, 60 of which were out of the 
school building. And he was receiving no services dur- 
ingthat 60-day period. This is not a continuing 60 days, 
but out for a few days and back in, or for longer periods 
of time and back in. Complaints were filed, conversa- 
tions to remediate the situation all led to no avail. The 
child ended up being placed by the juvenile court out of 
the county, and the school contributed nothing to the 
cost of his education.^ 

The second case is a 12-year-old African American male 
with special education certification as an emotionally 
impaired student. The case was assigned to me after 
the child was assigned to an independent study pro- 
gram. He was to appeeu* at school 30 minutes on Mon- 
day, pick up his assignments for the week, go home and 
complete them and return them to the school on Friday. 
Transportation was not provided, and teacher contact 
during the course of the week was also not provided. 
After complaints and appeal, this case eventually went 
to mediation, and he was permitted to enroll in a school 
other than his home school the next school year. 



22 Transcript, pp. 189 and 192. 

23 Transcript p. 650. 

24 Ibid., pp. ."551-52. 



19 



The last case that I will give you is a 13-year-old 

Afncan Amencar, not certified for special education at 
the time of referral. Mom and the juvenile court case- 
worker had reported that several requests had been 
made for evaluation for special education services, and 
nothing had happened. . . . The child had been rejjeat- 
edly suspended and both the mom and the caseworker 
had been told that the child was out and was not 
coming back, [though] no expulsion process had oc- 
curred. The child was eventually evaluated and certi- 
fied for special education as an emotionally impaired 
student. However, he continued to be suspended, even 
with consequences — other than suspension — specific- 
ally spelled out in the individual education plan.^ 

Ricardo Martinez, Community Awareness and 
Rights in Education:" 

The reason we started our CARE group was because we 
had an overabundance of incidents happen. We had 
over nine cases to be expelled and in all of these cases 
were nothing that (the parents) were able to do any- 
thing about. We had one person that we could count on 
(who) IS on the school board, but every time this gentle- 
man tried to do something for us, he was torn apart 
by either the other board members or the school 
administrator. It is getting to be very sickening and 
just incident after incident has happened.^ 

I am finding out now that there is a lot of help out here 
which we never knew about. We have been trying. We 
have had a lot of us involved in some of these incidents 
and found out there was nothing | we as parents] could 
do. Powers beyond them stopped the whole matter. . . . 
We are just finding out now that there are people that 
we go to [for help]. We never knew there were people 
[from whom] we could get extra help other than lawyers 



because that is the only thing we knew was to go out 
and . . . pay a lawyer to do this.^ 

Larry Scott, Parent Support Network:*" 

What is alarming to PSN is the number of school sus- 
pensions handed out by the Lansing school district, 
specifically the number of school suspensions adminis- 
tered to African American students. In the 4-yeeir pe- 
riod fi'om 1989 to 1993 the Lansing school district 
meted out 21,362 suspensions. Although African Amer- 
ican students constituted only 32 to 36 percent of stu- 
dent enrollment. . . . almost half the suspensions were 
handed out to African American students. 

What IS even more disconcerting was that during the 
same period, African American students received more 
than 1 week and multiweeks of out of school suspen- 
sions than white students. In the 1992-93 school year, 
the number of multi week suspensions given to African 
Amencan students almost doubled the number of 
multiweek susf)ensions given to white students. 

This pattern of suspensions on the African American 
students emerges in the elementary years. It is our 
opinion that during this fertile period in the student's 
life, persona], social, and cognitive growth must occur. 
Self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-control must be 
established if the student is to be successful. . . . *^ 

Students cannot learn or achieve if they are not in 
school. Those students who are not suspended are af- 
fected by the apparent zero tolerance of teachers and 
admimstrators and are less likely to be enthusiastic 

about school activities In 1994 less than 30 percent 

of the African Americans in high school in the Lansing 
School District were able to graduate with State 



25 Ibid., p. 562. 

26 Ibid . p 553 

27 According to Martinez. CARE was founded in 1991 to address the problems parents were having with their children being 
fiunpended {n>m school The Kn)up operates in the Fenville school distnct, Allegan County. 

m Transcript, p 212. 

2» Ibid, pp 208 and 213. 

30 According to Scott, the Parent Support Network con.sisls of concerned parents and community members committed to the 
development of tho.sc childrtn in crisis and at highest nsk for academic and disciplinary failure in the Landing School 
District 

31 Transcript, pp 21«-19 



20 



endorsed diplomas in three areas, math, reading, or 
science. . . . ^ 



It is our fear that we are not graduating students who 
can be productive in the African American community 
and productive in the world community at large. We 
are concerned about the preponderance of disciplintiry 
action administered to African American children. We 
are concerned how zero tolerance, given suspensions, 
and the length of the suspensions limit the student's 
self-esteem, precludes and blunts enthusiasm for 
school, leading to academic failure. We believe aca- 
demic failure leads to social failure. . . .^ 

Vemadine Lake, parent of a child in the Ypsilanti 
schools: 

My daughter has been a special education student since 
1987. She has a learning disability, dyslexia, and just 
recently she was diagnosed with ADD, which is severe. 
When she went to the 9th grade she was inappropri- 
ately placed in regular education classes and she re- 
ceived a lot of falling grades. It was behavioral prob- 
lems. We asked for meetings and we were just kind of 
shoved off. . . . We have gotten to a point where we think 
that she is getting passing grades now, but we went 
through a lot. 

Children with special needs — minority students — are 
not accounted for their disability. They are placed in 
regular education classes, their needs are not met . . . 
They document a lot of things and whatever they have 
documented, it is your word against theirs. And the 

burden of proof is on you Special education students 

are never believed, minority students are never be- 
lieved. There is no due process for these kids, they are 
just suspended and they go back to school until they 
give up and they drop out."*^ 

My daughter right now is in therapy and this hope- 
fially — with the way she has been treated this year — 
can still lift, her morale to keep her in school. She is 15 



right now. When she turns 16, if she is not treated 
better, she will drop out just like thousands of other 
kids. They get tired of being provoked and when they 
talk back or speak out, they are called in for that. They 
are removed from the classroom or kicked out of 
school.^ 

And there are many, many jiarents that are losing their 
children and there is nothing you can do. You file 
complaints and they are dismissed. You go to meetings 
and you are not believed. What else can you do? You 
have nowhere to go, but you battle with going on with 
your life and living every day. Your child is going to 
school every day and being humiliated. They will just 
drop out and you have got another problem. 

Joyce Hartfield and LaQuan Hartfield — Joyce 
Hartfield is a parent of students 'in the East 
Grand Rapids school district; LaQuan is one of 
her children. 
Joyce Hartfield: 

My main concern is where is the help for the black 
minority in the school system? That is what I want to 

know All you see on the news is how the black kids 

are and that black parents do not care about their kids. 
But when you are involved in the school then you are 
the bad person. ^^ 

My kids have been through a racial period. ... I mean 
they will say things to us that just like my daughter 
was accused of stealing some books. They took her out 
of class, took her to the office, questioned her about the 
books. She spent the whole day in the office about these 
books. When we go to pick her up and she tells us about 
the books, the principal tells us she didn't accuse her of 
stealing the books. . . . 

I only have one kid that still is in school and that is the 

middle school I used to walk him to school. He didnt 

have to tell me the things that he went through because 
I went through the same thing that he went through 



32 Ibid., pp. 221-22. 

33 Ibid., p. 222. 

34 Ibid., pp. 279-80. 

35 Ibid., p. 281. 

36 Ibid., pp. 289-90. 

37 Ibid., p. 300. 



21 



walking him there. They would call us monkeys, 
names, you know. . . . They teach their kids this 
way. ... I do not want anybody calling him names.^ 

As of this day the only meeting that I had for [my son] 
to even get him back in school was a meeting with the 
pnncipal and the superintendent of the school. When 
she came to the meetingshe didn't even have [my son's] 
file so that let me know she wasn't interested in my 
child. How are you going to come to a meeting and 
[have] nothing about him and then everything that we 
bring up to her — telling her about — she forgot, she 
doesn't remember. ... He had no problems in class 
whatsoever. All his problems came outside; on the way 
to school, home from school and during recess time. 
Stuff hkethat.3^ 

LaQuan Hartfield: 

I wrote a speech on racism and it was emotional. ... I 
started [to have) a lot of faces made towards me from 
the students about that A lot of people started making 
bigger and greater racist comments towards me. I was 
asked by one student have I ever met Kunta Kente and 

all this stuff; and it offended me After that incident 

I started getting different allegations placed against 
me. I got accused ofstealing $15 from a student's locker 
in the gym area. . . .That is one of the things that goes 
on in the school ... A lot of students set up other 
students when they are angry at them.*" 

Ann Green, parent of three teenagers in the Lan- 
sing school district: 

We started a group working with youngboys during the 
summer because I figured whatever I could do to keep 
him in (school) because the district as far as the suspen- 
sions, they were suspending him for things that, it was 
just unreal. Like a lot of it came back to authority. The 
teacher would say something, even if the kids re- 



sponded to him, they would caU it talking back and you 
are just responding to a question.*' 

It was one time where there was something about 
candy at school and that is when I filed even a civil right 
complaint. A young white student had candy at school 
and I guess she was sharing it with my son and other 
kids because my son rode the bus to school so he didn't 
have a way to get access to candy, and that is what I 
was asking, "How did he get the candy?" Well they 
suspended him and then they said, "Well we weren't 
discriminating, we suspended the other boy," which 
was another black boy, but they didn't suspend the girl 
who gave him the candy and she was white.*^ 

There was the time [when he was in the fourth grade] 
. . . the teacher slapped my son and I took him out of the 

school district and When that happened, I took him 

out and I told him I wasnt going to let him back to 
school until I found out all of what was going on. The 
school told me that they put the teacher on suspension 
until they did an investigation. Well, I had my son out 
4 weeks. ... I kept trying to contact the district and 
finally ... I found out the teacher was back in school. 
[The district told] me at that point that they had inves- 
tigated and they just put it in the teacher's record . . . 
and in the same meeting they told me if I didnt put my 
son back in school at a set date . . . then they were going 
to take me to court.*^ 

The only time I can remember any problem with my son 
and a knife at school was when he was at middle school 
his teacher gave him an art knife like a little gadget to 
do some homework with it. She wrapped it up in the 
paper and told him when you get on the bus, give it to 
the bus driver and when you get out she will give it to 
you to take it home. And it got back to the school the 
next day they had documented that he had had this 
knife. ... I could go on and on. Those are just some of 
the issues.** 



38 Ibid., pp. .3f;fi-07. 

39 Ibid., pp. .in? and .308. 

40 Ibid., pp .3.32 and 3.35. 

41 Ibid., p. 366. 

42 Ibid., p. 365. 

43 Ibid., pp. .356-67. 

44 Ibid . pp .359 and 360. 



22 



Leonia McKaye, parent of a child in the Ypsi- 
lanti public schools: 

I started experiencing problems with my child when he 
was nine in the fourth grade. They suggested to me to 
place him in a self-contained cittss because of his behav- 
ior problems. He was not on task in the regular pro- 
gram. So I went along with them and, from grades 4, 5, 
6, and 7, 1 saw my son's grades go way down. He went 
from an A-B student to a D-C student, and his self 
esteem — he didn't have any of that. ... I fought the 
whole fifth and sixth grade trying to keep my child in 
school. I almost lost my job, lam a single parent. When 
he was kicked out of school, I had to take off work or 
nobody would be at home with him. By the time he 
reached the seventh grade, 90 percent of the time he 
was at home. He did not stay in school *^ 

One incident I thought was really ridiculous. He was 
running down the hallway. They suspended him for 3 
days. And I said, "Why?" And they said because he had 
been so much trouble, that they don't have time to focus 
on my child. And I said, "Well, you were aware of the 
problem because you brought the problem to my atten- 
tion. And you are not helping my child with the prob- 
lem." Then they suggested we take him to psychiatrists 
and doctors, and which I have done that. But still, the 
school . . . was not addressing my son's needs. 

See, teachers talk. So they already knew what my son 
was about or they put a presumption on how he was 
going to act So, if he went to school and had a bad day, 
which everybody has a bad day sometimes, it was just 
blown out of proportion land hel would be kicked out of 
school for a week or two. And he I would] sit at home by 
himself because nobody would be there. 

In the sixth grade . . . This white kid threw a desk at 
my child and my child got kicked out of school. The 
other child did not get disciplined. Why is [my son] 
getting kicked out of school, he is the one that got hurt. 



He was the one who was kicked out of school because 
(the school thought] he probably provoked it.** 

I moved out of the district and he went [to another 
public school system]. My son did an 85-90 degree 
turnaround because the teachers took an interest in 
him, not just okay, you get into trouble [and] we're 
going to kick you out of school. . . . And this year has 
been the most pleasant year I have had with my child. 

Vemita Wilson, aunt of a student in the Ypsilanti 
public schools: 

I am here concerning my nephew. . . . [He] has been in 
special education most of his elementary years. The 
problem really began when he got into junior high 

where ... he had at least 15, 16 suspensions He was 

suspended over 10 days a lot of the time. . . . We ended 
up taking him out of school in seventh grade, just 
keeping him at home. I had to go every Monday, pick 
up his homework, take him every Friday to return 
homework. He was losing out on his grades, and there 
was nobody to help him when he needed help and stuff. 
So he was not getting the support system, but I was 
trying to keep his grades up so that he could go on to 
the eighth grade.^ 

We changed schools It went a little better, but still 

suspensions went on. He is now in his sophomore year. 
He should be junior, but because of the suspensions and 
the problems that he has had, he has lost out on a lot of 
work. You are not able to make it all up during the 
suspensions. There is a limit on how much work some 
teachers will take and will not take. And I find when 
they do take it, the homework and stuff that he does, it 
is like now he is just being passed through the system. 
Academically he is not being challenged at all. It is like 
well, "Well just pacify [him], keep the parents satisfied, 
and this and that."^' 



45 Ibid., pp. 604-05. 

46 Ibid., pp. 605-06. 

47 Ibid., p. 607. 

4« Ibid., p. 607-08. 

49 Ibid., pp. 606-7. 

50 Ibid., pp. 612-14. 

51 Ibid., pp. 613-14. 



23 



My mother and I have been looking into programs all 
this summer to avoid even dealing with public school. I 
am really discouraged. I really feel let down . . . that the 
school has failed in a lot of ways. But I feel that the 
suspension, something should be done about the sus- 
pensions in the public schools; [but] I don't know if they 
can even help us. I think I have lost the trust, I have 
lost the faith that these things will ever change and I 
don't have the time. I feel like I keep wasting time to 
find out if they will [help] because everything that we 
have tned — and I have gone along with the school a 
long way on a lot of things — nothing is working. And 
they want to place him back in the school next year, a 
system that is already failing him. Why send him back 
to fail again ?^^ 

I think it is a pattern because from other parents that 
I have run into, it is an ongoing problem that I see a lot 
of black parents have, but it is only with the black male. 
I don't see it so much with the black female. It's a 
problem that I see that is not being addressed with the 
black male. It is no tolerance. No, it is really a non- 
chalant attitude. This is almost expected. . . . and then 
he has lost so much trust in the school system that his 
trust is gone. He distrusts the teacher. He thinks every- 
body is against [him). It is hard for him to succeed now 
when you don't trust everybody in your surroundings.^ 

Sharon Baskerville, principal of a middle school 
in Ann Arbor: 



I think what is missing in a lot of cases [is students] 
don't get the opportunities ... to tell their side of the 
story. By the time the parents come in, they too have 
heard another version. You get both sides of a table full 
of parents and students, amd you have a very, very 
enlightening dialogue taking place because parents are 
looking at their students through new eyes and those 
students are looking at their parents through new eyes 
because they are trying to figure out what that parent 
is going to say when they get out of that room.* 

Ann Arbor public schools just revised its rights and 
responsibilities handbook last year, July of 1993. . . . 
But the reality is working through it and finding out if 
it really meets the needs of the kids. I think if you look 
at each one of the uniform code of conduct districts, you 
will find that some of the issues are so minuscule that 
they should not get the types of punishments that they 
get^ 

In my particular district, in my school, we have student 
study teams where we literally put teachers and par- 
ents and counselors and social workers and principals 
and custodians and anybody else who has any knowl- 
edge about that youngster together, and we sit down 
and talk about the strengths and what kind of support 
system they can have and use. Any time you have an 
individualized behavior plan for at risk students, you 
are looking ahead £ind trying to come up with ways to 
keep that youngster from falling between the cracks.^' 



It IS not by accident or not by surpnse that there is an 
attitude and an air of frustration at this table and also 
in this room and in many communities around the 
country. People are frustrated. . . . When parents and 
students come to me because they are frnastrated, I try 
to create an environment in my building where we can 
at least have a meaningful dialogue. I think that is the 
key. You cannot resolve any problems until you are able 
toget people to sit down and open up and talk. But they 
won't do that if there is not that degree of trust.^ 



Sensitivity training is a must because we have too 
many people who are just about the business of doing 
business; they are not necessarily focusing in on the 
human aspect of the people or the clients they are 
serving. My philosophy in my building is to create an 
environment that is success oriented and focusing on 
success and not so much on discipHne for kids, because 
when they arc successful they dont have time to get 
into trouble. And if the channels of communication are 
OF>en, they will let you know before trouble strikes that 



52 Ibid, p. 615. 

63 Ibid. p. 618. 

a* Ibid. p. 62.3. 

55 Ibid, p 624. 

66 Ibid., p. 624-25. 

57 Ibid., p. 625. 



24 



somethingisloorrung and therefore you can continue on 
the success onented path.'"^ 

Leadership is also a vital link to the success of all 
students. If the leaders do not set the tone for what 
needs to be done, it does not seem to get filtered down 
to everyone else. . . . And finally, trust and support for 
students and families is another vital link. If families 
and students do not feel that they are supported or that 
you trust them, they will not come to your office, they 
will not call you on the phone, they will not seek your 
advice, they will not include you in their inner circle.* 

I think the battle is lost because too many people are 
excluded, and the kids are getting stronger and the 
adults are still scratching their heads trying to figure 
out what to do.** 

Jeanetta Jennings, parent of a student in 
Westwood school district: 

There were some girls who got together and decided to 
bring a gun to school to fight after school. My daughter 
was aware of the gun being brought to school because 
they were ail shanng about it in the bathroom and 
bragging about it. These are not girls that were friends 
of my daughters, they are just acquaintances because 
she is there at school with them. . . . She never saw the 
gun, never was around the gun, anything like that. 

Later on in the day . . . they decided to conceal the gun 
in a purse. The assistant principal was aware of it at 
this time, and came into the classroom where all the 
girls were together. The girl who had the purse saw the 
assistant principal coming and asked my daughter to 
hold the purse . . . without my daughter's knowledge 
that the gun was inside the purse.*" 

When (the assistant principal] asked my daughter, 
"May I look inside your purse?" She said, "Yes." They 
both looked in together and they realized that there 
was a gun inside. . . . My daughter was arrested [and] 



charged with CCW. She spent the night in the juvenile 
system. ... I was not contacted or notified until well 
after she had been arrested, fingerprinted, read her 
rights.®^ 

I moved out of the Westwood school district in January 
of this year ... I enrolled her into the Wayne Westland 
High School where I now live . . . She attended from 
March until May. The school records went over to (the 
new school]. They called my daughter into the 
principal's office. I was not called. The questioned her 
about the incident at [her previous school]. They took 
her books, they stripped her of her books and sent her 
home with a suspension. They sent me a notice in the 
mail. 

I got an opportunity to come in to speak with the 
principal ... At that time they told me that they just 
put in a new policy. That poHcy stated that if there was 
an act committed by a student while off the school 
grounds or while enrolled in another school that would 
permit them to expel that student [if the student] com- 
mitted this act while on school grounds. . . . They 
accused me of enroUing my daughter with the knowl- 
edge of her being expelled. She was ultimately expelled 
from [her former school but] I opted not to attend those 
-hearings because she was already enrolled in the 
Wayne Westland school. 

My daughter is the first to be excluded under this new 
policy. . . . We went through with the hearings. We 
appealed to the school board. My daughter gave testi- 
mony of how she did not know the gun was in the purse. 
They ultimately permanently expelled my daughter 
and said that she weis a danger to herself, the other 
students, and the faculty members. They offered no 
alternative schooling, no sympathy. They told me that 
when I came into the meeting, they gave me two op- 
tions: to permanently or to voluntarily withdraw her or 
to go through with the proceedings for a permanent 
expulsion.^ 



58 Ibid., pp. 626-27. 

59 Ibid., pp. 627-28. 

60 Ibid., p. 628. 

61 Ibid., p. 630. 

62 Ibid., p. 631. 

63 Ibid., pp. 633-34. 



25 



Junr«nH h r T""'^ "^ ^^y ""'^ '^' ■"""'^ °^ "P^'"" f""- ^'- 1 have been in contact with the board 

Sd me thi'l ^'^r"^T ^ ^° '" September. They of education, the student advocacy cTnt^r the Wale 

d^ orT^ moth/ro i km'" '""T. "'""• ' ^" " ^°""^ Educational Resource Center. No one hasT 

divorced mother of four children. That ,s just not an swers. She is just 12 years old." 



M Ibid., p. 6.34. 



26 



Chapter 3 



School Discipline and the Community: Local School 
Districts, the Judicial System, and Community Programs 



School discipline in Michigan is ultimately a 
local issue. Local school districts have the 
authority and responsibility to establish and 
implement their code of student conduct and the 
penalties for noncompliance. Robert Schiller ex- 
plained: 

I need to reiterate the fact that in our State, local school 
distncts have the responsibility for establishing the 
policies of disnpiine as it affects their students. We, as 
the State of Michigan, unlike other States in the Na- 
tion, do not have a statewide policy, statewide proce- 
dure, statewide disciplinary code to affect all schools. 
The 560 school districts and 3,500 schools have the 
direct responsibility to establish their individual stu- 
dent discipline poliaes as it affects the carrying out of 
expectations for students and the punishment therein.' 

Recommendations from two local school dis- 
tricts, Lansing and Ypsilanti, made presentations 
on school discipline. They discussed the amount 
and types of discipline, its administration and 
purpose, and the problems of discipline. The Ad- 
visory Committee heard from administrators, 
principals, and teachers.^ In addition, the county 
judge of the juvenile court in Washtenaw County 
and probation officers and truant officers from the 
county testified at the factfinding meeting.^ They 
discussed the impact of school discipline on the 
judicial system and the effectiveness of the judi- 



cial system in handling students with discipline 
problems. 

Representatives from several alternative edu- 
cation programs in the Lansing and Ypsilanti 
areas also made presentations. The Black Child 
and Family Institute in Lansing accepts students 
ft-om the Lansing pubUc schools into its program. 
The Center of Occupational and Personalized Ed- 
ucation (COPE), an alternative education pro- 
gram operating in Washtenaw County, that 
serves young people referred fi^m the juvenile 
court, the pubUc schools, and the county depart- 
ment of social services. 

The Lansing Public School District 

, The Lansing school district has 33 elementary 
schools grades K-5, 4 middle schools grades 6-8, 
and 4 high schools grades 9-12. It also provides 
several special facilities and programs, such as 
adult education, special education programs, 
community education, public safety, and an envi- 
ronment center. Nearly 11,000 students are in the 
elementary schools, and more than 9,000 stu- 
dents are in the middle amd high schools. The 
alternative programs have 90 students, the Beek- 
man Center has 147 students, and there are 1,37 1 
students in the adult education program.^ 

Minorities are half the student enrollment in 
the Lansing schools. There are 10,713 elementary 
students, 122 American Indian, 3,307 African 



Testimony before the Michigan Advisory Committee to the U.S. CommissioD on Civil Rights, factfinding meeting, Lansing, 
MI, Aug. 3. 1994, and Ann Arbor, MI, Aug. 4, 1994, transcript p. 11 Chereafler cited as Transcript). 

The local school districts of Lansing and Ypsilanti were invited because of their size, diverse student population, location, 
and urban setting. The ComnniUee's invitation to the two school districts should not be construed as an implication that 
discipline problems or the administration of discipline is atypical or diiTerent from other similarly situated districts. 

Ypsilanti is in Washtenaw County, Michigan. 

Lansing School District, 199.S-94 Fact Book. 



27 



TABLE 3-1 

Student Race/Ethnicity. Lansing Public Schools 





American Indian 


Back Asian 


Hispanic 


White 


Elementary 


122 


3,307 525 


1.299 


5460 


Middle schools 










Gardner 


18 


385 20 


115 


702 


Ono 


22 


293 74 


168 


549 


Panengil 


15 


294 53 


144 


544 


Rich 


8 


562 42 


76 


526 


Total 


63 


1,534 189 


503 


2,321 


High schools 










Eastern 


36 


297 104 


291 


890 


Everett 


18 


522 85 


164 


925 


Sexton 


12 


662 54 


104 


633 


Total: 


66 


1,481 243 


559 


2,448 


Alt. Ed. 





26 

from Lansing School Data. 


5 


14 


Source: Midwestern 


Reoional Office, USCCR, 





American, 525 Asian, 1,299 Hispanic, and 5,460 
white. The four middle schools have an enroll- 
ment of 4,610 students, 63 American Indian, 
1,534 African American, 189 Asian, 503 Hispanic, 
and 2,321 white. The three high schools have 
4,797 students, including 66 American Indian, 
1,481 African American, 243 Asian, 559 Hispanic, 
and 2,448 white. The secondary alternative edu- 
cation program has 45 students, 30 males and 15 
females; 26 are African American, 5 are Hispanic, 
and 14 are white.^ 

The Lansing Board of Education has adopted a 
code of conduct to define appropriate behavior in 
the Lansing schools and on district school prop- 
erty. The code's primary purpose is to provide the 
standards and structure necessary to foster a safe 
educational environment in which students can 
mentally, physically, emotionally, and socially 
mature. School district employees enact provis- 
ions of the code to protect the persons and prop- 



erty for which they are responsible. Spanking awid 
all other forms of corporal punishment are prohib- 
ited. The code gives to all school district employ- 
ees the right to sign a police complaint for any 
violation of their personal or property rights 
which occur while administering the code.*' 

The code is a comprehensive 16-page document 
that explains the school rules, implementation of 
the code of conduct, appeal procedures, locker 
searches, student distribution of printed materi- 
als, student eligibility for participation in 
cocurricular activities, and bus conduct There 
are two categories of violations: rule violations 
and severe rule violations. An appendix to the 
code defines and gives examples of both types of 
violations. 

Examples of rule violations are: abusive lan- 
guage; disorderly conduct; disrespect for safety 
patrols; failure to identify oneself to staff; forgeiy; 
insubordination; littering; petty theft; possession 



6 Landing School Dintrict. Ethnic Report, Oct. 1. 1993. 
6 Landing School Duilrict, Code of Conduct, intro<hiction. 



28 



of games or toys; possession of beepers, pocket 
pagers, or electronic communication equipment; 
tardiness; truancy; and loitering. Examples of se- 
vere rule violations are: arson; assault and/or 
threats; battery; extortion; false alarms; fighting; 
major theft; malicious destruction; molesting; 
obscene and/or lewd behavior; persistent mis- 
behavior; possession and/or use of an imitation 
toy gun or a facsimile/replica of a firearm; sale, 
possession, and/or use of weapons or incendiary 
devices; sale, use possession, or distribution of 
legal or illegal drugs, materials, substances, or 
alcoholic beverages; and violations of city. State, 
or Federal legislation.' 

According to the code, there are student conse- 
quences for disruptive behavior, and students 
who will not conform to school rules will be sub- 
ject to a series of options intended to correct the 
problem. The home school is responsible for disci- 
plining students who violate school rules. To pre- 
vent problems from escalating, schools are en- 
couraged to initiate a parent conference when 
problems arise and develop a written plan to re- 
solve the problem. ~ 

If the student violates the written plan, the 
teacher and/or principal, in consultation with the 
parent, will take further corrective action. Such 
other corrective actions include: 

• removal of the student from the classroom, 

• detention, 

• in-school suspension, 

• community service, 

• building alternative program, 

• restitution of property, 

• building suspension, 

• suspension to student services, and 

• referral to the district's public safety depart- 
ment and/or the appropriate law enforcement 
agency.* 

The code of conduct allows for student expul- 
sions. Specifically, any student in possession of a 



gun or other dangerous weapon as defined by 
State law on school district property is subject to 
long-term suspension and to possible expulsion 
and prosecution. In addition, any student in pos- 
session of a facsimile or repbca of a firearm on 
school district property is suspended £md may be 
expelled and subjected to prosecution.® 

The Lansing school district publishes, for the 
public record, a suspension report. The report by 
ethnicity and race lists: (1) the incidents of sus- 
pension by length, (2) incidents of suspension by 
reason, (3) referrals to student services, and 
(4) comparison and number of incidents of sus- 
pensions and number of students suspended by 
individual school. Parts (1), (2), and (3) of the 
1992-1993 school year report are in appendix HI. 

In the Lansing school district for the 1992-93 
school year, there were 4,434 student suspension 
incidents. It is understood that many of these 
incidents may involve the same individual stu- 
dent. Of the total number of suspensions, African 
American students, who are 31.5 percent of the 
student enrollment, received the highest number 
of suspensions, 2,073, and had the highest group 
proportion of all suspensions, 46.8 percent. 
Whites, who are 50.8 percent of the student pop- 
ulation, were the next highest suspended group, 
receiving 1,671 suspensions, 37.7 percent of the 
total (see table 3-2). 

The proportion of suspensions given to Hispa- 
nic students, 12.5 percent, was slightly higher 
than the group's proportion of the student popu- 
lation, 11.7 percent. The total rate of suspension 
incidents involving American Indian students, 
2.3 percent, was double their enrollment rate of 
1.2 percent. Asian student suspension incidents 
were lower than their student enrollment rate 
(see table 3-3). 

Richard J. Halik, superintendent of the Lan- 
sing public schools, discussed the issue of disci- 
pline in the Lansing school district. He was joined 
by three school principals from the Lansing dis- 
trict: Saturnino Rodriguez, principal of Pattengill 



7 Lansing School District, Code of Conduct, appendix. 

8 Lansing School District, Code of Conduct, Implementing the Code. 

9 Ibid. 



29 



TABLE 3-2 o .. . r^ . • . 

Suspension Incident Rate and Student Enrollment Rate lor the Lansnig Scho ol Distnct 



Race/ethnicity 


Suspension nddent rate 


American Indian 


2.3% 


African American 


46.8 


Asian/Pacific Islander 


0.8 


Hispanic 


12.5 


White 


37.7 



Enrollment rate 

1.2% 
31.5 

4.7 
11.7 
50.8 



Source: Midwestern Regional Office, USCCR, from LjnsinQ school district data. 



TABLE 3-3 o .. . r. . 

Student Suspension Rate and Student Enrollment Rate for the Lansing School District 



Race/elhnicrtY 

American Indian 
African American 
Asian/Pacific Islander 
Hispanic 
White 


Sus 


penstor 

USCCR, 


1 ncident rate 

2.0% 
43.9 

1.2 
14.1 
38.8 


Source: Midwestern Regioi 


nal Office. 


from Lansing schoc 



Enrollment rate 

1.2% 
31.5 

4.7 
11.7 
50.8 



Middle School; Ann Blair, principal of Gardner 
Middle School; and Michael Foster, principal of 
Rich Middle School. Patricia Farrell, director of 
Lansing school student services, also testified. 

Halik talked about the district's code of conduct 
and its purpose. He also addressed the total num- 
ber of suspensions, noting that they have gone 
down in recent years and that the number of 
suspensions is an item that he closely monitors. 

We had a very extensive group that looked at our 
discipline code and how we can make it more positive, 
how we can do it in a way that would result in fewer 
suspensions of our students from the Lansing schools 



10 TranicTipl. p 172. 

11 Ibid., p 173. 



[because] we cannot teach them if they are out running 
on the streets and not in our classrooms.^" 

I wanted to mention [that] in 1989-90 we [had] inci- 
dents of 6,603 Btispensions in the Lansing school dis- 
trict for whatever category. That has chimged through 
last year with 4,434 [suspensions]. The numbers are 
going down considerably. I look at that specifically as a 
superintendent, those figures come to me. ... I send a 
little communication for those [schools] that look out of 
line and ask them why so many youngsters were being 
suspended from their buildings, because I want them to 
be aware that the superintendent actually looks at this 
data." 



30 



Patricia Farrell discussed the district's disci- 
pline report,. She noted that the report had be- 
come quite extensive due to requests from individ- 
ual groups for additional data. This has resulted 
in the current report which breaks down suspen- 
sions not only by racial and ethnic categories, but 
also by gender. In addition, there is a delineation 
by number of incidents, number of students, and 
school. Farrell explained: 

Not only do we do a distnctwide comparison of the 
numbers of students we have suspended by individual 
offenses — and the offenses are extensive — they are bro- 
ken down by gender as well as racial ethnic categories, 
but we also do it by school. I really want to pinpoint this 
aspect because we asked our principals to come here 
and show you how they would use this data then in 
programming for themselves in their building.'^ 

Using the number of students involved in sus- 
pension incidents provided by Farrell, 2,503 stu- 
dents received a suspension. Of the total number 
of suspensions, 1,099 (43.9 percent) were African 
American students, who are 31.5 percent of the 
student enrollment.^Vhite students, who are 50.8 
percent of the student population, received 972 
(38.8 percent) suspensions. 

The number of Hispanic students suspended 
was 354 (14.1 percent), which is higher them their 
11.9 percent enrollment rate. American Indian 
and Asian students received 49 (2 percent) and 29 
(1.2 percent) suspensions respectively. Asian stu- 
dents received proportionately fewer suspensions 
than their student enrollment rate, while Ameri- 
can Indian students received suspensions at a 
rate higher than their proportion of the student 
population. 

According to school officials, the Lansing dis- 
trict is not pleased with the number of suspen- 
sions it has. It is committed to decreasing the 
number of these type of disciplines. The district 
has stepped up prevention programs in the ele- 
mentary grades, to give the students a good base 
before they get to the middle school or high school 



level. It has buttressed these activities with addi- 
tional programs in the middle schools. 

The middle school principals described a num- 
ber of ongoing programs designed to reduce stu- 
dent suspension rates. All three principals speak- 
ing to the Advisory Committee noted a decrease 
in suspensions as a result of an active program to 
intervene and prevent student misconduct. Pro- 
grams and activities in the three schools were 
similar in some respects, and unique to the indi- 
vidual school in other respects. 

Satumino Rodriguez described his school's dis- 
ciplinary advisory group, flexible school sched- 
ules, and student teams. He reported that subse- 
quent to these initiatives, there were 140 fewer 
suspensions in his school. 

Every morning, every 20 students on discipHne, will [be 
underl the advisory of one teacher for 20 minutes. . . . 
This teacher is there with the students to welcome 
them, to talk with them, to find out what kind of 
problems they are having. This advisory program was 
the creation of the community, and the parents feel it 
is a good program. Definitely every child wsmts some- 
body in the school to take care of him, help him, and we 
do that. 

The other thing we did was a flexible schedule. Stu- 
dents do not follow the same schedule every day or 
every week, and they are divided into teams. Every 
team has their own schedule. The school is run by 
teams and the decisions that the teachers and the 
teams are making. Special education students are in- 
cluded. This changed completely the climate of the 
school. . . . What happened is that we went down in 
suspensions by more than 140.^^ 

Ann Blair talked about her school getting ac- 
tively involved with the community, implement- 
ing peer mediation, and staff" training. These ef- 
forts reduced ihe number of suspensions at the 
school by 100. 

As in any organization, dealing with p>eople makes 
conflict, and a lot of our suspensions result from [stu- 
dentsl not getting along with their peers, we wanted a 



12 Ibid., p. 175. 

13 Ibid., pp. 180-81. 



31 



proactive stance. We [decided) to start a p>eer mediation 
conflict resolution program. In January we trained 33 
youngsters in how to resolve conflict peacefully. We had 
an advisory committee made up of parents, students, 
and community in order to make this effort not just an 
isolated school leffortj 

And what we do, we make this available to youngsters. 
They can sign up in each office. If they have a conflict 
with another youngster, instead of fighting and leading 
to a suspension, they can sign up to have one of their 
peers, with the supervision of an adult who has also 
been trained, to mediate and try to come to some reso- 
lution themselves. In conjunction with that I did some 
training with the whole staff. Ehjnng the year I had two 
assemblies; one . . . dealt with (jeople, conflict resolu- 
tion. And I also had another assembly [about] again 
making those decisions, not taking the low road. . . .We 
too reduced our suspension rates by about 100 young- 
sters.'* 

Michael Foster said that his school had volun- 
tarily expanded its role in ensuring student 
safety, limited suspensions to just three viola- 
tions, developed strategies to anticipate miscon- 
duct and intervene, utilized more in-school sus- 
pension, and worked regularly with the parents. 
The result of these efforts was a reduction in the 
number of suspensions by 176. 

One of the common concepts among children of middle 
school is that school is a safe haven for many kids. . . . 
We extended that safe haven concept from the grounds 
of the school out into the community when students are 
traveling between home and school or school and home. 
WTiat we have done in fact is enlarge our own job. 

We determined that we would suspend primarily for 
three things and three things only. We communicated 
that clearly to all students at the beginning of the 



school year. Here are the three things: fighting or vio- 
lent behavior .... violation of city. State, or Federal law 
. . . , and insubordination or refusal to cooperate with a 
teacher or staff member.'* 

We anticipate situations where misconduct might 
occur in an attempt to manage that situation so as to 
prevent it. Appropriate staff eind supervision of dances, 
of lunchroom activities, of loading and unloading of 
buses. '^ 

We utilize an in-school suspension room, supervised by 
a teacher and a full-time instructional assistant for 
those smaller infractions that do not warrant out of 

school suspension We work regularly with parents 

to develop plans for conduct [and] have parents in the 
building helping us supervise.** 

While we have enlarged our job, we were able to reduce 
suspensions from last year to this year by 176. That 
balances out across the board ethnicly, an equal distri- 
bution of reduction this year.'^ 

Several speakers alleged that the Lansing 
school district, not unlike other racially mixed 
school districts, has racial problems. Wilson Cald- 
well, president of the Lansing branch of the 
NAACP, said that the niunber of minority stu- 
dents in the district has increased, reaching 50 
percent in recent years. As this has occurred, he 
felt that some in the community have assumed 
there would be more problems in the schools. 

The composition of the Lansing school board for a long 
time . . . has kind of created this atmosphere . . . that 
there are problems within the Lansing school district 
because there are so many minority children in the 
school, and because they do not fit into this middle class 
idea.20 



14 Ibid., pp 18.S-87, 188. 

15 Th\d.. p. 190 

16 Ibid., p. 191. 

17 Ibid., p. 193. 

18 Ibid . p. 194. 

19 Ibid. p. 190. 

20 Ibid, p 24.3 



32 



Michael Boles, first vice president and educa- 
tion chair of the Lansing branch of the NAACP, 
acknowledged that there have been improve- 
ments in the Lansing school district regarding 
disproportionate discipline of African American 
students. Still though, he presented statements 
from black males, who felt they are perceived as 
problems in the school. In a written response to a 
committee inquiry on school treatment of black 
males, he wrote: 

Please find the enclosed comments ft"om [African Amer- 
ican] students during mentoring sessions: 
-often labeled as trouble-makers or discipline prob- 
lems; 

-disproportionately represented in student suspen- 
sions and low ability groups; 

-emphasis often placed on behavior rather than aca- 
demic performance; 
-below average achievement scores; 
-low teacher expectations.^' 

John Pollard, executive director for the Black 
Child and Family Institute, also felt that many 
black middle and high school students were un- 
fairly labeled as disruptive and were not regarded 
as serious, capable students.^ Moreover, Pollard 
passionately testified that many suspended chil- 
dren act out to mask the fact that they are un- 
educated. He expressed the concern that many of 
these neglected children will become predators on 
society, and argued that they are reachable. He is 
also concerned because he is seeing a younger 
clientele in recent years, and that many African 
American children neglected by the schools will 
become socialized not by teachers, but instead by 
gangs creating further mayhem in our cities. 



There are some administrators, some of whom are Af- 
rican American, who will tell you that children across 
the board seem to be more violent than they were 
before. There are some who feel that maybe there is 
institutionalized racism at work. 

I can only tell you that in the guspension alternative 
program, what I am beginning to find is that many of 
these children are acting out, so to speak, not because I 
consider them bad children, but because what they 
really are doing is masking the fact that they are un- 
educated. They cannot read, they cannot compute, and 
they would rather be known as the class cutup, clown, 
suspended kid, than being the idiot in every classroom 
that they sit in. And so rather than admit to . . . reading 
at a third grade reading level, which I have found some 
of them do, they will pretend to be gangsters and cutups 
£ind I think it is a masking of their self-esteem.^ 

In terms of the trends I see going on, I am getting 
younger children. They used to be predominantly high 
school students. I am finding more sixth, seventh, 
eighth graders. They are being sent to me for the same 
kind of fighting. You have to understand in [the Lan- 
sing] school district if I start a fight with Mr. Caldwell 
and Mr. Caldwell defends himself, both of us are 
gone.^ 

There is a phenomenon that goes on in the district that 
is called half days. Students who are 11, 12, 13 years 
old are put on something called half days. Half day is 
from 8:00 to 10:00 in the morning or 3:00 to 5:00 in the 
afternoon. ... I am not sure if they are included in the 
statistics I have and that the district has shared with 

you Where are these children? They seem to be the 

cannon fodder and the source of most of the gangs.^ 

The Ypsilanti Public School District 

The school district of Ypsilanti serves 4,853 
students from preschool through 12th grade. In 



21 Michael Boles letter to ConsUnce Davis, Aug. 12, 1994, Midwestern Regional OfEce, USCCR, files. 

22 The Black Child & Family Institute is a private nonprofit organi2atioD that rents its facility fit>m the Lansing school district 
and, in turn, provides educational programs including adult education, after-school tutoring, and a suspension alternative 
program. 

23 Transcript, pp. 25&-61. 

24 Ibid.., pp. 252-53. The fictional reference to a "Mr. CaldwelT was used because the speaker appeared before the Committee 
on the same panel as Mr. Caldwell of the NAACP. 

25 Ibid., p. 260. 



33 



TABLE 3-4 

Racial Composition of Ypsilanti Public Schools 





White 


Back 


Other 


Total 


56.5% 


40.2% 


3.3% 


West middle school 


50.9 


45.6 


3.5 


East middle school 


61.9 


36.3 


1.8 


High school 


58.0 


39.0 


3.0 



Source: Midwestern Regional Office, USCCR, from Ypsilanti school district data. 



addition, it provides instruction to 351 adult edu- 
cation full time equivalents in the high school 
completion GED, adult basic education, English 
as a second language, and education designed for 
gainful employment (EDGE) programs. There are 
13 buildings within the district, including: one 
kindergarten, six elementary schools grades 1-5, 
two middle schools grades 6—8, one high school 
grades 9- 12, the Kingston Special Education Cen- 
ter program, the regional career technical center, 
and the adult and community education building. 

For the 1993-94 school year, 56.5 percent of Uie 
student population was white, 40.2 percent was 
African American, and 3.3 percent was of another 
race/ethnicity. In terms of the auxiliary program 
populations during the 1993-94 school year, 34 
percent of students received a free/reduced lunch, 
12 percent were enrolled in special education 
classes, 19 percent of the student population re- 
ceived compensatory education classes, and 1 per- 
cent of all students were in ESL/bilingual 
classes.^ 

In the 1993-94 school year. East Middle School 
had 480 students; 61.9 percent being white, 36.3 
percent African American, and 1.8 percent of 
other races and ethnic groups." West Middle 
School had 544 students; 50.9 percent white, 45.6 
percent African American, and 3.5 percent of 
other races and ethnic groups.^ Ypsilanti High 



School had an enrollment of 1,191 students; 58 
percent white, 39 percent African American, and 
3 percent being of other races and ethnic groups." 

The Ypsilanti school district has a written pol- 
icy on school discipline. As a general policy in the 
Ypsilanti public schools, a student is always af- 
forded an opportunity to state his or her under- 
standing of the alleged misbehavior prior to the 
imposition of any disciplinary action. In those 
cases where the continued presence of the student 
is a danger to person or property or is disruptive 
to the school program, the student may be im- 
mediately suspended and removed from the site. 

As a general policy, the school district follows 
the following due process procedures. First, the 
student is informed of the allegation within a 
timely period. Second, the principal will schedule 
and conduct a factfinding conference as soon after 
the alleged incident as possible, but no later than 
3 school days, and the student will be given the 
opportunity to present his or her defense, wit- 
nesses, and evidence. A written summary of the 
factfinding conference will be made. Third, the 
principal or designated person will make a rea- 
sonable effort to verify and evaluate fairly the 
evidence. Fourth, if the principal finds that 
recommendation for suspension in order, the 
principal will inform the student and his or her 
parents/guardians by telephone, if possible, and 



26 Ypitijanli school dintnct, Di»lnct Dcacription. 

27 Ypmlanli nchdol dmtnct. Went Middle School Building Profik. 
26 TpKilanti nchnul distnct. Eaiil Middle School Building Profile. 
29 Ypiiilanii school diianct. Ypsilanti High School Building Profile. 



34 



send a written communication of the decision and 
their right to appear. Suspensions exceeding 10 
days require assistant superintendent review and 
approval."''' 

There are major tmd minor offenses that may 
result in a student being suspended. Minor of- 
fenses may be penalized with up to a 3-day sus- 
pension for a first offense and include: instigating 
leading to an argument or fight, insubordination, 
profanity, loitering, skipping/truancy, gambling, 
anonymity, parking, violation of tardy policy, 
forgery/cheating/petty theft, slander/ degrading 
epithet, disruptive behavior, minor vandalism, 
smoking, threats of harm. Major offenses may 
result in a 10-day suspension for a first offense 
and include: destruction of property, fighting, 
arson, theft, false reports, other illegal acts, extor- 
tion, assault and battery, motor vehicle violation, 
possession of explosives, possession of weapons, 
witnessed use or possession of alcohol and/or 
other drugs, witnessed selling/providing alcohol 
and/or drugs, look alikes, or paraphernalia.^' 

The district has been recording suspension 
data by race and ethnicity since 1988 and has 
released a public report of the number and type of 
suspensions. Historically, the community has 
been very involved in school issues. The issue of 
school discipline has received attention from the 
community in recentyears, and the public release 
of the suspension reports has played a part in that 
discussion. 

In March 1991, John Rohde, trustee of the 
Ypsilanti school district, sent a memorandum to 
then superintendent, Ralph Grimes, expressing 
his alarm over the number of suspensions being 
meted out in the school district, and the dispro- 
portionate impact of those suspensions on African 
American students. The memorandum was 
prompted by his review of the suspension report. 
In that memorandum, Rohde wrote: 



When I look at the multiple suBpensions, I am alarmed 
at those students who have received 4 or more suspen- 
sions (23 students) and I am upset to see students 
receiving 9-15 suspensions. I wonder how many days 
the student who was suspended 15 times was out of the 
classroom and building. Could it have been as many as 
150 days? ( 15 X 10-day suspensions) 

... I continue to believe that statistics that show that 
Black students represent 60% of those suspended 
(while they make up 39% of the District) shows a racia] 
bias against Black students. Regardless of home life 
and neighborhood realities, I believe that it is possible 
for the school system to deal fairly and equitably with 
students and bring forth positive, cooperative behavior 
from them. 

I continue to believe that the way we are dealing with 
Black students in the classroom has a lot to do with the 
fact that our suspension rate starts to climb at 4th 
grade level and then decline in high school. By high 
school, they can drop out. If the State ever changes the 
law to require compulsory school attendance until 18 or 
graduation, we will see the high school suspensions 
increase. 

I believe that we need some form of assessment 
of our racial equity as a district. ^^ 

In the 1992-93 school year, there were 612 
students who received one or more suspensions. 
Of these, 152 were elementary school students, 
226 were in middle school, and 234 were high 
school students. Similar to the statistics cited 3 
years earlier in Rohde's memorandum, 60 percent 
of the suspended students in the 1992-93 school 
year were African American. White students re- 
ceived 38 percent of the suspensions, while stu- 
dents of other races and minority ethnic groups 
accounted for 2 percent of the suspensions. 

Marilyn (joodsman, a member of the Ypsilanti 
board of education, said that in the past year the 
board directed the school administration to in- 
clude in the discipline report, the schools' efforts 
to prevent suspensions and dropouts. 



30 Ypsilanti school district. Student Handbook, p. 18. 

31 Ibid., pp. 14-17. 

32 John Rohde memorandum to Ralph Grimes, superintendent, Ypsilanti Public Schools, Mar. 16, 1991, Midwestern Regional 
Offioe, USCCR, files. 



35 



TABLE 3 5 

Comparison of Ypsilanti School Population with Suspension Population 





Suspension 


Population 




rate 


rate 


White 


37.9% 


56.5% 


African American 


60.3 


40.2 


Other 


1.8 


3.3 



Source: Midwastern Reoionel Office, USCCR, from Ypsilanti school district data. 



The past year the board of education directed the 
[school] administration notjust to present this [discipl- 
ine] report to us, but rather to give it some substantia- 
tion in terms of what is being done to help students so 
that we can prevent suspensions [amd] prevent drop- 
outs from occurring with the school system. We have 
very innovative employees in our school district and 
innovative administrators, and we have set them to the 
task of sharing with one another what has been suc- 
cessful. We have had very many successful kinds of 
things happening in our school district, and we want to 
build on those kinds of things."*^ 

Duke Williams, executive director of human 
resources for the Ypsilanti pubUc schools, dis- 
cussed the issue of discipline in the Ypsilanti 
school district He was joined by John Fulton, 
principal of Ypsilanti High School; Tilani Smith- 
Sambe, principal of one of the elementary schools; 
and Bill Snyder, principal of East Middle School. 
In addition, Herman Humes, Mary Gibson, and 
Dave Johnson, teachers with the Ypsilsmti Educa- 
tion Association, testified at the factfinding meet^ 
ing. 

Williams spoke about the eflForts of the district 
to be fair to all racial groups, while maintaining a 
uniform code of conduct that promoted a learning 
environment in the schools. He acknowledged 
that African American students are disciphned in 
disproportionate numbers in the district, but 



stated that this is more a reflection of society 
rather than a prejudicial pattern by the district 

The Ypsilanti public schools operate under a uniform 
code of student conduct, and it is our belief that we 
administer that evenly. It is to our board of education's 
credit that the expulsion rate at the Ypsilanti schools is 
extremely low. In very rough numbers, maybe five 
children in the last 8 years. 

In my 20 months in the district, the expulsions that 
have occurred have also been followed with alternative 
educational opportunities for students who were re* 
moved from the K-12 setting. We feel the statistics that 
we keep reflect that in the case of our school district, 
African American students are suspended at a hi^er 
rate than Caucasian [students]. And we work diligently 
to solve that 

We feel the public schools reflect society's issues. And 
we believe that is what we are dealing with. We have a 
charge to maintain a conducive, safe, orderly edacs- 
tional environment so that we can carry out our basic 
mission. And that basic mission is in constant competi- 
tion with the other special programs that are needed 
for the various students who are suspended at a higher 
rate.^ 

WiUiams also clarified distinctions between 
out-of-school suspensions and in-school suspen- 
sions. 



33 Tranacnpt., p 424. 

34 Ibid. p. 401. 



36 



In our district an in-schooi suspension is simply that. 
You have a student who has broken or exhibited behav- 
ior that is contrary to the uniform student code of 
student conduct, and they are removed from their class- 
room. At the upper level classrooms, as they have sev- 
eral teachers, (they] are placed in a separate room 
within the building and in general provided the work 
from either their class or vannus subjects and a person 
is there to assist them with it. But they are removed 
from their peers, their regular class. That would be an 
in-school suspension. Out-of-school suspension, you are 
simply sent home. Your parents are notified or your 
guardian, and that can range anywhere from half a day 
to 10 days.^ 

Fulton, the high school principal, described ad- 
ministration of the code of conduct in his building 
and his philosophy of discipline. He also discussed 
problems and successes of discipline implementa- 
tion. 

Every situation is different, but wherever there is a 
situation where a student needs to be suspended we 
follow the code of conduct. We try to use alternatives 
pnor to suspension, first whether it be a parent confer- 
ence, whether it be keeping the students after 
school. ... If we can come up with some alternative 
rather than suspend the student, we try to do that. 

The main suspensions out of school usually pertain to 
students who are involved in fighting or create risks for 
other students in the building. That is a reason to 
suspend them or as a measure that if you break these 
rules, these are the consequences. 

We tried an alternative program in the high school 
setting years ago, in-house suspension. Unfortunately 
we have had to discontinue that particular program 
because of funding. It took a person to watch those kids 
during the day, and it takes a special teacher. One does 
not just take a regular teacher |for this assignment], 
because now you are dealing with a room of maybe 10 
or 15 students who are ... all problems. 

But even with that program we did not see a real 
success. The real success that we have seen in the last 
few years has been communication with parents [of] 
our policies that call for suspension. . . . The real key is 



to have the parents come in and deal with them rather 
than to have the kid out of school. . . . And that accom- 
plishes probably more than anything, and the students 
are more afraid of having that happen than the 10-day 
suspension. If the parents can come in, you can usually 
solve the problem.^ 

Snyder, principal of East Middle School in 
Ypsilanti, discussed his building's attempts at 
proactive discipline and parental involvement. 

We attempt, at East Middle School, to be proactive in 
terms of managing student behavior. Our goal is to not 
have any students suspended and to have everybody in 
class all the time, learning and successful. When a 
student ... is disroptive . . . our first goal is to have the 
teacher be able to manage it within the classroom so 
that one, the youngster is not removed from class and 
is not removed from the learning situation. When a 
situation exists where the learning is disrupted ... to 
the extent the teacher cannot manage it, . . . it comes to 
the principal. 

What we try to do is to modify behavior, not punish 
people because most kids come to school really not 
wanting to get in b-ouble. Most kids want to do right 
and want to learn and want to succeed. But a lot of 
times they come to school without the skills to help 
them succeed. . . . They come out of an awful lot of 

pressure from all the communities we service There 

are some terrible problems that kids face on the week- 
ends, at home in the evenings, and they bring them all 
to school the next day. 

We have an inadequate counseling situation, as all 
schools do today, to help manage these problems, to 
help hold kids hands and talk them through these 
things, or get to the point of being able to internally 
handle these situations. And a lot of times they erupt. 

So when we have to send a student home on a suspen- 
sion, our first goal is to make it as short as possible; 
second, to involve the parents; and third, to make sure 
that when the student comes back to school, whether it 
is the next morning with a parent ... or whether it is 
for a longer period of time, ... we have a parent 
involved.^^ 



35 Ibid., p. 403-04. 

36 Ibid., pp. 414-15. 



37 



Smith-Sambe, an elementary school principal 
in Ypsilanti, repeated that her school tries to 
avoid using suspension as a discipline, but she 
admitted that minority students appear to be dis- 
ciplined more often. She stressed that with multi- 
racial and multiethnic student populations there 
is a need for teachers to learn more about diver- 
sity so that discipline would be more effective and 
more fair. 

There have been in-services for teachers on acceptance 
of cultural differences., .so that if we are really dealing 
with issues where minority children feel excluded from 
the process. They therefore choose to act out. We really 
[need to] address that exclusion [and] those feelings of 
exclusion. I think that this is a very key issue that we 
do need to talk about, and remember that [it is] in the 
classroom setting where a lot of this begins. 

The more that we can make our teachers aware of the 
problems that the kids bnng [and] the more in-services 
and the more support we can give our educators, the 
less you will see this [exclusion] reflected because the 
kids will feel good about being there. They will want to 
be in that classroom, they will be learning. 

We have done things with at-risk children at my 
schoolafler school clubs and different things hke that. 
We have found that the opportunity centers and the 
afler school clubs we have provided have lessened the 
number of suspensions.^ 

Several teachers from the Ypsilanti school dis- 
trict testified about discipline in general and the 
educational experiences of minority youth in par- 
ticular. Some educators indicated that the en- 
forced culture of conduct at a school created a 
culture of conflict with some minority students. 

Humes said: 

I have been working with students for 20 years. One of 
my main concerns h£is been that there are groupe of 



students who are not treated as individuals. A couple of 
years ago [we had] a focus group of African American 
males. . . . There seemed to be a consensus that there 
was a real lack of respect that was given them, a real 
lack of effort put forth to understand who they are, and 
just a basic, overall feeling of we are a nonentity.^® 

The school system is a component of the system at 
large. . . . One of the things I advocate ... is that one of 
the things that we have not done very effectively is we 
have not indicated to either the child or the pairents 
that there are two systems. There is the white middle 
class standard that is the school system . . . and then 
there is my neighborhood [cuJture]. . . . And what I am 
saying is a person walks into a room, an African Amer- 
ican male, and what he feels or what he believes is that 
he is negated, neglected, not given appropriate consid- 
eration because he is black. It has nothing to do with 
whether he is intelligent, . . . whether he is from a rich 
family [or a] poor family. It is just that he is black.*" 

Gibson, a social worker in the Ypsilanti pubUc 
schools, said the issues of disproportionate dis- 
cipline are multifaced, arguing that "it is race, it 
is socioeconomic status, it is values, educational 
opportunities, expectations, [and] environ- 
ment."** She noted that some students get the 
feeling of being failures from home, so they never 
get a sense of being accepted or belonging, and 
this is why some of them act out 

Johnson, a middle school teacher, added to this 
thought, saying that without parental involve- 
ment, an inflexible code of conduct often falls 
more severely on those children without parental 
support. He also thought that some discipline 
problems are the result of students being unable 
to perform academically. 

The problem I see at the middle school is that we try 
and get the parents in the meeting when a child is 
suspended. . . . We have many parents who will not 
bother to come back to school the next day and their 



37 Ibid, pp. 416-17. 

3« Ibid., p. 422. 

39 Ibid., p 438. 

40 Ibid., pp 440-41. 

41 Ibid., p. 442. 



38 



children are out [extra] days. ... So there is some 
apathy on the part of the ftimily in terms of seeing that 
their children get what they need in terms of this 
education. The other part that I see at the middle 
school ... is that learning problems at the elementary 
school become behavior problems at the middle school 
because they are put into classrooms and they are 
expected to do certain things, . . . and they are not able 
to do those tasks. So then it becomes a behavioral 
problem in the classroom.*^ 

The Judicial System and Community 
Efforts 

In many cases, the administration of school 
discipline and the judicial system become inter- 
twined. There is a juvenile court in each county of 
the State that is responsible for adjudication and 
disposition of delinquency charges and child 
abuse and child neglect matters. The juvenile 
court of the county is assisted in this work by the 
department of social services, which plans and 
implements post adjudication rehabilitative 
youth programs, and a probation office, which 
works with the serious repeat offenders. 

Nancy Francis, Washtenaw County probate 
judge, presiding in the juvenile division of probate 
court, spoke of the school influence on the lives of 
children. She noted that "structure and routine 
are usually missing elements in the lives of the 
court's children. . . . School success [positively] 
affects the sense of determination and self esteem 
and growth potential of each child in the court. "^^ 
She added that, although the court did not main- 
tain formal statistics on school suspensions, she 
and those who professionally assist the court have 
a very educated estimate of the problem of dispro- 
portionate discipline in the public schools. More 
chillingly, the judge maintained that local public 
districts use the judicial system as a dumping 
ground for children with whom the school system 
is unwilling to deal. 



From my perspective as a judge in the [juvenile] court, 
it app>ears that at least the disciphnary methods of 
suspension and expulsion fall more heavily upon Afii- 

can American children in Washtenaw County I am 

hearing reports regularly on what is happening to each 
child in school. It is clear to me that there is a signifi- 
cant disparity by race in this particular method of 
discipHne, at least as it involves the court population. 

Schools suspend and expel children that they do not 
want to, or believe they cannot deal with in their pres- 
ent format. That means the population is going to 
overlap greatly with the children who are served by the 
juvenile court. And, unfortunately, it appears that the 
children most readily seen as those who cannot be deedt 
with are the ones who do not fit in the niches made for 
them by the existing system. . . . 

There are ways that this process or this disparity af- 
fects what goes on in the juvenile court, and how chil- 
dren are treated in the court sometimes. For example, 
there have been countless times that I have held chil- 
dren in our secure detention facility for a longer period 
of time than would otherwise be necessary, because 
there is no school program for those children. They 
have been suspended or expelled [from the public 

schools] Our casework staff works diligently to try 

to develop an outside program for theman alternative 
programor we wait out a suspension so that the child 
can get back into school. 

There was a practice in the court, when I first took the 
bench, of fiHng probation violations on youngsters 
[under the supervision of the court] who were sus- 
pended ft^om school, because there is a standard court 
order that all children on probation who are under the 
supervision of the courts attend and participate in a 
school program. I have discontinued that policy and 
have [publicly] stated that I will not accept an author- 
ized probation violation on that basis because the basis 
for suspension has become too vague and sometimes too 
petty to warrant a suspension.** 



42 Ibid., p. 446. 

43 Ibid., p. 490. 

44 Judge Francis testified that she had discontinued that policy because *the basis for suspension had become too vague . . . 
and because the (court) became increasingly aware of the racial imbalance involved in the suspension decision at the school 
level." (Transcript, p. 493.) 



39 



. . . Increasingly we are seeing recommendations by the 
school for children to attend the adult education pro- 
gram, children who are 15 and 16 years old. 

To Judge Francis, the reason for the racial 
disparities observed in the school suspensions 
and encountered in the juvenile court population 
is institutional racism. The individual adminis- 
trator in the schools who imposes the discipline 
penalties may not be motivated by a racial ani- 
mus, but the continuing effects from past racism 
are in play. 

fRacial dispanties in school suspensions and the court's 
detention facility] are based on past racism in our 
communities, in our housing patterns, in the educa- 
tional system, in all manner of treatments and assis- 
tance that we have given to people in the past. . . . That 
IS what I think we are seeing now, because the children 
who are least likely to succeed are the ones that histor- 
ical patterns have almost forced to not succeed. 

Several positive interactions between the court 
and the school district were offered by Judge 
Francis. There is significant interface between 
the court and the schools at the caseworker level. 
For instance, the intensive probation department 
is now part of the school response in dealing with 
disruptive students, and has had success in keep- 
ing a child in school ratherthan having him or her 
suspended. But the judge cautioned that the court 
had to be careful not to become the school system's 
police officer. 

Judge Francis offered a series of specific sug- 
gestions to correct the school discipline system, 
and include the following: 

1. Reform the schools of education. Prepare 
teachers for all the students teachers are going 
to meet. Youth detention facilities should be 
filled with student teachers. 

2. School classes should be smaller. 



3. Parents need to be empowered, educated, 
and involved in the discipline of their children 
within the school system. 

4. There should be a mandatory requirement 
for alternatives other than suspension and ex- 
pulsion. If there is any hope of doing anything 
with the child, it is lost when he or she is 
expelled and put on the street with no educa- 
tion.*^ 

Also appearing at the factfinding meeting fi^im 
the judicial system were Nathfuiial Reid, program 
coordinator at the Center for Occupational and 
Personalized Education (COPE), Kim Marvellis, 
director of the casework services of the Wash- 
tenaw County Juvenile Court, and Rich Laster, 
supervisor of the juvenile court's intensive proba- 
tion casework. 

Marvellis said that the county juvenile court 
was being asked to handle much of the educa- 
tional responsibilities for the children. According 
to Marvellis, the county juvenile court annually 
has a caseload of between 1,000 and 1,200 youths 
in nonabuse, nonadoptive matters. Because the 
school system does not handle serious juvenile 
offenders, the court takes on the role of educator 
with these children, a role for which the juvenile 
court system is not designed. 

We find . . . our caseworkers and our supervisors deal- 
ing with the issue of where the kid is going to go if he 

gets out of detention And most of the time there are 

no good alternatives, or there is nothing available for 
us to send the kid to. So the task is upon us, and not the 
school, to find the [educational] solution.** 

The school should not have the option to say you are out 
and we are fuiished with you. . . . TTie court ends up 
holding the hot potato in most instances, where the 
kids reached 13, 14, 15 years of age, and we really know 
that this youngster is not so delinquent as much as his 
or her problem, really they have to do with the low 
fiinctioning, low educational skills and other related 



46 Tranocnpt, pp. 491-94. 

46 Ibid, p. 495. 

47 Ibid., pp. 498-99. 
4« Ibid, p. 616. 



40 



issues. We feel that really this cannot be continued, and 
that the schools ought to take a more responsible 
attitude.*^ 

We (in the juvenile court system) think . . . the school 
systems ... do not actively pursue and certify every- 
body that falls under the guidelines of special educa- 
tion. . . . We find ourselves . . . are the ones that initiate 
individual education plans. . . . We have to initiate that 
so we can get alternative education services.^ 

At COPE, there are 35 education slots avail- 
able to the juvenile court for the county, 10 for the 
Ann Arbor public schools, 3 from Willow Run, 5 
from Ypsilanti, and occasionally there is a referral 
from an outlying district in the county. Currently 
there are five staff, four State certified teachers, 
and Reid. The teachers are not special education 
teachers. 

One of the dilemmas facing COPE is the in- 
creasing number of students expelled or serving 
long term suspensions. This increasing number 
makes it impossible for the current staff to serve 
the needs of all the students who need services. 
Reid addressed thisln telling the Advisory Com- 
mittee about the types of student violations that 
bring students to his facility and his negative 
opinion of behavior contracts. 

We receive a lot of those student that have been ex- 
pelled or on long-term suspensions because of weapons 
or drugs. The numbers are greater each year. Right 
now the majority of them are being sent to us to deal 
with.^' 

When [studentsl go back [to school] usually there is a 
behavioral contract made up. And this behavioral con- 
tract sometimes is totally ridiculous . . . because if you 
are in education or a parent or whatever, you know that 
middle school timetable for youngsters and develop- 
ment is up and down. One day they want to be an adult, 



the next day it may be playing with dolls or G.I. Joe. 
And then you will get a behavioral contract that if you 

sneeze wrong, you are out of here ageiin We have 

to make some adjustments in this behavioral contract 
because we know it is not going to work. 

Laster addressed the crosscultural misunder- 
standings that frequently result in negative reac- 
tions to minority students in the school setting. 
The consequence of this misunderstanding re- 
sults in many minority students feeling angry and 
acting out "They feel that they have been singled 
out or they do not feel they received proper jus- 
tice."" 

Judge Francis repeated this message, urging 
more child advocacy to insure a better and more 
equitable school discipline. 

One of the most common things I hear in the courtroom 
when youngsters are explaining why it was they were 
suspended from school is a student on student situa- 
tion, very often involving an African American child 
and a white child. And the way the student describes it, 
which is their subjective point of view, is that they were 
both at fault in some way, but I was the one who was 
suspended and the other student was left in school. I 
hear that over and over again in the courtroom. And we 
all have a sense of how sensitive children are to fair- 
ness. And they feel particularly humiliated and angry 
when that happens.^ 

The other point [is] . . . that even in districts which have 
very, very good guidelines about discipline, it only 
works when adults get involved and can come back in 
and represent or speak for or with the child in an 
advocacy way. And so often that does not happen. It is 
what I was talking about before about the . . . empow- 
ered parent The (discipline] just sails right over their 
head and the kids have no assistance to come back in 
and be able to have a forum in which to tell their story 
and possibly get some justice. . . . system. 



49 Ibid., p. 520 
60 Ibid. p. 518 
51 Ibid., p. 434 



62 Ibid., p. 541. 
53 Ibid., p. 537. 
64 Ibid., pp. 541-42. 



41 



The juvenile court opposition to school suspen- 
sion was given some measure of support by State 
Superintendent Schiller. In his testimony he 
noted that more and more school districts in the 
State are attempting alternative approaches to 
suspensions, rather than using this discipline tool 
SiS a strategy for improving student behavior. 

Primarily punitive [discipline] such as out-of-school 
suspension runs counter to the goal of preparing young 
people for full and productive lives. When the conse- 
quences are fair and when they are reasonable and 
consistently applied . . . the student truly respects 
discipline and it becomes the learning experience it is 
meant to be. Quick fixes like out of school suspen- 
sion/expulsion have no benefit to the students who are 
suspended. 

School suspension programs are increasingly being re- 
placed by more appropriate prevention intervention 
strategies that provide a more effective long-term solu- 
tion. There is a need for disciplinary alternatives 
within a canng environment to keep students in school. 
The practice of out-of-school suspension and expulsion 
should be limited to only those very few students whose 
presence represents a dear danger to the safety and 
security of the school community in situations where a 
school over a period may be needed or when a student 
or parent refuses alternatives to suspension.* 

Eugene Cain, superintendent of the Highland 
Park school district,^^ spoke more of generic is- 
sues facing school districts, than of individual 
problems in his school district. He testified that: 
(IJ the issue of discipline in schools is intertwined 
with the issue of poverty, (2) the leadership of a 
district, especially with regards to the superinten- 
dent, is critical, (3) more minority teachers are 
needed, and (4) there is a need for data collection. 



Regarding poverty and school discipline, Cain 
shared a recent experience in his school district: 

Case in point, . . . one day we were looking at the 
problem of the placement of black kids in special edu- 
cation. . . . And it was really interesting because some 
of us were looking at the problem as if it were a white- 
black problem, and that is not necesstirily the case. You 
find just as overwhelming a number of black males in 
special education in all-black school districts as you will 
find in predominantly white school districts. However, 
. . . one of the things that is driving this, in my opinion, 
is poverty. . . . Poverty is . . . expansive in terms of its 
impact on how we treat children.^ 

Addressing the issue of district leadership, 
Cain specifically cited Highland Park as an exam- 
ple of a superintendent lowering the suspension 
and expulsion rates. There were no student expul- 
sions in ^e Highland Park schools last year. 

One of the other things . . . you need to take a look at 
. . . where you have a large number of cases of kids 
being expelled . . . [is] the leadership of the district, 
especially the superintendent. The superintendent can 
be the red or green light for suspensions and/or expol- 



I am superintendent of schools in Highland Park and 
we did not expel one child last yetir. We did not expel 
one child in Highland Park schools last year because I 
said if you are going to advocate expelling any student, 
you are going to have a good reason for wanting to expel 
that student. And you had better have some 
information to share with me that you have done every- 
thing that you possibly can to keep this child in school. 

Now as a result of that, [there was] a lot of fi-ustration 
Expulsion is one of the easiest ways of dealing with 



66 Ibid., p. 543. 



66 Transcnpl, pp. 12-13. Examples of alternative programs are given in this chapter from the Lansing and Ypsilanti school 
distncta. 

67 Prior to his appointment as superintendent, Cain was a teacher in the middle and high schools of Detroit, an instructor in 
education at Wayne Stale University, social studies specialist in the Michigan Department of Education, director of 
secondary education at Highland Park, and assistant supenntendent in the Michigan Department of Education for the office 
of education equity and community services. 

68 Transcnpl, pp. 5€i*-70. 
5& Ibid., pp. 570-71. 



42 



problems. Keep the kids in school, that is perhaps the 
biggest challenge. ... I became very involved in this 
myself. I mentored three students.*''' 

We had a young lady who was involved in distributing 
marijuana cigarettes — a lot of them on this particular 
day. This young lady, once I investigated the situation, 
came from a very poor family. The day she was involved 
in selling these cigarettes was the day the family was 
being put out. She was trying to raise the rent money .^' 

Cain feels that schools ought to be about the 
business of creating sensitive teachers to deal 
with the difficult situations that children some- 
times face. Often these diflRcult situations are 
intertwined with race and poverty. Minority 
teachers can be a real attribute to a school district 
in this area. Unfortunately, accordingto Cain, the 
fiiture supply of minority teachers is decreasing. 



Most of your minority teachers will be retired in the 
next 5 to 10 years. It will be very rare in Michigan to 
see a black teacher in the next 10 years. It is going to 
be very rare because we are not there. 

When you look at who is being trained down the pipe- 
lines you are going to find ... it will change drastically 
in the next few years because most of the folks at the 
top of the longevity scale are minorities. And so that 
you are going to have are lot of suburban white folks 
workingin all black, mostly minority situations, a lot of 
times void of contact with these cultures.^ 

Finally, on the issue of data collection, Cain was 
emphatic. 

You need some sort of statewide database to tell you 
how bad or how good the situation is. Right now you do 

not have that Policy is usually driven by data. If you 

do not have the data, how in the world are you going to 
effectuate policy? It is out of the question.^ 



60 Ibid., p. 572. 

61 Ibid. p. 573. 

62 Ibid., pp. 574-75. 

63 Ibid., p. 576. 



43 



Chapter 4 

The State of Michigan: Authority and Equal Education 
Opportunity 



Public education in general and school disci- 
pline in particular have generated significant 
public and political interest jind legislation in 
Michigan in recent years. In 1994 the financing of 
Michigan public schools was completely over- 
hauled. A new financing scheme was enacted to 
address some of the disparities between districts 
in school funding. Legislation passed, effective 
January 1, 1995, which gives increased authority 
to local school districts in administering disci- 
pline. 

School Funding 

In 1994 Michigan changed its financing system 
of public education. The funding for pubhc educa- 
tion was changed from a system primarily prop- 
erty tax based, to one financed primarily through 
Statewide sales tax revenues.' It was designed to 
eliminate the disparities in per capita student 
funding. Most provisions of the school aid reform 
took effect on October 1, 1994, while others affect- 
ing the 1993-94 State fiscal year were imple- 
mented immediately upon the referendum's pas- 
sage in 1994. Several items under the reform 
indirectly affecting school discipline include: 

• A per child foundation grant will be used to 
allocate most of the school aid funding. 

• Districts will receive foundation allowance 
State aid on the difference between the dis- 
trict's foundation level and the per-pupil yield 
from the base millage. 

• A $230 million in "at-risk pupil" funding will 
be allocated to districts whose 1994-95 base 



revenue per-pupil is less than $6,500 on the 
basis of the October 1994 count of pupils ebgi- 
ble for free lunch. 

• School readiness grants of $42.5 million for 
"at-risk" 4-year olds are available, an increase 
of $15 million over 1993-94. 

• ISD special education, vocational education, 
£md operational millages will continue to be 
equalized. 

Kirk FVofit, State representative in the Michi- 
gan House of Representatives, thought that the 
new funding initiative provides a more equitable 
school funding system, but significant disparities 
still exist And these disparities affect the disci- 
plinary options available to a district 

I understand the specific focus [of the factfinding] is 
discipbne and suspensions. Let me speak more of what 

1 know, and that is the general issue of equity in Mich- 
igan. . . . We have moved financing to public education 
in Michigan from a disptirity in terms of dollars per 
pupil from 3 to 1 to 2 to 1. But we still have a significant 
disparity. Having done this just recently, I think there 
is a genuine concern that we are finished. I do not know 
how we can tell ourselves that we are finished with the 
equity issue when we have a system in place that has a 

2 to 1 disparity in financing per student. And it is still 
driven, to a certain extent, by the property wealth 
within the district . 

It is difficult to deal with those [discipUne and suspen- 
sions] in a context of a system that is marked by such 
huge disparities. It is tough to tell a system that it is 
okay to deny opportunities based on the wealth of the 



PJi. 199.3, No. 336. Twenty-four other pubbc acts are part of the school rinance reform package, inchiding PA. 1993, No. 312, 
which amendB the school axle with a new funding plan. The amended school funding plan was supported by a bipartisan 
coalition in the legislature and the Governor. The plan was approved by the voters in a referendum in 1994. 



44 



community in one context, but ... in the operations 
within your system, you have to be fair.^ 

There are not differences that would justify a 2 to 1 
spending disparity. And that kind of disparity, when 
you tell a child that your educational opportunity is 
driven by the measure of property wealth that they are 
bom into, you send a . . . message to the child that 
reflects Itself in all the types of things you are trying to 
address specifically here today."' 

Board of Education and Department of 
Education 

The issue of school discipline cannot be sepa- 
rated from the responsibilities of the Michigan 
board of education. The Constitution of the State 
of Michigan provides for a board of education to 
provide leadership and general supervision over 
all public education. Article VIII expresses the 
State's encouragement of education (section 1), 
support for a free and public elementary and sec- 
ondary schools (section 2), and the duties of the 
board of education (section 3): 

Sec. 3. Leadership and general supervision over all 
public education, including adult education and in- 
structional programs in state institutions, except as to 
institutions ofhigher education granting baccalaureate 
degrees, is vested in a state board of education. It shall 
serve as the general planning and coordinating body for 
all public education, including higher education, and 
shall advise the legislature as to the financial require- 
ments in connection therewith.* 



The bo£ird of education consists of eight mem- 
bers who are nominated by party conventions and 
elected at large for terms of 8 years. The Governor 
is an ex-officio member of the State board of edu- 
cation without the right to vote.^ The State board 
of education appoints a superintendent of public 
instruction who is responsible for the execution of 
the board's policies. "The superintendent is the 
principal executive oflRcer of a state department 
of education which shall have powers and duties 
provided by law.** 

The department of education is created by 
Michigan law 16.400, Sec. 300, which reads: 
"There is hereby created a department of educa- 
tion."' MSA Sections 301 and 302 establish the 
State board of education as the head of the depart- 
ment of education and transfer "all powers, duties 
and functions vested by law in the board of educa- 
tion ... to the department of education."* 

The State's General Act to provide a system of 
public instruction and elementary and secondary 
schools is encoded in The School Code of 1976.^ In 
that act, the State asserts its authority over local 
school districts. 

The state's general policy is to retain control of its 
school system, to be administered throughout the state 
under state laws by local state agencies organized with 
plenary powers independent of local govemmenta with 
which such agents are closely associated, and education 
is no part of local self-government inherent in township 
or municipality except in so far as legislature chooses 
to make it such . . . The state's general policy has been 
to retain control of its school system and administer it 



Testimony before the Michigan Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, factfinding meetings, Lansing 
MI, Aug. 3, 1994, Ann Arbor, MI. Aug. 4, 1994, pp. 374-75 (hereafter referred to as Transcript). 

Transcript, pp. 376-77. 

Article VIQ, Michigcm Constitution. 

Ibid. 

Ibid. 

PA. 1965, No. 380, i 300, Imd. EfT. July 23, 1965. Michigan Compiled Laws, Annotated, Sections 14 to 20. End, p. 304. 

Ibid. 

PA. 1976, No. 451, Imd. EfT. Jan. 13. 1977, 



45 
















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46 



through local state agencies independently of the local 
government with which, however, such agencies are 
closely associated.'" 

The State board of education under its respon- 
sibility to provide general leadership to education 
in the State has published Guidelines to the 
Rights and Responsibilities of Students. The pur- 
pose of the Guidelines is to provide information 
that local district boards, staff, students, emd com- 
munity members can use in adopting, implement- 
ing, and assessing local standards of student con- 
duct." Beardmore stated: 

Our constitutional duties require us to provide leader- 
ship and guidance Fifteen years ago the State board 

of education passed a model code of student conduct 
and the recommendation to every school district that 
they, too, should develop a code of student conduct with 
responsibilities clearly spelled out for all students and 
the consequence for not following and abiding by those 
rules.'^ 

Most recently in the laws that were passed last Decem- 
ber ( 1993 ), Publi c Acts 335 and 339 requi re every school 
district, every school building, to be certain that the 
rules are clearly understood, they are clearly estab- 
lished, [and that] families [and] students are well- 
informed.'^ 

The Guidelines do not dictate a uniform set of 
rules of student conduct for all districts, recogniz- 
ing the right of local boards and the community to 
determine standards of conduct. But State law 
does require local boards to establish some rules 
of student conduct. Section 1300 of the School 
Code requires each local school board to "make 



reasonable regulations ... for the proper estab- 
lishment, maintensmce, management, and carry- 
ing on of the public schools of the district, includ- 
ing regulations relative to the conduct of pupils 
concerning their safety while in attendance at 
school or enroute to and from school."'* 

Though the State board of education acknowl- 
edges that Michigan statute gives local boards of 
education the authority to establish student codes 
of conduct, attendance policies, and any other 
policies and practices deemed necessary, in adopt- 
ing and implementing school policies, local school 
districts "must consider other criteria such as the 
authority of the State Board of Education and the 
rights and responsibiUties of students."'^ 

Section IV of the Guidelines, Due F*rocess and 
the Fair Administration of Discipline, outlines 
current law and practice and the authority of local 
school boards in suspending and expelling stu- 
dents. Procedural due process in this section re- 
quires that the rules established at the local 
school district level bear a reasonable relation- 
ship to educational purposes.'® By authority of 
section 1311 of the School Code, local school 
boards still retain authority for school discipline. 

Local school boards may authorize or order the suspen- 
sion or expulsion from school of a pupril guilty of gross 
misdemeanor or persistent disobedience, when in the 
board's judgment the interest of the school may de- 
mand the authorization or order. ..." 

The terms "gross misdemeanor" and "persistent 
disobedience"£ire not defined by legislation. The 
State board has informed local school districts 
that in developing policies: 



10 Ibid., 5. Sute policy. 

1 1 Michigan State Board ofEducation, "Students' Rights and Responsibilities in Michigan,''(hereafter referred to as Guuielmes) 
May 1982, p. 2. The guidelines are in app. IV. 

12 Transcript, p. 18. 

13 Ibid. 

U Mich. Comp. Laws Ann {380.1300 fWest 1988). 

16 Guidelines, p. 2. 

16 School Code. 

17 Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. } 380.1311 (West 1988). 



47 



1. The policy must provide notice of what con- 
duct is prohibited or permitted. 

2. The rules must be reasonably understand- 
able to the average student. 

3. The rules must be rationally related to a 
valid educational purpose. 

4. The rules must be precise so as not to pro- 
hibit constitutionally protected activities. 

5. The policy must provide students with notice 
of potential consequences for violating specific 
rules. 

6. The type of punishment specified in the pol- 
icy must be within the expressed or implied 
authority of the school district to utilize. 

7. The punishment must be of reasonable se- 
verity in relation to the seriousness of the mis- 
conduct or the number of times the misconduct 
was committed. 

8. A copy of the rules and procedures must be 
disseminated to all students.'^ 

According to the State board of education per- 
haps the most important characteristic of due 
process is its variable nature. The very nature of 
due process rejects a rigid approach of having a 
simple and succinct definition covering every con- 
ceivable situation.'^ This is relevant to observed 
disproportionate minority discipline in that cul- 
tural factors and other mitigating circumstances 
should be examined by school districts in the 
administration of school discipline, and a wooden 
approach to rules infractions should be eschewed. 

The board and the department, however, as- 
sert that their authority in matters of school dis- 
cipline extend only to general guidance. Local 
schools have final responsibility for the fair and 
equitable administration of school discipline. 
Schiller said: 

I ne«d to reiterate the fact that in our State, local school 
districts have the responsibility for establishing the 
policies of disapline as it affects their students. We, as 



the State of Michigan, unlike other States in the Na- 
tion, do not have a statewide policy, statewide proce- 
dure, statewide disciplinary code to affect all schools. 
The 560 school districts and 3,500 schools have the 
direct responsibility to establish their individual stu- 
dents' discipline f>ohcies as it affects the carrying out of 
expectations for students and the punishments 
therein.™ 

Further, the department has faced real budget- 
ary cuts in recent years. The cutbacks at the 
department have affected the department's mon- 
itoring of equal education opportunity in the 
State. Programs have been fiinded at lower levels 
and other programs have been eliminated. 
Roberta E. Stanley, director of tenure and Federal 
Relations Commission, Michigan Department of 
Education, stated: 

The State of Michigan was one of the predominant 
States in terms of the civil rights in schools and the 
desegregation court orders that were brought down by 
the Federal courts. We as a State got more emergency 
school aid assistance than most States in the coun- 
try. . . . Many of those Federal desegregation orders 
included items that related to the student suspension 
and expulsion. So [Michigan] is very sensitive to that. 

We have staff in the deptirtment [of education] who are 
funded by the Federal Government that work with local 

school districts on implementing those grants That 

staff is not as strong in place right now as it once was 
because of different funding trends and programmatic 
trends, both at the State and Federal levels. . . . 

We have convened many meetings in the department of 
various groups in the department or program areas 
that would address those issues. I would suggest that 
because the Congress and State legislature moved 
more away from categorical funding of individual pro- 
grams that were for identified students [and] more into 
what we call block grant funding . . . many of the 
alternative programs have been funded at the lower 
level or defunded entirely.^' 



18 Gutdeimu. p 41. 

19 Ibid., p. 42 

20 Tranacnpl, p. 11. 



48 



Profit testified that fiinding for the department 
of education had decreased in recent years, and 
that such decreases had affected its effectiveness 
in administering control over local school dis- 
tricts. He said: 

The department of education budget has been cut dras- 
tically. They get very little in terms of a real SUte 
appropriation. Most of their money is Federal money 
with the specific mandate for a certain function. . . . 
Thirty million dollars the State gives to the department 

of Education Thirty million dollars out of $18 billion 

in revenue from Michigan residents is spent on the 
department^ 

A comparison of budget data for fiscal years 
1990 and 1994 supports Profit's assertions. In 
fiscal year 1990, the State appropriated $51.4 
million to the department of education. In 1994 
the appropriation from the general fund was 
$30.7 million, a decrease of 70 percent.^ Funding 
for the department comes from three general 
sources: 

• general fiand appropriations, 

• Federal fiinds, and 

• other local and State revenue sources. 

Analysis shows State funding to the depart- 
ment has decreased by 50 percent over the last 4 
years. In fiscal year 1990-91, general fund appro- 
priations and other revenue sources to the depart- 
ment were $80,457, 000.^* In fiscal year 1994-95 
that funding had decreased to $54,847,000; the 
Governor's proposed spending on the department 
from these two sources for fiscal year 1995-96 
was slightly higher at $60,750,000.^ 

Cutbacks in funding by the State to the depart- 
ment are even more severe when measured in real 



TABLE 4-1 

Real State Spending on the Department of 

Education. 1990 and 1994 




1990 



1994 



Source: Mdwestem Regional Office, USCCR, from 
Execubve Budget. 



dollars. Adjusting nomineil funding amounts for 
inflation. State funding to the department de- 
cretised 63 percent between 1990 and 1994 (see 
table4-l).» 

One of the units affected in the department of 
education is the race relations and sex equity 
unit The unit was initially established in 1980 
and provided assistance to local districts in pro- 
viding equal education opportunities to all 



21 Transcript, pp. 27-28. 

22 Transcript, pp. 387 and 396. 

23 State ofMichigan, Executive Budget, Fiscal Tear 1990-91, p. H3 and Fiscal Tear 1994-96, pp. B1-B4. 

24 State ofMichigan. Executive Budget. Fiscal Tear 1990-1991, p. H3. 

25 SUte ofMichigan. Executive Budget. 1994-96 Fiscal Tear, pp. B1-B4. 

26 Real dollars are nomina) dollars divided by an inflation index. Using the im^dt price deflator (1987=100) for the yean 1990 
and 1994. real dollar expenditures to the department in FT 1990-91 was $71,092,000 and in FT 1994-95 $43,495,000. 



49 



students regardless of race, color, or gender. In 
1990 the unit was still operating within the 
department with a staff of six: a director, three 
coordinators, and clerical staff. In addition, the 
department acted as a central depository for 
information for issues dealing with race and gen- 
der equality in education. The office is now de- 
funct. There remains an office of enrichment and 
community services under an assistant super- 
intendent, but the duties of that office do not 
specifically address issues of equal education op- 
portunity.^^ 

Discipline Data Collection 

Although the department does not have re- 
sponsibility for local district discipline policies, 
since 1990 it has been given the responsibility to 
collect data on student suspensions and expul- 
sions. Michigan Compiled Laws, § 388.1757, Sec. 
157 of the State School Aid Act reads: 

In order to receive fiinds under this act, each district 
and intermediate district shall furnish to the depart- 
ment, on a form and in a manner prescribed by the 
department, the mformation requested by the depart- 
ment that 18 necessary for the preparation of a study of 
suspended or expelled pupils in grades K to 12 as 
required by section 307 of the . . . department of educa- 
tion appropriations act.^ 

Many told the Advisory Committee that it was 
essential that such data be collected on suspen- 
sions and expulsions. However, there was no re- 
cord of any such data collection by the depart- 
ment. Schiller was questioned both on the 
department's collection of suspension data and 
the use of the data by the department. 

Saleh (Advisory Committee member): Dr. Schiller, you 

indicated . . . you are required to keep statistics on 



suspensions for more than 10 days. So now these school 
districts have to report these to the State board of 
education, is that correct? 

Superintendent Schiller Yes 

Saleh: And . . . what is your role after that? Just to 
develop the statistical data? 

Schiller: Develop statistical data [and] report the sta- 
tistics to the legislature, and to recommend to the State 
board of education any policies or guidance that we do 
provide to school districts in order to address these 
issues. 

Saleh: But again . . . you are not keeping statistics of 
this on the basis of race, sex, national origin. 

Schiller: We have not, but we will be in terms of dis- 
aggregating the data.^ 

Ombudsman Unit 

The Michigan Department of Education estab- 
lished a student issues ombudsman unit on 
March 1, 1994, within the department's office of 
enrichment and community services to respond to 
inquiries regarding student issues, including sus- 
pensions and expulsions.^ The ixnit does not in- 
vestigate or advocate on behalf of students, but 
disseminates information, provides counseling, 
and makes referrals. The mEgor objectives of the 
unit are to: 

• provide assistance which will enable students to stay 
in school and to learn 

• facilitate dialogue between parents and the local 
school board^* 

If the issue regards student discipline, such as 
suspension or expulsion, the ombudsman staff 



27 Ivan Colman, telephone interview, Feb. 13, 1995. 

28 State School Aid Ad, MCL } 388.1757. Sec. 157. Higtory: PA. 1979, No. 94, { 157, added by PA. 1990, No. 207, { 1. Eff. 
Oct. 1, 1990. Amended by PA. 1991. No. 118, { 1, Imd. Eff. Oct. 11, 1991. 

29 Transcript, pp 39-tO. 

30 The unit pemonnel uicluden an ombudaman, ombudsman coordinator, executive asristant ombudaman, assistant ombuds- 
man, intake coordinator, and two back-up intake coordinators. 

31 Robert E. Schiller, letter to Janice Frazier, Aug. 3, 1994, Midwestern Regional Office, USCCR, files. 



50 



may call the local school district to clarify details 
of the suspension, expulsion, or other issue and 
inquire about due process procedures. Staff may 
also ask local district officials for information on 
educational alternatives available which would 
enable the student to continue his/her education 
while on suspension and expulsion. The depart- 
ment policy is that: 

Ombudsman staff advises callers that appeals for sus- 
pensions can be taken to the local district board and 
expulsion appeals would be handled through private 
legal action. The department does not hear appeals for 
student suspension and expulsions."*^ 

The establishment of the ombudsman unit is 
an attempt by the department to organize its 
response to complaints and inquiries. In recent 
years prior to the establishment of the ombuds- 
mam unit, there was no organized intake or re- 
sponse to complaints and inquiries made to the 
department. A standard citizen complaint and 
inquiry form was used, but these were accepted by 
several units within the department, with no ac- 
curate intake procedures and no formal followup. 

An examination of the complaint and inquiry 
forms at the department found complaint and 
inquiry forms, along with the department's ac- 
tions and dispositions, placed in three-ring bind- 
ers and set in sm office in the department build- 
ing. Staff of the regional office examined all 
complaints and inquiries made to the department 
during 1993 dealing with minority student dis- 
cipline actions. 

Twenty three of those inquiries dealt with mi- 
nority student discipline issues. Some type of dis- 
position or referral by the department was associ- 
ated with each complaint and/or inquiry, 
including: sending the rights and responsibilities 
guidelines (eight times), referring the petitioner 
to the school board and/or superintendent (six 
times), referring the petitioner to the department 
of civil rights (five times), and referring the peti- 
tioners to other groups including the Student Ad- 
vocacy Center and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. 



No referrals were noted to the Oflfice for Civil 
Rights, U.S. Department of Education. 

Michigan Department of Civil Rights 

The Michigan Department of Civil Rights 
(MDCR) works under the authority of the Michi- 
gan Civil Rights Commission (MCRC). The 
MCRC was created by the Michigan Constitution 
of 1963 and is empowered to investigate allega- 
tions of discrimination. Article V, §29 of the Mich- 
igan Constitution reads: 

There is hereby established a civil rights commis- 
sion. ... It shall be the duty of the commission in a 
manner which may be prescribed by law to investigate 
alleged discrimination against any person because of 
religion, race, color, or national origin in the eryoyment 
of the civil rights guaranteed by law and by this consti- 
tution, find to secure the equal protection of such civil 
rights without such discrimination.^ 

Cooperation between the MDCR and the Mich- 
igan Board of Education in dealing with issues of 
race and ethnic discrimination in public schools 
extends back more than 30 years. In 1966 the 
MDCR and the department of education entered 
into a joint policy statement that recognized the 
role of the State board of education and its consti- 
tutional charge to provide leadership smd general 
supervision over all public education and the role 
of the commission in securing and protecting the 
civil right to education without unlawful discrim- 
ination. 

The authority of the commission extends to 
educational facilities and public school districts. 
Janet Cooper, deputy director for legal and com- 
munity affairs with the MDCR, explained this 
authority and gave information on the 
commission's work with public school districts. 

During the constitutional convention the framers of the 
constitution talked about several civil rights areas. 
Although they ultimately declined to enumerate them, 
one of the those areas was . . . the area of education.** 



32 Ibid 

33 CoDstitution of Michigan of 1963, Art. V, §29. 



51 



Since 1987 (the MDCR) has received 119 complaints 
against school distncts in the State of Michigan alleg- 
ing unlawful suspension or expulsion. Forty-four al- 
leged suspensions [were] based on race; 36 of those 
claimants were black. Twenty-seven alleged expulsion 
on the basis of race; 25 were black. Sixteen alleged 
suspension based on national ongin, including nine 
Hispanics and three Native Amencan students. Seven 
alleged expulsion based on national origin, including 
five Hispanics and one Native American student. The 
25 other alleged suspensions and expulsions [were] on 
other bases such as gender, pregnancy, handicap, retal- 
iation for activities. . . .^ 

The Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act defines 
civil rights in the State of Michigan and the duties 
of the civil rights commission and the department 
of civil rights.-*^ The act declares that the opportu- 
nity to obtain equal utilization of educational fa- 
cilities without discrimination because of race, 
color, or national origin is a civil right.^^ Cooper 
explained MDCR procedures in investigating ed- 
ucation complaints. 

Complaints must be filed with the department of civil 
rights within 180 days of the alleged act of unlawful 
discrimination, but under the same statute people can 
go to court directly; [they] need not go through the 
department of civil rights for a period of 3 years. 

Once a com plaint is filed, the respondent agency, in this 
case the school, school district, school board, would be 
notified of that complaint. We would normeilly send out 
a questionnaire asking questions which are relevant to 
the kind of allegations made. 

After that we usually schedule a conference at the 
beginning of our investigation between whatever the 
school distnct is and whoever the parent [is] ... to see 
if we can sort out the issues and whether we can make 
any early resolution in that process. A significant num- 



ber of our complaints are resolved through that kind of 
early resolution process. 

If [the MDCR] is not successful in that resolution, we 
will then do a complete investigation, reviewing re- 
cords, interviewing witnesses, whatever is required. If 
our investigation indicates evidence of unlawful dis- 
crimination, we will invite the respondent to meet with 
us in a formal conciliation process, which is a require- 
ment to proceeding further. . . . 

If we do not succeed in resolving the complaint through 
conciliation, we will issue a formal charge and conduct 
a formal administrative hearing. At the end of that 
administrative hearing, the hearing officer makes a 
proposal to the eight members of the civil rights com- 
mission, including conclusions of law and findings of 
fact. When the commission enters its order, the order is 
appealable through and enforceable through the circuit 
court of the State.^ 

Complaints to the department of civil rights 
alleging discrimination in education are a small 
portion of the department's total caseload. From 
program year 1988-59 to 1992-93 the depart- 
ment received 29,000 complaints. Of those, 368 
(1.3 percent) alleged discrimination in education, 
and 94 dealt with the issue of school discipline.^® 
Most of these complaints were from African 
Americans, 74 percent (see table 4-2). 

Cooper explained that allegations of discrimi- 
nation in education has been a persistent, but 
small part of the department's caseload. 

Over the past several years, the number of education 
complaints have averaged fewer than 2 percent of the 
total complaints filed. Employment cases usually rep- 
resent more than 90 percent of all complaints, followed 
by housing, places of public accommodation, and public 
service and law enforcement. 



.34 Transcript, p. 142. 

35 Ibi(L, p. 143. 

36 PA. 1976, No. 453, EfT. Mar. 31, 1977. Amended by Pj\. 1992, No. 124 5 1, Imd. Eff. Jun. 29, 1992; PA. 1992. No. 258, { 1. 
Imd. EfT Dec. 7, 1992. 

37 Ibid^ Art. 1, Sec. 102(1). 
3« Tranacnpl, pp. 158-59. 

39 Michigan Department of Civil Rights, Annual Report Fiscal 1993. p. A-6. 



52 



TABLE 4-2 

Education Compfaints to the MDCR. 1987-1993 



Issu 


«: Suspension 


Expulsion 


African American 


44 


73.3% 


25 73.5% 


Hispanic 


9 


15.0% 


5 14.7% 


American Indian 


3 


5.0% 


1 2.9% 


Other 


4 


6.7% 


3 8.8% 


Total 


60 




34 



Source: Midwestern ReQional Office, USCCR, from MDCR data. 



The low number of complaints in education, however, 
does not reflect the extent of discrimination in our 
schools or the extent of the commission and depart- 
ment's concerns for achieving equal opportunities for 
all students. . . . *° 

In the late 1960s racial conflict and student 
demonstrations reached a critical level in the 
State. The MDCR in cooperation with the State 
department of education assisted 18 communities 
in handling more than 50 racial tension situations 
in local high schools and area colleges. Subse- 
quent to this cooperation agreement, the MDCR 
and the commission did a report on discipline and 
suspension policies and practices in the public 
schools. The report was prompted by the number 
of complaints made to the MDCR from several 
Michigan school districts. 

The report, published in 1968, recommended 
that school districts should review their policies 
regarding discipline, suspension, and expulsion.*' 
The report also noted as a problem a concern still 
expressed today — the association between minor- 
ity and low socioeconomic status and school disci- 
pline, i.e., minority and poor students receive un- 



40 Transcript, p. 160. 



equal treatment in the administration of school 
discipline. 

There is a wide-spread problem with respect to the 
violation of the rights of pubhc school children through 
the absence or inadequacy of safeguards for due process 
of the law in the procedures followed by many school 
districts in implementing suBf)ension and expulsion 
authority. There is, in fact, accumulating evidence that 
this deficiency affects, most acutely, Negro and poor 
children 

Underlying the racial tension which has erupted into 
open confrontation in numerous Michigan school dis- 
tricts this current year is the question of unequal appli- 
cation of discipline [emphasis added] as seen by Negro 
students at the secondary level. The matter of the 
unequal application of discipline raises the question of 
what action can be taken at the State level to aid in the 
solution of this problem.*^ 

Department concern for equal educational op- 
portunities for minority students has not dimin- 
ished since their 1968 report. In 1986 the MDCR 
conducted an analysis of equality in education 
and commented on several areas of specific im- 
portance to educational equality. Those issues 



41 Michigan Departnnent of Civil Righta, "Discipline and Suspension Policy and Practices in Michigan PubUc Schoola.* The 
complete report is in app. V. 

42 Ibid., p. 4. 



53 



included data collection, employment and higher 
education, teacher training, dropout rates for mi- 
nority students, school conduct code issues, and 
sex equity in the public schools.*^ 

Addressing the issue of school discipline, 
Cooper gave information on disproportionate 
discipline that has come to the attention of the 
department in recent years. 

Last week one of our staff members in the western side 
of the State reported to us that in the Grand Rapids 
public school system their statistics showed that black 
students are suspended at a rate of approximately two 
and one-half times that of whites. The percentage of 
black student suspensions in the 1993-94 school year 
was 63.5 [percent] while for whites it was 24.7 percent. 
We also understand that there are similar, but not 
identical problems in the Holland public schools except 
that there the problem is frequently a higher rate of 
suspensions for Hispanic students.** 

Adding to the discussion on disproportionate 
school discipline of minority students, Cooper con- 
nected discipline to dropout rates, and the rela- 
tionship of dropout rates to prison incarceration 
rates. Some of these so-called dropouts, she al- 
leged, are in reality "push outs," i.e., students 
leaving school because the school has let them 
know that they are unwanted. 

We know that there are a number of perfectly valid 
reasons for dropouts, students being moved to another 
distnct, movement out of State, many other things may 
occur. . . . We also recognize [though, that] . . . some- 
times dropouts are the result of pushouts. They may 
reflect students who have concluded because of a pat- 
tern of suspension and disciplinary difficulties that 
school IS not a place for them, or may drop out because 
of the problems they have had in such programs. 



We recommend consideration of tracking systems for 
students with discipline problems. We have hetird too 
frequently about students whose problems begin with 
discipbne and then suspension, and they subsequently 
find themselves in special education programs which 
end in pushouts or dropouts.*^ 

The [Michigan] department of corrections (reported to] 
us that of the 40,420 prisoners now in State correc- 
tional facilities, 21,655 of them entered the system 
without high school completion, more than 50 percent. 
This covers all of the prisoners currently in Michigan 

correctional facilities We need to know some of the 

kinds of things that do correlate with suspensions in 
school, with dropouts, with grade retention, and with 
being tracked into special education where it may not 
have been the appropriate response.*® 

Other estimates of Michigan inmate popula- 
tion without high school diplomas are higher. In 
addition, these estimates also show the cost to 
taxpayers of incarceration are much higher as 
compared to education costs. Zweifler offered an 
exhibit stating that approximately 80 percent of 
Michigan prisoners did not complete high school. 
The average cost for housing and maintaining one 
prisoner for 1 year is $22,800, while the average 
cost per year to educate a child is only $4,000.*' 
The cost for one child in a State juvenile facility is 
approximately $52,000 per year; in a private facil- 
ity, the cost is about $48,000 per year.*® 

Beardmore, too, stated that the State board of 
education was concerned about students being 
"pushed out" of school, luid its effect on the quality 
of education in the State. 

We understand that there are variations in the number 
of students who are expelled or suspended and that 
there are such things as student being pushed out of 
school, not dropping out. . . . It is a . . . practice which 



43 Janet Cooper, transcnpt, p. 146. 

44 Tran.vnpt, p. 147. 

46 Chap. 6 of this report examines the relationship of disability and discipline. 

46 Tranacript, p. 161. 

47 H. Lynn Johndahl. "The Education ABBurance Act, HB 5096, An Art to assure a better education and a brighter future for 
aD Michigan children," Lansing, MI, 1990, p. 14. 

48 Ibid- 



54 



the State board of education strongly opposes. [We] successful in learning what it is they need to know to be 
recommend a number of alternatives for the school successful adults. We know that expulsion and suspen- 
distncts so that we can assure that all students will be sion are not the way to assure those final outcomes *^ 



49 Transcript, p. 23. 



55 



Chapter 5 

The Federal Government and the Enforcement of 
Nondiscriminatory School Discipline 



Two Federal agencies have responsibilities in 
monitoring the administration of discipline 
by local school districts. The Office for Civil 
Rights (OCR), U.S. Department of Education, en- 
forces the Federal statutes that prohibit discrim- 
ination in programs and activities receiving Fed- 
eral funds. Kenneth A. Mines, Regional Director 
of OCR, stated, "Discriminatory discipline prac- 
tices violate Title VI [of the Civil Rights Act of 
1964] and obstructs the meaningful access to ed- 
ucational opportunity."' Title VI reads: 

Sec. 601. No person in the United States shall, on the 
ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded 
from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be 
subjected to, discrimination under any program or ac- 
tivity receiving Federal financial assistance. . . . 

Sec. 606. For the purposes of this title, the term 'pro- 
gram or activity and the term "program' mean all of 
the operations of . . . (2)(B) a local educational agency 
(as defined in section 198<aK 10) of the Elementary and 
Secondary Education Act of 1965), system of vocational 
education, or other school system; . . . ^ 

The Community Relations Service (CRS), U.S. 
Department of Justice, provides services, includ- 
ing conciliation, mediation, and technical assis- 
tance, directly to people and their communities to 
help them resolve conflicts and tensions arising 
from actions, policies, and practices perceived to 
be discriminatory on the basis of race, color, or 
national origin. It has the authority to mediate 
issues of discipline in school districts where there 



are allegations of racial and/or ethnic disparity. 
The authority of the CRS also derives from the 
Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title X reads: 



Sec. lOOl.(a) There is hereby established . 
nity Relations Service. 



. a Commu- 



Sec. 1002. It shall be the ftinctjon of the Service to 
provide assistance to communities or persons therein 
in resolving disputes, disagreements, or difficulties re- 
lating to discriminatory practices based on race, color, 
or national origin. . . . ^ 

Office for Civil Rights 

U.S. Department of Education 

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is the Federal 
agency primarily responsible for enforcing civil 
rights laws concerning elementary and secondary 
schools. As such, they are charged with ensuring 
equality of opportunity in what is a critical func- 
tion of State and local government and arguably 
the government's primary means of helping mi- 
nority and disadvantaged children succeed in life. 
The OCR is intended to be the front-line Federal 
agency to eradicate barriers that impair educa- 
tional opportunities for minority students. 

CR enforces several Federal statutes in the 
area of education, including title VI of the 1964 
Civil Rights Act, title DC of the Education Amend- 
ments of 1972, section 504 of the Rehabilitation 
Act of 1973, and the Age Discrimination Act of 
1975. Discrimination on the basis of race, color, 
and national origin is prohibited by title VI; sex 



Testimony before the Michigan Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, factfinding meetings, Lansing, 
MI, Aug. 3, 1994, and Ann Arbor. MI, Aug. 4. 1994, transcript p. 77 (hereafter referred to as Transcript). 



2 Pub. L. No. 88-352. July 2. 1964, 78 SUt. 241. 

3 Ibid. 



56 



discrimination is prohibited by title DC of the Ed- 
ucation Amendments of 1972; discrimination on 
the basis of disability is prohibited by section 504; 
and age discrimination is prohibited by the Age 
Discrimination Act of 1975. OCR has the author- 
ity to enforce these laws in all programs and 
activities that receive funds from the U.S. Depart- 
ment of Education. These include programs and 
activities operated by institutions and agencies, 
such as State education agencies, elementary and 
secondary schools, colleges and universities, and 
vocational schools. 

Title VI is the major piece of legislation that is 
enforced by the OCR. According to Mines: 

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 governs and 
enriches the efforts of States and local communities to 
identify challenging educational standards and to 
equip students to meet them. Title VI requires that all 
students be provided equal educational opportunities 
without regard to race, color, nr national origin.* 

OCR is organized into 10 regional offices that report to 
our headquarters in Washington ID.C] Michigan is 
covered by the Region V office as are Minnesota, Wis- 
consin, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. Region V has a 
primary office in Chicago and a field office in Cleveland, 
which . . . handles secondary education matters in 
Michigan and Ohio.^ 

The Cleveland district oflRce of the OCR has 
jurisdiction over the States of Michigan and Ohio 
in elementary and secondary education matters. 
In the office are 25 staff, including support staff, 
investigators, supervisors, and a legal staff. Addi- 
tional stafTis in the Chicago regional office, which 
has oversight responsibilities for the Cleveland 
district office and jurisdiction over Indiana, 
Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. 

Currently, the Cleveland district office is di- 
vided into two teams, the Michigan team and the 
Ohio team. The Michigan team has one super- 
visor, one clerical worker, eight investigators, and 



two attorneys. The Ohio team has one supervisor, 
two clerical workers, seven investigators, and two 
attorneys. In case of work overflow, adjustments 
are made between the two teams and between the 
district office and the regional office in terms of 
staff and work tissignments.® 

A potent enforcement tool of the OCR is its 
ability to terminate a school district's Federal 
funding. In the 1970s the OCR's willingness to 
defer or terminate funding and to threaten such 
terminations caused many school districts to com- 
ply with provisions of civil rights statutes. 
Zweifler testified that in the area of disparate 
school discipline, the efforts of OCR and other 
enforcement agencies are crucial: 

[The Student Advocacy Center] is not funded. We do 
both individual case advocacy and we do throughout 
the State and we do our best to monitor policies and 
practices and we receive hundreds of similar calls. . . . 
We cannot represent these children without the help of 
the agencies, agencies mandated to protect the kids. It 
is impossible. 

OCR investigates complaints filed by individu- 
als, or their representatives, who believe that 
they have been discriminated against because of 
race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age. 
The Office also initiates compliance reviews of 
recipient institutions and agencies, and monitors 
the progress in eliminating discriminatory prac- 
tices of institutions and agencies that are im- 
plementing plans negotiated by OCR. First at- 
tempts at resolving problems uncovered during 
compliance reviews are through negotiation. If 
problems cannot be resolved through negotiation, 
then OCR initiates enforcement proceedings. 
Mines described the compliance review priorities. 

OCR is currently implementing a strategic enforce- 
ment plan which targets several significant civil rights 
issues for a concentrated effort4ncluding compliance 
review investigations and technical assistance 



4 Transcript, p. 77. 

5 Ibid., p. 78-79. 

6 Ibid., p. 110-11. 

7 Ibid., p. 59. 



57 



activities. These issues were identified after wide-rang- 
ing consultation with parents, advocacy groups, educa- 
tors, State and local agencies, OCR and department of 
education offices, and other members of the civil rights 
and education communities. Our current highest pnor- 
ities are: 

• overrepresentation of minority students in special 
education classes and programs; 

• uses of testing that discnminate on the basis of race, 
color, national origin, or sex; 

• underrepresentation of minority students and wo- 
men in mathematics and science and high tech courses; 
and 

• special language assistance to limited-English profi- 
cient national origin minnnty students.* 

On December 11, 1990, OCR released its Na- 
tional Enforcement Strategy for FYs 1991 and 
1992. In that strategy, OCR set out its enforce- 
ment goals for the next 2 fiscal years and prom- 
ised a "more comprehensive and balanced en- 
forcement strategy to supplement, and 
complement, OCR's complaint investigation pro- 
gram [and thus] enable OCR to focus its available 
resources on many important issues that do not 
usually arise through complaints and to initiate 
investigations of broader impact than are found in 
most complaint allegations."® 

For FY 1991, OCR listed seven strategic prior- 
ities the agency would emphasize in its planned 
activities to ensure equal education opportunity: 

1. Equal educational opportunities for national 
origin minority and Native American students 
who are limited-English proficient; 

2. Ability grouping that results in segregation 
on the basis of race and national origin; 

3. Racial harassment in educational institu- 
tions; 

4. Responsibilities of school systems to provide 
equal educational opportunities to pregnant 
students; 



5. Appropriate identification for special educa- 
tion and related services for certain student 
populations, e.g., 4,32 'crack babies" and home- 
less children with handicaps; 

6. Discrimination on the basis of sex in athlet- 
ics; and 

7. Discrimination on the basis of race in admis- 
sions programs and in the provision of financial 
assistance to undergraduate and graduate stu- 
dents.'° 

For its program year in FY 1992 OCR identi- 
fied six priority issues of concern for the agency, 
five of which potentially affected elementary and 
secondary schools. One of these priority issues 
was discrimination in student discipline. 

1. Overinclusion of minority students in special 
education classes; 

2. Sexual harassment of students; 

3. Student transfer and school assignment 
practices that result in the illegal resegrega- 
tion of minority students; 

4. Discrimination on the basis of race and na- 
tional origin in student discipline; and 

5. Equal opportunities for minorities and 
women to participate in math and science 
courses." 

The Advisory Committee notes that school dis- 
cipline was dropped as a priority issue in the 1993 
strategic plan. Mines acknowledged that in recent 
years, responding to community concerns over 
increases in violence in schools and other safety 
issues, many school districts throughout the 
country have instituted stricter disciplinary 
codes. In many districts, these more stringent 
codes are resulting in more suspensions and ex- 
pulsions. Since minority and nonminority chil- 
dren are disciplined for all types of reasons and 
under all kinds of circumstances, as a matter of 



Ibid., pp. 79-80. 

US. Department of Education, OITioe of Assistant Secretary forCiviJ ^\g\it». National Enforcement Strategy Office for Civil 
RighmFYs 1991-1992 (Dec. 11. 1990). 

Ibid. 

rbid-, emphasis on school discipline added. 



58 



course these actions do not involve the OCR. How- 
ever, according to Mines: 

When discipline is imposed on the basis of race, color, 
or national origin in federally assisted education pro- 
grams, civil rights issues covered by title VI arise. 
While frequency of discipline alone is not enough evi- 
dence to establish a violation, statistics about the im- 
pact of discipline practices upon minority students pro- 
vide an indicator of possible civil nghts compliance 
issues. 

Statistics are frequently relied on as indicators of pos- 
sible discrimination in discipline. Studies conducted 
since the early 1970s have shown that minority chil- 
dren are being disciplined more frequently, and in some 
situations, receive more severe penalties than non- 
minonty students. 

For example, according to studies by the OCR and the 
Children's Defense Fund in the 1970s and 1980s, Afri- 
can American students were more likely to be referred 
for suspension than white students. The 1988 OCR 
Elementary and Secondary School District Civil Rights 
Survey of 4,556 school districts showed that black stu- 
dents comprised 21.4 percent of the total school enroll- 
ment, but received over 38 percent of all suspensions 
while white students, making up over 61 percent of the 
total enrollment, received 48 percent of total suspen- 
sions. 

According to the 1990 OCR survey . . . white students 
were 68 percent of the total enrollment and got 54 
percent of the susjjensions. Afncan Amencan students 
receive 32 percent of the suspensions, double their 16 
percent national enrollment. Suspension rates for His- 
panics and other minority groups were very close to the 
enrollment percentages.'^ 

Nationally for the 1992 OCR survey . . . African Amer- 
ican students were 16 percent of the total school popu- 
lation and received 34 percent of all suspensions. White 
students were 67 percent of the enrollment and got 51 
percent of the suspensions.'^ 

Mines acknowledged that the OCR data for 
Michigan revealed a similar pattern. The 1992 



OCR survey of Michigan elementary and second- 
ary schools showed whites being 80 percent of the 
student population and recipients of 71 percent of 
the disciplinary suspensions. African Americans 
were the group receiving the most disproportion- 
ate discipline. They were 15 percent of the stu- 
dent population, and received 25 percent of school 
suspensions. 

Asians were 2 percent of the student popula- 
tion and received less than 1 percent of school 
suspensions. American Indians were 1 percent of 
the student population and received 1 percent of 
the suspensions. Hispanics received 3 percent of 
the suspensions, and were just 2 percent of the 
student population (see table 5-2). 

Mines discussed the OCR's involvement in 
school discipline issues. In the past the OCR has 
conducted both complaint investigations and com- 
pliance reviews, involving possible discrimination 
in discipline, in region V. The complaints have 
been generated by minority parents asking OCR 
to investigate what they consider to be discrimi- 
natory treatment of their children. 

According to OCR regional records, in the 3- 
year period, June 1, 1991, to June 30, 1994, there 
were 346 complziints filed against Michigan pub- 
he school institutions. Of those 346 complaints, 
outside of special education, just 6 were related to 
student discipline. This impUes that less than 2 
percent of all complaints received by the OCR 
concerning discrimination in education opportu- 
nity in Michigan had to do with allegations of 
disparate discipUne. 

Moreover, even though the statistics generated 
by the OCR and other studies show African Amer- 
ican students being the group suffering the most 
disproportionate discipline, only half of the dis- 
cipline complaints concerned African American 
students. Three of the six discipline complaints 
alleging discrimination concerned African Ameri- 
can students, two concerned American Indian 
students, and one concerned a white student.'* 

Mines admitted that the small number of dis- 
cipline related complaints may stem from few 



12 Transcnpt, pp. 83-84. 

13 Ibid. 



59 



TABLE 5-1 

National Comparison of White and Black Student Suspension Rates 





Enrollment rate 


Suspension rate 




Whrte 


Back 


White Black 


1988 


61% 


21% 


48% 38% 


1990 


68% 


16% 


54% 32% 


1992 


67% 


16% 


51% 34% 



Source: Midwestern Regional Office, USCCR, from OCR data. 



TABLE 5-2 

OCR Survey of School Discipline. Michigan, 1992 





American Indian 


Asian 


Hispanic 


Black 


White 


Membership 


16,972 


24,533 


30,283 


237,533 


1,257,032 


Rate 


1% 


2% 


2% 


15% 


80% 


Suspension 


797 


307 


2,215 


19,093 


53,757 


Rate 


1% 


0% 


3% 


25% 


71% 



Numbers may not add to total due to rounding and reporting errors. 

Source: U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights. 1992 Elementary and Secondary School Civil Rights 

Compliance Report, Projected Values for the State of Michigan. 



individuals knowing about the existence of the 
OCR. Mines admitted as nnuch. 

We have thought in the past, that because we have 
been enforcing this since 1964 that everyone knew that 

we existed. We found out that they did not So what 

we had begun to do is getting focus groups, in other 
words, parents, teachers, advocacy groups, meeting 
with them, trying to find out their concerns and also 
through our technical assistance program, just go out 
and meet with parent groups and to send the word out 
on what the rights are and what our tigency is all 
about. . . . And also I think we need to use the news 
media better, let people know that we are out there. '^ 



OCR Compliance Reviews 

Mines discussed school discipline as a civil 
rights issue. He said that the issue first arose in 
the context of school desegregation, reaching a 
high point in the 17 southern and border States 
during the 1971-72 school year. There were re- 
ports from OCR regional offices of HEW which 
were monitoring implementation of desegrega- 
tion plans and conducting onsite reviews that 
school systems were discriminating against black 
students in applying discipline. Also, in enacting 
the Emergency School Aid Act of 1972 Congress 
expressed its concern about testimony regarding 
discriminatory expulsions and suspensions.*' 



U Ibid., p. 103. 

16 Ibid., pp. 105-06. 

16 Ibid., p. 81. 



60 



According to Mines, OCR has recently been 
actively involved with discipline issues: 

In the past, OCR conducted complaint investigation 
and compliance reviews involving possible discrimina- 
tion in discipline. Many of the complaints are filed by 
minority parents who are asking OCR to investigate 
what they consider to be discriminatory treatment of 
their children. 

OCR has fdso conducted a full compliance review inves- 
tigation under title VI of the disciplinary pohaes and 
practices in school districts. Districts have been se- 
lected for discipline compliance reviews on the basis of 
pattern of complaints for a penod of time, information 
from OCR surveys. State data or other sources showing 
an unusually high suspension/expulsion rate for minor- 
ity students, or information from parents, organiza- 
tions, and others. 

These investigations involve massive data collection, 
indepth statistical analysis, and extensive interviews 
of students, teachers, administrators, and ptirents for a 

wide range of legal and factual issues To investigate 

racially different treatment in disciphne, OCR covers 
three areas: discipline rules and practices, referrals, 
and the imposition of sanctions. '^ 

Federal officials with the Department of Edu- 
cation further stated that OCR, with respect to 
the administration of discipline rules and prac- 
tices, examines several facets of discipline. This 
includes doing an analysis of whether discipline 
policies and procedures are racially neutral in 
content. In examining the basis for referrals, OCR 
examines whether there are disproportionate re- 
ferrals for minority students for subjective as op- 



posed to objective offenses. Finally, OCR deter- 
mines whether minority and nonminority stu- 
dents are being administered similar disciplinary 
sanctions for similar offenses. Similarity includes 
both the type of punishment, i.e., suspension, and 
also the severity of the punishment, i.e., days 
suspended.'* 

According to Mines, from 1980 to 1992 OCR 
investigations of alleged civil rights violations 
were restricted to the different treatment model. 
The agency was required to show that a minority 
student received different treatment from a simi- 
larly situated nonminority. The Attorney General 
has issued a memorandum to Federal depart- 
ments and agencies directing them to also use the 
disparate impact approach in enforcing civil 
rights.'^ 

A disparate impact approach may include a 
prima facie case dependent upon statistical evi- 
dence that a district's discipline system, or a com- 
ponent practice, although facially neutral, pro- 
duces a significant, adverse, disparate impact 
upon minority students. With the prima facie case 
established, OCR would examine whether the 
school district could produce sufficient evidence 
showing the discipline system or component is 
educationally justified.^ 

The Advisory Committee examined the num- 
ber and type of OCR compliance reviews nation- 
wide, in region V, and in Michigan for the years 
1991-92, 1992-93, and 1993-94. This period in- 
cluded a time when a strategic priority of the U.S. 
Department of Education was "discrimination on 
the basis of race and national origin in student 
discipline."^' 



17 Ibid., pp. 85-86. 

18 Ibid., pp. 86, 87. and 88. 



Ibid., p. 90. The mernorandum from the Attorney General reads: "Enforcement of the disparate impact provisions is an 
essential component ofan efTective civil rights compliance program. Individuals continue to be denied, on the basis of their 
race, color, or national ongin. the full and equal opportunity to participate in or receive the benefits of programs assisted by 
Federal funds. Frequently discnmination results from poHcies and practices that are neutral on their face but have the effect 
of discriminating. Those policies and practices must be eliminated unless they are shown to be necessary to the program's 
operation and there is no less discriminatory alternative." Office of the Attorney General, Memorandum for Heads of 
Departments and Agencies that Provide Federal Financial Assistance, July 14, 1994. 

Ibid., pp. 91-92. 

U.S. Department of Education, OrPice of Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, National Enforcement Strategy Office for Civil 



61 



The Cleveland district oflRce of the OCR has 
recently completed three compliance reviews in- 
vestigating the issue of disparate discipline. Two 
of the reviews were initiated by the district office, 
and one was the result of a complaint filed with 
the oflRce. The three reviews were of school dis- 
tricts located in Ohio, Youngstown, Euclid, and 
Cleveland Heights-University Heights. There 
have been no reviews by OCR of siny Michigan 
school district regarding its administration of dis- 
cipline. 

In the three reviews, OCR sought to determine 
whether the district's disciplinary policy and 
practices and the imposition of disciplinary sanc- 
tions result in discrimination against black stu- 
dents on the basis of race, in violation of title VI 
of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. A violation was found 
in one of the school districts, and the district 
agreed to engage in action-oriented programs. No 
violation was found in the other two Ohio school 
districts. 

In the course of the investigation of each dis- 
trict, OCR: 

• examined the district's disciplinary code; 

• interviewed teachers regarding their under- 

standing and administration of the code; 

• analyzed the number of discipline referrals 
by race; 

• analyzed whether, after referral, black stu- 
dents receive equal penalties to those im- 
posed against white students for the same 
disciplinary offense. 

• analyzed the discipline referrals of teachers 

identified as making a great number of re- 
ferrals, and interviewed those teachers; 



• analyzed enrollment and referrals by race for 

Lee House sind Cedar House, district alter- 
native education placements; 

• examined suspension and expulsion hear- 
ings; 

• interviewed students; and 

• asked school officials for an explanation for 
the disparate number of discipline referrals 
meted out to black students.^ 

Community Relations Service 
U.S. Department of Justice 

Unlike OCR, the Community Relations Service 
(CRS) mediates racial conflicts in a nonenforce- 
ment manner, and has successfully intervened in 
school discipline disputes in Michigan. In 1994 
CRS mediated a student conflict in a public school 
in Michigan. The involvement of CRS followed a 
series of student conflicts with racial overtones 
that culminated in the expulsion from school of 
two African American students. The mediation 
involved a series of discussion sessions that re- 
sulted in a letter of understanding signed by rep- 
resentatives from the Kentwood School District, 
and involved students, parents, and community 
representatives.^ The letter of understanding is 
in appendix VI. 

The CRS carries out conflict resolution services 
by mediation professionals located in 10 regional 
offices and three field offices. Michigan operations 
are served by the Midwest Region, which has its 
offices in Chicago, Illinois. Five conciliation spe- 
ciahsts are assigned to the region. A field office 
operates in Detroit, Michigan, under the jurisdic- 
tion of the Chicago regional office. It is the only 
field office in the Midwest Region, and the one 



Righu FYs 1991-1992 (Dec. 11, 1990). 

U.S. Department oT Education, OCR, Cleveland district ofTice, investigative report for the Cleveland Heights-University 
Heights School District. 

Letter of Understanding Between Kentwood School District & Concerned Students and Parents, June 8, 1994, Midwestern 
Regional Office, USCCR, files (hereafter referred to as CRS Letter of Understanding). Signing the agreement for the 
Kentwood F*ublic School Distnct were: Mary Lieker, superintendent; Linda David, school board member; Rosemary Ervine, 
assistant superintendent for instruction; Patricia Brown, principal; Larry Corbett, principal. Students, parents, and 
members of the community signing the agreement included: Linda Hitchcock, parent; Kamau Hosey, parent; Mrs. 
Blasaingame, parent; Curt Agard. student; Tia Bates, student; NeUie Blue, NAACP; Rodney Brooks, Urban League; and 
Billy Taylor, community represcnLative. Witnessmgon behalf of the CRS was Gustavo Gaynett, director of the Detroit field 
office. 



62 



conciliation specialist assigned to the office has 
MichigEin for his area of responsibility.^* 

CflS is alerted to community racial problems or 
violence through news media reports, staff obser- 
vation, or through requests for assistance from 
State and local officials and community leaders or 
individuals. CRS follows a systematic process for 
conflict resolution. Conciliators first file alerts 
when they identify conflicts resulting from actual 
or perceived discriminatory practices based on 
race, color, or national origin. Assessments are 
conducted to confirm initial information reported 
through alerts and to determine whether CRS 
should intervene.^ 

Racial tensions on college or university cam- 
puses and at elementary, middle, or high schools 
are specific conflicts the CRS mediates. Moreover, 
the issue of school discipline is of particular inter- 
est to CRS. In its public information pamphlet. 
Catalyst for Calm, the service asks: 

Have you seen an increase in racial fights in your 
school? Do members of one racial or ethnic group seem 
to be disciplined more severely than another for the 
same offenses? Are there allegations of racial favorit- 
i8m?26 

Alerts with respect to incidents at educational 
institutions is a significant part of the CRS alert 
activity. In fiscal year 1993 the total number of 
alerts in Michigan was 77. Fifteen (19.4 percent) 
involved education establishments, though none 
were concerned with school discipline. The issues 
included: 

- employee layoffs, 

- minority faculty members and minority- 
oriented classes (2), 



-racial climate on campus, including fights (5), 

- racial slurs by officials (2), 

- bias in testing (2), and 

- location of private schools (3).^' 

The total number of alerts in Michigan during 
fiscal year 1994 was 56. Eleven CRS alerts (19.6 
percent) involved educational institutions, includ- 
ing three school discipline issues. These included: 

- racial harassment/slurs (3), 

- discipline after racial fights (3), 

- curriculum and services (2), 

- minority student-administration tensions 
(2), and 

- athletic league districting. 

In the past 5 years, the Kentwood school dis- 
trict is the only public school district mediation in 
Michigan which resulted in a signed letter of un- 
derstanding among the involved psulies.^ Cen- 
tral to the issue in the district was the allegation 
of disparate discipline, particularly suspensions 
and expulsions, being given to black students, 
who allegedly were responding to racial taunts 
and intimidation from their white peers. The let- 
ter of understanding states: 

Following a series of student conflicts with racial over- 
tones which culminated in the expulsion from school of 
two African American students, the Community Rela- 
tions Service of the United States Department Of Jus- 
tice convened a number of discussion sessions with 
representatives from the Kentwood school district in 
Michigan and students, parents and community repre- 
sentatives of two African American organizations. 

The Kentwood school district abuts Grand Rap- 
ids in the western part of the lower peninsula. The 



24 The Detroit field ofTice is located at 211 W. Ford St., Suite 1404, Detroit, MI. 

25 U.S. Department of Justice, Community Relations Service, The Community Relations Service . . . Catalyst for Calm 
(hereafter referred to as Catalyst for Calm), p. 5. 

26 Ibid., p. 2. 

27 Community Relations Service, U.S. Department of Justice, letter to Constance M. Davis, Mar. 23, 1995, Midwestern 
Regional Office files. 

28 The Michigan field office in recent years also negotiated a written agreement at Obvet College after the school experienced 
racial strife on campus. In addition, the Michigan field office has been involved in other mediations involving school districts, 
which did not result in a formal written agreement. 



63 



TABLE 5-3 

Poverty Rates for Students in the Kentwood Schools 





Number 


Rate 


White 


512 


8.3 


African American 


92 


16.9 


American Indian 


16 


42.1 


Hispanic 


25 


11.6 


Asian 


6 


2.7 



Source: Midwestern Regional Office, USCCR. from State of Michigan data. 



district's 7,231 students are predominantly non- 
minority; 6,124 (84 percent) are white, 544 (9 
percent are African American), 215 (3 percent) 
are Hispanic, 225 (3 percent are Asian), and the 
remaining 123 students (2 percent) are American 
Indians and other ethnic minorities. 

The district is relatively prosperous; just 651 (9 
percent) of the district's 7,231 school children live 
in poverty compared with a national children pov- 
erty rate of 19.9 percent.^ Of those children living 
below the poverty line, 15.1 percent of white chil- 
dren, 44.2 percent of black children, and 39.7 
percent of Hispanic children are in poverty.^' The 
number of black, Hispanic, and American Indian 
children dominate the children in poverty. Seven- 
teen percent of the district's African American 
children, 42 percent of the American Indian chil- 
dren, and nearly 12 percent of the Hispanic chil- 
dren live in poverty (see table 5-3). 

Sixteen separate issues were addressed in the 
letter of understanding, citing the concern of the 
minority community smd promised actions by the 
school district. The issues included: 



( 1) allegations of the existence of white suprem- 
acy groups in the local school system, 

(2) racial slurs directed at minority students, 

(3) the enactment of a formal racial harass- 
ment policy, 

(4) minority representation in the student 
council, 

(5) need for a public assembly to address racial 
issues, 

(6) the school district allowing STAR (Students 
Together Against Racism) to participate as a 
recognized campus group, 

(7) recognition and awareness of the contribu- 
tions of minorities to the American society in 
the curriculum, 

(8) the authority and power of a dean of stu- 
dents, 

(9) faculty and staff cultural sensitivity, 

( 10) minority role models, 

(11) multicultural curriculum, 

(12) race/ethnic diversity training for school 
employees, 

(13)underutilization of minorities in the school 
district, 



28 CRS Letter ofUnderatanding. 



30 Sute of Michigan. Information Center/DMB. Michigan School Diatrict 1989 Poverty/Relevant Children/Raoe & Hispanic 
Ongin, p 6. 

31 US. Depertmenl of Commerce, Sutistical Abatract of the United States, 1992, No. 718. ChOdren Below The Poverty Level 
by Race and Higpanic Origin; 1970 to 1990. p. 466. 



64 



(14) the employment ofa permanent director of The agreement never discussed the issue of 
multicultural development, discipline, suspensions, or the expulsions of mi- 

(15) school district community forums, distinct nority students that precipitated the involvement 
in format and procedures from school board of the CRS. Gaynett explained the reason for this, 
meetings, at which members of the public "CRS did not address the merits or lack of merits 
can informally ask questions, express opin- of the precipitating instance, the expulsion, be- 
ions, and receive information, and cause it was addressed through the appropriate 

(16) the amount of security at the schools. internal school procedures. "^^ 



32 Gustavo Gaynelte, telephone interview, Jan. 12, 1995. 



65 



Chapter 6 

Discipline and Students with Disabilities 



In enacting section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act 
of 1973,' the Congress recognized that many 

individuals with disabilities have been victims 
of discrimination. Harvey Burkhour of Michigan 
Protection and Advocacy testified that with the 
passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act 
(ADA) in 1990, Congress recognized that "individ- 
uals with disabilities are a discreet and insular 
minority who have been faced with restrictions 
and limitations [and] subjected to a history of 
purposeful unequal treatment"^ 

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 
was the first Federal civil rights law protecting 
the rights of individuals with disabilities. Educa- 
tion programs receiving Federal money are sub- 
ject to this legislation, as the act provides: 

No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in 
the United States . . . shall, solely by reason of . . . 
disability, be excluded from the participation in, be 
denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination 
under any program or activity receiving Federal finan- 
cial assistance.'' 

Section 504 regulation applies to preschool, ele- 
mentary, secondary, and adult education pro- 
grams and activities that receive or benefit from 
Federal financial assistance and to recipients that 
operate, or that receive or benefit from Federal 
financial assistance and to recipients that oper- 
ate, or that receive or benefit from Federal finan- 
cial assistance. 



1 PubhcL. No. g.'i-m. 



For purposes of public educational services, a 
qualified person is an individual with a disability 
who is: ( 1) of an age during which persons without 
a disabibty are provided such services, (2) of any 
age during which it is mandatory under State law 
to provide such services to persons with disability, 
or (3) a person for whom a State is required to 
provide a firee appropriate public education under 
the 1990 Individuals with Disabilities Education 
Act (IDEA).* 

The term disability refers to anyone with a 
physical or mental impairment that substantially 
Hmits or restricts one or more major life activities. 
The term physical or mental impairment in- 
cludes, but is not limited to: speech, hearing, vi- 
sual and orthopedic impairments, cerebral palsy, 
epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, 
cancer, diabetes, heart disease, mental retarda- 
tion, emotional illness, and specific learning dis- 
abilities such as perceptual handicaps, dyslexia, 
minimal brain dysfunction, and developmental 
aphasia.^ 

Each school district that operates a federally 
assisted public elementary or secondary educa- 
tion program must provide a free and appropriate 
public education to each qualified person in its 
jurisdiction, regardless of the nature or severity of 
the person's disability. The provision of an appro- 
priate education is the provision of regular or 
special education and related aids and services 
such that: 



2 Testimf)ny before the Michigan Advisory Committee to the U.S. CommiBsion on Civil Rights, factrinding meetings, Aug. 3, 
1994, Lansing. MI. and Aug. 4. 1994, Ann Arbor, MI, transcript p. 117 (hereafter referred to as Tranacript). 

3 Pub L. No. 9a-112. Sept. 26, 197.3. 87 SUt. 365. 

4 The IDEA pn)vide8 for Federal finanaal assistance to States to ensure that each child with handicapfs) receives a free pubUc 
education. Pub. L. No. 101-476. Oct. 30. 1990, 104 Stat. 1142. 

5 U.S. Department of Education. Office for Civil Rights, The Rights of Individuals with Handicaps Under Federal Law, p.l. 



66 



• Educational services are designed to meet 
children with disabilities individual educa- 
tional needs as adequately as the needs of non- 
disabled persons are met. 

• Each child with a disability is educated with 
nondisabled children, the maximum extent ap- 
propriate to the needs of the child with the 
disability. 

• Nondiscriminatory evaluation and place- 
ment procedures are established to guard 
against misclassification or misplacement of 
students, and a periodic reevaluation is con- 
ducted of students who have been provided 
special education or related services. 

• Due process procedures are established so 
that parents and guardians can review educa- 
tional records and challenge evaluation and 
placement decisions made with respect to their 
children, and can participate and be repre- 
sented by counsel in any subsequent impartial 
hearing.^ 

Section 504 and IDEA prohibit public school 
districts from excluding handicapped persons, 
and directs public school districts to take into 
account the needs of the student in determining 
the aid, benefits, and placement of the child. Since 
disciplinary actions are often student placement 
decisions, the Federal laws mandate additional 
protections to prevent discrimination on the basis 
of disability when suspension or expulsion are 
considered. 

The IDEA recognizes each student's parent as 
the primary advocate for that child in the school 
setting. Since not all children have a parent to 
function as an advocate, the IDEA mandates sur- 
rogate parents to fulfill this role for such chil- 
dren.' The public school district is responsible for 
identifying children who qualify for a surrogate 
parent and assigning one to the child.* 



Although the IDEA was passed in 1990, the 
Michigan Department of Education did not recog- 
nize surrogate parents nor did it have any policy 
on this subject until August 1992. As Burkhour 
testified: 

[Michigan Protection and Advocacy] realized . . . back 
in 1987 that Michigan did not recognize, nor have 
available the provisions of surrogate parents to chil- 
dren. Mind you, this was 12 years after the Federal law 
was first passed. We proceeded to advocate to remedy 
this problem. Our efforts included both informal and 
formal efforts, including complaints to the Michigan 
Department of Education, U.S. Department of Educa- 
tion, Office of Special Education Programs, and the 
U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights. 
We also testified in various arenas with the Office of 
Special Education Programs about this problem. The 
Michigan Department of Education finally im- 
plemented a surrogate parent policy in February 1993, 
18 years after it became mandated in Federal law, 6 
years after our agency raised the issue. 

The Michigan State poHcy, which received ap- 
proval fi-om the U.S. Department of Education, 
Office of Special Education Programs, is limited, 
however, only to those children whose parent's 
rights have been terminated. This policy poten- 
tially leaves many children without the protection 
designed for them under the IDEA. According to 
Burkhour: 

The result of this practice is that many children who 
are state wards and who have a disability are not 
afforded the protection intended by IDEA, including in 
the £irea of suspension and expulsion. We beHeve that 
racial and ethnic minorities constitute a larger percent- 
age of this population than is found in the general 
population, although we do not have the statistics to 
support our belief.'" 



6 Ibid., p. 4. 

7 34 CFR 300.514). 

8 34 CFR 300.514 Cb). 

9 TranscripU pp. 121-22. 

10 Harvey Burkour, prepared gUteraent to the Michigan Advisory Committee to the USCCR, Ann Arbor, MI, Aug. 31, 1994, 
Midwestern Regional OfTice. USCCR. files. 



67 



The outcome of this srituation is obvious. The suspen- 
sion and expulsion of minorities based on disability, 
including children who are racial/ethnic minorities is 
excessive because they are not afforded the protections 
of a Surrogate Parent as required by IDEA. The US. 
Supreme Court established some very specific require- 
ments for suspension and expulsion of students with 
handicaps in Honig v. Doe, however it is crucial that the 
child have an effective advocate present to insure that 
those protections are followed." 

Mack Cody, Association for Community Advo- 
cacy, buttressed Burkhour's testimony. He stated 
that many of the students who are expelled or 
suspended from school have that discipline im- 
posed on them as a result of the failure of the 
pubhc school system to deliver appropriate spe- 
cial education needs. There is a "willingness on 
the part of educators to label certain behaviors as 
being 'conduct disorder' as opposed to emotional 
impairment when that behavior is exhibited by 
persons of color."'^ 

Cody said evidence exists which suggests fac- 
tors involved in a student's suspension or expul- 
sion are factors for which appropriate services 
should have been received from the school system. 
Instead — similar to the allegations made by the 
juvenile court — school systems ignore their re- 
sponsibilities to the disabled student and transfer 
children with whom they are having problems to 
the State's department of social services. 

In April of 1992, staS" from the Department of Social 
Services for the Stat* of Michigan, proposed that the 
Maxey Boys Training School which is essentially the 
highest level of delinquency facility in this State for 
male youths, proposed the creation of a special treat- 
ment unit consisting of 140 beds . . . and these will be 
primarily devoted to treatment of youths with emo- 
tional impairments, developmental disabilities, and 
other disabling conditions. So they clearly viewed a 
substantial portion of the population that they were 
serving as special need youth. . . . 



In July of 1992 at a forum in which he was announcing 
a new program to reduce the institutionalization of 
delinquent youth of this State, Dr. Gerald Miller, direc- 
tor of the Department of Social Services, attributed the 
over-institutionahzation of delinquent youth in this 
State . . . largely to the failure of the public school 
systems in this State. 

The youth that are institutionalized in this State, par- 
ticularly the delinquency facihties are primarily people 
of color. It does not take a sociologist to wedk through 
Maxey Boys Training School to see that there is a 
disparity institutionalization of youth of color as op- 
posed to young white men. . . . Again we would submit 
that many of these youths would not be in extended 
facihties had the public school systems faithfully un- 
dertaken their obligations under the IDEA and Section 
504 of the Rehabilitation Act.^^ 

The testimony and evidence regarding the dis- 
abled student and discipline, and previous testi- 
mony regarding minority discipline, prompted 
the Advisory Committee to examine the relation- 
ship between disability and discipline. The Advi- 
sory Committee sought to determine whether ev- 
idence exist showing students with disabilities 
receiving disproportionately more discipline than 
students without disabilities. 

The Advisory Committee examined 1992 OCR 
school survey data of middle schools and high 
schools. The student enrollment, suspensions, 
number of disabled students, and the number of 
disabled students who received suspensions was 
calculated. Ninety-four middle and high schools 
in the survey had data for all four categories.** 

The mean suspension rate of nondisabled stu- 
dents was 11.7 percent, or almost 12 students per 
100. The mean suspension rate for the same 
schools of disabled students was 14.6 percent, a 
suspension rate of almost 15 students per 100 
enrolled disabled students. In addition, a high 
and positive correlation (p=0.65) was found 



1 1 Ibid. See also Honig v. Doe, 484 U.S. 305 ( 1988). 

12 Ibid., p. 132. 

13 Ibid,, pp. 128-30. 

14 The 94 schools represented in the survey is not a random sample, and do not, therefore, represent a valid estimate of the 
State Rchooi population and discipline activity. 



68 



TABLE 6 1 

Suspension Rates of Nondisabled Students and Disabled Students 



All schools in survey 
Schools suspending 
disabled students 



Nondisabled 
Rate Max. 

11.6 49.7 



15.7 



Disabled 
Rate Max. 

14.6 68.2 



49.7 



25.5 



68.2 



Source: Midwestern Regional Office, USCCR, from OCR survey data. 



between a school's suspension rate of the non- 
disabled student population and its suspension 
rate of disabled students. 

Of the 94 schools with disabled students, 41 
schools suspended no disabled students. When 
these schools were excluded from the analysis, the 
effect of suspension activity on disabled students 
was more pronounced. In the group of 53 middle 
and high schools who did suspend disabled stu- 
dents, the nondisabled student body had a sus- 
pension rate of 15.7 percent, or eilmost 16 stu- 
dents per 100 enrolled. Disabled students were 
suspended at a rate of 25.5 percent, a rate of one 
in every four disabled students. 

Both sets of statistics give preliminary indica- 
tions that disabled students are being adversely 
affected by school suspension policies. Among all 
94 schools, the highest suspension rate for non- 
disabled students was 49.7 percent, one suspen- 
sion for every two students. The highest suspen- 
sion rate found for disabled students was 68.2 
percent, two suspensions for every three enrolled 
disabled students (see table 6-1). 

Burkhour concluded with a summation of 
rights that are to be afforded students with dis- 
abilities with respect to discipline matters. In his 
opinion, there is a lack of enforcement of these 
protections by both the State and the Federal 
Government. 



How many . . . children have disabilities and are eligi- 
ble for special education is uncertain Children with 

disabilities have been recognized as having additional 
protection in the areas of disciplinary actions in 
schools, particularly suspension and expulsion. These 
children are not to be suspended or expelled or other- 
wise removed from school as a disciplinary action for 
more than an accumulation of 10 days in a given school 
year 

They are also to be provided additional due process 
protection [which] includes the conducting of an indi- 
vidualized educational planning meeting if [the school] 
is considering removal of the child from school. And at 
that meeting three questions have to be answered. Is 
the child's disability properly identified? Are the pro- 
grams and services that the child is receiving appropri- 
ate for the child? And thirdly, is the behavior that the 
child is going to be disciplined for, a manifestation or 
related in some way to [the child's] disability? . . . '^ 

In summation I think the problem is one of inadequate 
leadership and enforcement on the part of both State 
and Federal agencies who are responsible to handle 
these matters. . . . You have heard from other people 
testifying, including our own superintendent of pubhc 
instruction, that our State board of education takes the 
position of advisory rather than mandating action and 
activities by local school districts, and it only serves to 
compound the problem. 



15 Transcript, pp. 12^-24. 

16 Ibid., pp. 126-27. 



69 



Chapter 7 

Addendum 



Subsequent to the Advisory Committee's 
factfinding meetings in August 1994, three 
significant events have occurred with respect 
to school discipline. First, State legislation has 
been enacted expanding the powers of local school 
districts to suspend and expel students. Second, 
the Michigan Department of Education task force 
to study violence and vandalism in the schools 
completed its work and issued public findings and 
recommendations. Third, the Michigan Depart- 
ment of Civil Rights has initiated specific pro- 
gram activities to deal with disproportionate mi- 
nority disciphne. 

1. State Legislation and School 
Discipline Act No. 328 of the Public 
Acts of 1994 

Prior to passage of P.A. 1994, No. 328, author- 
ity to expel was limited to the district school 
board. Effective January 1, 1995, the authority to 
suspend or expel is expanded to other school offi- 
cials and administrators as designated by the 
local school board. 

Sec. 1311.(1) Subject to subsection (2), the school board, 
or the school distnct supenntendent, a school building 
pnncipal, or another school district offiaa] if desig- 
nated by the school board, may authonze or order the 
suspension or expulsion from school of pupil guilty of 
gross misdemeanor or persistent disobedience if, in the 



judgment of the school board or ita designee, as appli- 
cable, the interest of the school is served by the autho- 
rization or order. . . . ' 



In addition. Act No. 328 mandates expulsion 
for certain activities, removing local district dis- 
cretion and latitude in those instances. Further, 
the expulsion under Act No. 328 in one district is 
applicable to all districts in the State (Act No. 328 
is in appendix VII). 

(2) If a pupil pMssesses in a weapon free school zone a 
weapon that constitutes a dangerous weapon, or com- 
mits arson in the school building or one the school 
grounds, or rapes someone in the building or on school 
grounds, the school board, or the designee of the school 
board as described in subsection (1) on behalf of the 
school board, shall expel the pupil from the school 
disfrict permanently. . . . ^ 

(3) If an individual is expelled pursuant to subsection 
(2), the expelling school district shall enter on the 
individual's permanent record that he or she has been 
expelled pursuant to subsection (2). Except if a school 
district operates or participates in a program appropri- 
ate for individuals expelled pursuant to subsection (2) 
and in its discretion admits the individual to that pro- 
gram, an individual exp>elled pursuant to subsection (2) 
is expelled from all public schools in this state and the 
officials of a school district shall not allow the individ- 
ued to enroll in the school district unless the individual 
has been reinstated under subsection (5) ' 



PA. 1994, No.328. §1311.(1). 

Ibid.. Sec. 1311.(2). The act further reads a pupil may be exonerated if he/she clearly and convincingly establishes at least 
1 of the following: "(a) The object or instrument was not possessed by the pupil for use as a weapon, or for direct or indirect 
delivery to another person for use as a weapon, (b) The weapon was not knowiagly possessed by the pupil, (c) The pupil did 
not know or have reason to know that the object or the instrument possessed by the pupil constituted a dangerous weapon. 
(d) The weapon wax possessed by the pupil at the suggestion, request, direction of, or with the express permission of, school 
or police authorities. * 

Ibid., (3). 



70 



In contrast, the proposed Education Assurance 
Act, first introduced in 1991 by representative H. 
Lynn Jondahl, remains unenacted by the State 
legislature/ It addresses four elements regarding 
the issue of school discipline, emphasizing the 
need for schools to be responsive to student rights 
and the need for public education to provide alter- 
native education programs rather than imposing 
suspension and expulsion, which puts children 
outside the control and influence of the school 
environment. Under the proposed legislation, 
each school district will: 

(1) file an annual school exclusion report with 
the State board of education and the public on 
the numbers and percentage of students who 
are suspended or expelled, 

(2) adopt a written policy on suspensions and 
expulsions that clearly explain students' rights 
and responsibilities, 

(3) follow the due process regulations provided 
to ensure all suspended or expelled students 
are accorded fundamental fairness protection, 
and 

(4) provide alternative education services for 
suspended or expelled students. 

In the rationale for the act, Jondahl reported 
that, according to the 1986 OCR survey, Michigan 
ranks ninth in the Nation for the highest use of 
suspensions; the educational establishment dis- 
proportionately disciplines African American 
children, as black students are suspended at twice 
the rate as white children. Further, the current 
school system is not successful for a significant 
proportion of students. Only 75 percent of 
Michigan's children graduate from high school. 
The social costs of that failure can be observed in 
that nearly 80 percent of prison inmates in Mich- 
igan do not have a high school diploma, and the 
average annual cost for housing and maintaining 
one prisoner is $22,800. In contrast, the average 
cost per year to educate one child is $4,000.^ 



2. Michigan Department of Education 
Study Group on Violence and 
Vandalism 

Responding to the increasing incidence of vio- 
lence and vandalism in public schools and recog- 
nizing the educational duty of the State with re- 
spect to the children, in early 1994 the 
department of education formed a study group on 
violence and vandadism. The study group in- 
cluded individuals from both inside and outside 
the department. 

On December 14, 1994, the study group 
adopted a series of recommendations that were 
submitted to the board of education in February 
1995. The study group made recommendations to 
the board in (1) definitions, (2) data collection, 
(3) alternative education options, and (4) contin- 
ued education for expelled students. The recom- 
mendations of the study group are: 

1. We recommend that "THE DATA COLLECTED BY 
THE MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION 
REGARDING VIOLENCE AND VANDALISM ONLY 
PERTAIN TO THE DEPARTMENT MANDATE AS 
SET FORTH IN SECTION 158a IN THE STATE AID 
ACT AND ANY OTHER STATE OR FEDERAL 
LEGAL REQUIREMENTS." We recommend that the 
reporting system for Section 158a be presented to the 
Board in conjunction with this report. 

2. We recommend to the state board of education for 
action the uniform violence and vandalism definitions 
to be used as guidelines by local school districts and as 
part of the data collection activities as mandated in 
Section 158a of the School Aid Act. 

3. We recommend that the Michigan Department of 
Education take immediate action to convene a task 
force comprised of membership firom state and local 
Departments of Social Services, Mental Health, juve- 
nile and probate courts, and other appropriate agen- 
cies, designed to develop interagency agreements to 
provide alternative education options for suspended or 
expelled Michigan students. 



4 HB 5096, 1991. The proposed act and the rationale for its enactment were submitted as an exhibit by R. Zweifler. 

5 HB 5096. The Education Assurance \ct,ABrtef Overview, p. 5. 



71 



4. We recommend to the Stat* Board of Education that 
it take action to ensure that expelled students have 
continued education by forming a Subcommittee of 
practitioners from alternative educational and violence 
prevention programs, local education agencies, colleges 
and universities, state government, and private citi- 
zens to review the state of alternative education and 
violence prevention programs and, if necessary, make 
recommendations for improvement. 

A. Adopt a policy defining the charactenstics of 
effective options. 

B. Collect and support the dissemination of infor- 
mation on local schools with model programs. 

C. Compile and distribute a list of effective Mich- 
igan programs. 

D. Develop statewide program standards in line 
with existing core curriculum, school improve- 
ment, and accreditation initiatives. 

E. Review existing interagency agreements be- 
tween public agencies which offer programs to 
insure that all students needing such programs 
may have access to and benefit from them. 

F. Review public funding structures supporting 
current programs. 

G. Compile data on student suspension, expul- 
sion and referral to alternative and traditional 
educational settings. 

H. Review local procedures for moving students 
between alternative and traditional educational 
settings. 

I. Determine what programs exist for youth in the 
elementary grades, especially for students in kin- 
dergarten through grade six.^ 



3. Michigan Department of Civil Rights 
Special Program initiatives 

In light of the Advisory Committee factfinding 
meetings on school discipline, the Michigan De- 
partment of Civil Rights (MDCR) has undertaken 
several initiatives. In March 1995 nine depart- 
ment st4iff were provided cross training in order 
to be able to work more effectively between the 
MDCR's enforcement bureau and its office of com- 
munity services, which provides education and 
training and promotes voluntary compliance with 
civil rights laws in Michigan. 

The MDCR has assigned one staff member to 
coordinate a project on minority group suspen- 
sions and expulsions. This staff member has re- 
ceived training and attended institutes to learn of 
discipline programs, policies, and activities which 
have proven to be effective in several state sys- 
tems and individual schools. Another assignment 
of this staffmember has been to establish a formal 
liaison relationship between the MDCR and the 
Student Advocacy Center (SAC), and instruct 
SAC staff on how to identify situations which may 
fall within MDCR jurisdiction. The staff person is 
also initiating information gathering meetings 
with officials within the Michigan department of 
education and educators within school districts 
and at Michigan colleges and universities.^ 



6 MichigaiD Department of Education, Violence and Vandalism Study Group, memorandum, Dec. 22, 1994. The complete 
memoraodum i.^ in app. VIII. 

7 Nanelle L. Reynolds. lciu?r U. ConsUnoe M. Davia. May 12, 1995. 



72 



Chapter 8 

Findings and Recommendations 



Education of the citizenry is vital in a demo- 
cratic society. Understanding this, the State 
of Michigan encourages and provides for 
public education in its constitution, with article 
Vin devoted exclusively to education: 

Sec. 1. Religion, morality and knowledge being neces- 
sary to good government and the happiness of man- 
kind, schools and the means of education shall forever 
be encouraged.* 

Sec. 2. The legislature shall mciintain and support a 
system of free public elementary and secondary schools 
as defined by law. Every school district shall provide for 
the education of its pupils without discrimination as to 
religion, creed, race, color or national origin.^ 

Within the provision of free public elementary 
and secondary schools, it is clear that schools 
must provide an environment that is safe and 
conducive to learning and one in which order and 
decorum are maintained. 

In this report, the Advisory Committee has 
examined discipline in Michigan public schools 
and equal education opportunity. In 14 of the 17 
years since the inception of the Gallup Education 
Survey, student discipline has ranked as the sin- 
gle greatest public concern regarding our nation's 
schools.^ There is a growing concern in Michigan, 
similar to sentiment found in other parts of the 
Nation, over increasing violence and vandalism in 



the schools.* School administrators have the right 
and the obUgation to administer discipline. Tradi- 
tionally this includes suspension and expulsion. 

Recent legislation in the State emphasizes an 
increased use of punitive discipline, i.e., suspen- 
sion and expulsion.^ Recognizing that policies and 
practices of school discipline, particularly suspen- 
sions and expulsions, effect the general citizenry 
of this State, the Advisory Committee offers find- 
ings and recommendations regarding school dis- 
cipline and equal education opportunity in four 
areas: 

1. the disproportionate impact of discipline on 
minority students; 

2. the Michigan Board of Education, the Mich- 
igan Department of Education, and the 
Michigan Department of Civil Rights; 

3. the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department 
of Education, and the Community Relations 
Service, U.S. Depairtment of Justice; 

4. executive and legislative policies and out-of- 
school suspension and expulsion policies. 

1. The Disproportionate Impact of 
Discipline on Minority Students 

Finding 1(a). The Advisory Committee found 
that minority students are disproportionately dis- 
ciplined in the public schools. Studies from the 
Law & Policy Institute and the Student Advocacy 
Center, as well as independent analysis by the 



1 Constitution of the State of Michigan, art. VIH, sec. 1. 

2 Ibid., sec. 2. 

3 See p. 2. 

4 See: Pub. Act 328 (app. VII); Violence and Vandalism Study Group (app. VIII). 
6 See: Beardmore comment, p. 6; IHib. Act 328, p. 97; and Mines cite, p. 59. 



73 



Advisory Committee support this finding.^ This 
finding is further buttressed by the testimony of 
teachers, administrators, and researchers.^ In ad- 
dition, the Advisory Committee found a correla- 
tion between student disability and the imposi- 
tion of discipline.* 

A finding of disproportionate discipline, how- 
ever, is not tantamount to a conclusion of unlaw- 
ful discriminatory treatment by school districts. 
Discrimination is different treatment of individu- 
als with similar circumstances and/or character- 
istics based in part on the group status of the 
individual, i.e., race or ethnicity.^ 

Even if it does not rise to the level of illegality, 
the disproportionate application of discipline to 
minority students is problematic for it has social 
ramifications for the community at large. A dis- 
proportionate application of discipline results in a 
disproportionate number of individuals fi-om one 
group being alienated from educational opportu- 
nities. A disproportionate application of discipline 
excludes a disproportionate number of individu- 
als from one group fi-om a societal socialization 
experience. 

Finding 1(b). The Advisory Committee found a 
positive relationship between the percentage of 
the student enrollment that is minority and the 
number of minority suspensions.'" This suggests 
that an increasing minority student body in a 
school may create a diflFerent milieu that threat- 
ens at least some administrators and teachers. 
Finding 1(c). The Advisory Committee found 
some minority student behavior contributes to 
discipline and punishment. This occurs, in part, 



because such behavior is sometimes at odds with 
behavior acceptable to the majority culture. Sul- 
len looks, staring down the teacher, and other 
behavior acceptable in parts of some minority 
communities may result in discipline from teach- 
ers and administrators, i)articularly in schools 
and/or classrooms where such behavior is either 
simply regarded as unacceptable or not under- 
stood." 

Recommendation 1. Local school districts 
should collect discipline data, particularly sus- 
pension and expulsion data, by race, ethnicity, 
gender, and disability, and make such informa- 
tion public.'^ The efforts by the Lansing School 
District as noted in this report are an excellent 
example. 

Each local school district should examine this 
disciphne data and determine if minorities are 
disproportionately impacted. If minorities are 
suffering an adverse impact, local districts should 
learn the reasons for the imbalance, including: 

• the relationship, if any, between discipline 
rates in school buildings and the racial/ethnic 
makeup of the building, 

• the relationship, if any, between discipline 
rates and the incidence of poverty, 

• the relationship, if any, between discipline 
rates and disability, and 

• the relationship, if any, between discipline 
rates and low self-esteem and/or parental/ 
adult involvement. 



See: Law & Pobcy Ingtitute study, pp. 8-10; Advisory Committee analysis, pp. 13-14; Adviaory Committee secondary school 
analysis, pp. 16-17; Student Advocacy Center survey data, pp. 17-18; Lansing school district data, p. 41; Tpsilanti school 
district data, p. 35. 

See: Boles conunent, p. 33; Francia comment, p. 39; Harner comment, p. 19; Gibson comment, p. 38; Mines comment, p. 59; 
Rhode comment, p. 35; Scott comment, pp. 20-21; Smith-Sambe dte, p. 38; Williams comment, p. 36. 

See sUtistical data, pp. 67-68. 

See: Advisory Committee distinction, p. B; Mines comment, p. 59. 

See: Law & Policy Institute study, pp. 8-10; Advisory Committee analysis, pp. 13-14. 

See: Boles comment, p. 33; Cain comment, p. 43; Humes comment, p. 38; LasteT comment, p. 41; Pollard comment, p. 33. 

12 Kenneth Mines testified that there is no Federal authority compelling local districts to maintain discipline data by race and 
sex. (See Transcript, p. 108.) 



74 



2. Public Agencies of the State of 
Michigan 

Michigan Board of Education and the 
Department of Education 
Finding 2(a). In Michigan the local school dis- 
tricts have final responsibility for the fair and 
equitable administration of school discipline. ^^ 
Nevertheless, the State board of education and 
the State department of education have the obU- 
gation to provide "leadership and general super- 
vision over all public education."'* This has not 
been provided with respect to the issue of dispro- 
portionate minority discipline.*^ 

The Michigan Department of Education, under 
the auspices of the School Aid Act, is to collect 
information on suspensions and expulsions from 
all local school districts in a format that the de- 
partment denotes. Such data collection has not 
occurred and is still not occurring. Without data 
there can be no analysis of the problem, no under- 
standing, no corrective measures, and no im- 
provement in the situation.'® 

Moreover, the collection of such data is not an 
onerous task for the department. The depart- 
ment's own study group force on violence and 
vandalism, in its recommendations, demon- 
strated the resolve and the capacity to collect data 
in this area.'^ 

Recommendation 2(a). At a minimum the 
Michigan Department of Education must begin to 
collect data from the local school districts on sus- 
pensions and expulsions by race, national origin, 
gender, and disability. It is an unacceptable 



excuse that schools do not possess or will not 
make such data available. 

Additionally, such data should be available to 
the public, so that independent analyses can be 
conducted, particularly by researchers associated 
with institutions of higher learning in the State. 

Finding 2(b). The specific attention of local 
boards of education, superintendents, and princi- 
pals to the administration of school discipline 
appears to reduce the total numbers of suspen- 
sions and expulsions imposed.'^ 
Recommendation 2(b). The Michigan Depart- 
ment of Education should analyze school disci- 
pline data and should assist and work with dis- 
tricts experiencing disproportionately high 
suspension rates of minority students. As part of 
its responsibility to provide leadership in educa- 
tion for the State, the Michigan Board of Educa- 
tion and the Michigan Department of Education 
need to continue to inform and stress to local 
school districts the provisions and need for com- 
pliance with due process in the administration of 
discipline.'^ Such rights routinely are most at risk 
at the local level, and vigilance from State author- 
ities in this regard can alleviate many of the 
problems. 

Finding 2(c). There has been a decline in the 
funding from the State to the Michigan Depart- 
ment of Education in recent years.^ The non- 
staffing of the race relations and sex equity unit 
in the Michigan Department of Education is a loss 
of expert consulting and technical assistance at 



13 See Schiller conunent, p. 27. 

14 Constitution of the SUte of Michigan, Article Vm, } 3. 

16 See: State authority, p. 45; State responsibility, p. 45; State data collection responsibility, p. 60; MI department of education 
race relations and sex equity unit closure, p. 50; MI departtnent of education ombudsman unit, pp. 60-6 1; Schiller comments, 
p. 50; Cain comments, p. 42. 

16 See: MI data collection authority, p. 50; Schiller comments, p. 50; Cain comments, p. 43. 

17 See: Study Group on Violence and Vandalism, 4G, p. 71 and app. VUI. 

18 See: Cain conunents, p. 42; Farrell comments, p. 31 (and subsequent comments of Blair, p. 31, Foster, p. 32, and Rodriguez, 
p. 31); Goodsman comments, p. 36; HaUk comments, p. 30. 

19 See app. TV. 

20 See: ProGt comments, p. 49; Stanley comments, p. 48; report pp. 49-60; table 4.1, p. 49. 



75 



the State level in equal education opportunity.^^ 
It was a unit ideal for foaising attention on the 
issue of disproportionate minority discipline. 

The creation by the Michigan Department of 
Education of the ombudsman unit to assist par- 
ents with general education concerns does pro- 
vide parents and local school districts with some 
guidance in equal education opportunity. This 
unit, however, does not provide to local school 
districts and parents specific expertise and coun- 
sehng in equal education opportunity.^ 
Recommendation 2(c). The Advisory Commit- 
tee recommends that a unit within the Michigan 
Department of Education be given specific re- 
sponsibility for: ( 1) collecting data on student dis- 
cipline by race, £md (2) monitoring school districts 
with disproportionate minority discipline. The ex- 
istence of such a unit can serve both as a technical 
resource for local school districts in the issue of 
discipline and equal education opportunity as 
well as demonstrate to the public the State's com- 
mitment to equal education opportunity in this 
matter. 

Michigan Department of Civil Rights 
Finding 2(d). The Michigan Department of Civil 
Rights is the State agency with the authority and 
responsibility to investigate discrimination in the 
administration of school discipline. The depart- 
ment accepts referrals from both the department 
of education and individual complainants.^ 

Complaints alleging discrimination in the ad- 
ministration of discipline have been a very small 
part of the department's case load in recent 
years.^ The department has been aware of the 
problem of disproportionate discipline in local 
school districts since the late sixties and did a 



preliminary study of the issue at that time.*^ 
There has been no followup study by the depart- 
ment. 

Recommendation 2(d). The Michigan Depart- 
ment of Civil Rights has begun collaboration ef- 
forts with the State department of education and 
local school districts to address problems of dis- 
proportionate discipbne. The Committee com- 
mends the department for these initiatives and 
also recommends that the department of civil 
rights obtain data on disproportionate minority 
discipline from the State department of education 
and/or the Federal government and do district 
wide compliance reviews of student discipline. 

In addition, it is recommended that a followup 
study to its 1968 study on school discipline be 
conducted. Such a study would again focus atten- 
tion on this issue within the State and update the 
previous study. 

3. The Federal Government 

Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of 
Education 

Finding 3(a). The OflRce for Civil Rights (OCR) 
is the Federal agency with responsibility and au- 
thority to examine allegations of discrimination 
in the administration of discipline. It may conduct 
an investigation upon the receipt of a complaint 
or on its own initiative.^^ 

For fiscal year 1992-93, OCR made the school 
discipline issue a priority.^^ However, in the last 
4 years, no review of a Michigan school district in 
the area of discipline has been conducted, while 
the OCR district office with responsibibty for 
Michigan has conducted three such reviews in its 
local Ohio area.^ 



21 See 

22 See 



: p. 50; Profit comment, p. 49; Stanley comment, p. 48. 
pp 50-51. 

23 Seep 51. 

24 Seep. 52. 

26 See: pp. 53-64; app. V. 

26 Sec pp 56-57. 

27 See p. 59. 

28 See p. 62. 



76 



OCR survey data shows disproportionate disci- 
pline in the Michigan public school districts. The 
schools in the survey meted out 20,702 suspen- 
sions during the 1991-92 school year. White stu- 
dents, who are 82.7 percent of the total sample 
enrollment, received 68.4 percent of the suspen- 
sions. Minority students, who are 17.3 percent of 
the total sample enrollment, received 31.6 per- 
cent of all suspensions.^ 

Recommendation 3(a). The Advisory Commit- 
tee recommends that OCR examine its school dis- 
cipline survey data and select at least one school 
district in Michigan for a complitmce review of its 
disciplinary practices. One compliance review of a 
local district would elevate and bring attention to 
this issue. 

Finding 3(b). The data collected by the OCR is 
survey data. It does not solicit information from 
all the school districts in the State.^ In conjunc- 
tion with this, the data that is collected under the 
survey is not routinely used by the depsutment to 
denote districts with disproportionate discipline, 
or to find other relationships between discipline 
and race/ethnicity.^' 

Recommendation 3(b). The OCR should ex- 
pand its survey to include all school districts in 
the State. This would compel local school district 
compliance with existing State law concerning 
the collection of discipline data as well as provid- 
ing OCR with a complete and valid data base of 
discipline information. 

In conjunction with this effort, district discipl- 
ine rates should be reviewed for disproportionate 
impact with respect to minority and/or disabled 
students. Those districts with adverse impact 
should be notified. This would alert school dis- 
tricts to potential problems as well as put school 
districts on notice that the administration of 



discipline is an important equal education issue to 
the agency. 

Finding 3(c). The OCR and its mission do not 
appear to be well-known to the public. Many par- 
ents seem unfamiliar with the agency and its role 
in ensuring equal education opportunity for their 
children. This has the effect of making the OCR 
complaint process unavailable to parents and 
guardians.^^ 

Recommendation 3(c). There is a need for the 
OCR to increase and/or improve its outreach so 
that more of the community is aware of its exis- 
tence and mission. 

Community Relations Service, U.S. 
Department of Justice 

Finding 3(d). The Community Relations Service 
(CRS) mediates conflict and is alerted to commu- 
nity racial problems through "alerts" gathered 
from news media reports, staff observations, or 
through requests for assistance from local offi- 
cials or citizens.^ The agency can assist local 
schools in resolving disputes relating to alleged 
discriminatory practices based on race, color, or 
national origin. The CRS district office in Michi- 
gan recently has successfully mediated a racial 
conflict prompted by Jillegations of discrimination 
in the administration of school discipline.^ 

The CRS does not have the resources, the au- 
thority, or the mission to investigate allegations 
or suspicions of disparate treatment of minorities 
with respect to the administration of school dis- 
cipline. Nevertheless, the Community Relations 
Service (CRS) can provide a unique service in 
ensuring equal education opportunity in the area 
of school discipline. As a juvenile court judge told 
the Advisory Committee, children are particu- 
larly sensitive to issues of fairness and often need 
some type of neutral forum in which to tell their 



29 See: p. 14; p. 59. 

30 Seep. 11. 

31 See p. 59. 

32 See Mines comment, p. 60. 

33 See pp. 62-63. 

34 See p. 63. 



77 



story and possibly get some justice.^ The CRS 
can provide that forum. 

Recommendation 3(d). The Advisory Commit- 
tee recommends that the CRS increase its liaison 
activities with local school districts and other 
local, State, and Federal agencies. Specifically in 
the area of school discipline and other related 
school issues, the agency should, at a minimum, 
have an active cooperative relationship with the 
State's department of civil rights and department 
of education and the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. 
Department of Education. Such cooperation 
should include informing agencies of its alerts, 
and oflFering mediation service. 

4. State Executive and Legislative 
Policies and Out-of-School 
Suspension and Expulsion Practices 

Finding 4(a). The Advisory Committee notes 
that recent State legislation, P.A. 1994, No. 328, 
requires expulsion for certain actions and ex- 
pands the scope of authority for suspension deci- 
sions."*® 

The Advisory Committee found sentiment that 
the employment of out-of-school suspension and 
expulsion practices may not be an effective or 
efficient disciplinary device for producing future 
citizens who are knowledgeable, productive, so- 
cialized, and responsible. Such opinions came 
from the superintendent of public instruction, 
school administrators, representatives from the 
juvenile court system, and educators. Suspen- 
sions and expulsions remove children from the 
learning and socializing experience of public edu- 
cation — and often this is the only such process 
available to the child." 

The prisons of Michigan are filled with inmates 
who lack a high school education. Estimates of the 
number of prisoners without a high school di- 



ploma ranged from 50 percent to 80 percent^ The 
average cost of maintaining one prisoner for 1 
year is $22,800. The averiige cost of educating one 
student for 1 year is $4,000.^® 
Recommendation 4(a)(1). The Advisory Com- 
mittee believes recent legislation mandating ex- 
pulsions for certain actions and expanding the 
authority for discipline decisions will make a bad 
situation worse. If school districts simply suspend 
and expel students, without offering genuine al- 
ternatives, we only delay, at a much greater cost, 
dealing with our troubled youth. The Advisory 
Committee believes it to be cost effective and 
more productive for the State to give serious as- 
sistance to local school districts in providing alter- 
native education opportiinities. 
Recommendation 4(a)(2). Elected officials at 
the State and local level, government officials, 
school administrators, educators, juvenile court 
judges and administrators, parents, and other 
concerned parties should address the prospect of 
a statewide mechanism for accountability in the 
administration of discipline in schools. 

In addition, such individuals and groups 
should make public a debate on the philosophy of 
school discipline, and whether different philoso- 
phies of discipline further the long-term interests 
of the society at large, or short term interests. 
Evidence and experiences in particular schools 
and school districts should be the focus of atten- 
tion regarding attempts to address underlying 
issues. 

Finally, the Advisory Committee strongly 
urges all school districts in their administration 
of discipline to have: (1) a districtwide philosophy 
of discipline, (2) internal district controls asBiiring 
that the discipline code is enforced uniformly, and 
(3) a specific plan of assistance for the affected 
student. 



FranciB testimony, transcript, p. 41. 

See p. 70, 

■ comment, p 42, also note: Bates comment, p. 8; Beardmore comment, p. 54; Francis cormnent, p. 39; Halik 
. 30; Marvellis comments, pp. 40-41; Pollard comment, p. 33; Rhode comment, p. 36. 



See SchiUer 



comiiient, p. 30; Marvellis comments, pp. 40-41; Pollard comment, p. 33; Rhode comment, p. 36. 
See Cooper comments, pp. 53-64. 
Seep. 54. 



78 



Finding 4(b). Recent school financing reform has connection between poverty and discipline, which 

closed the per capita spending disparity among makes the issue ofschool financing relevant to the 

school districts, but disparities have not been issue of disproportionate discipline.*'! 
eliminated.*' The Advisory Committee found a 



See: p. 44; Profit comments, p. 44. 

See: Advisory Committee statistical data. pp. 14, 15, and 16; Brookover comments, p. 6; Cain comments, pp. 16 and 42; and 
Vergon commeDta, p. 16. 



79 



80 



Appendix I 

Presenters at the Factfinding Meetings 



Session 1 
Lansing, Michigan 
Wednesday, August 3, 1994 

Robert E. Schiller, Michigan Department of Education 

Roberta A. Stanley, Michigan Department of Education 

Dorothy Beardmore, Michigan Board of Education 

Wilbur Brookover, Michigan State University 

Ruth Zweifler, Student Advocacy Center 

Kenneth Mines, U.S. Department of Education 

Michael Gallagher, U.S. Department of Education 

Harry Lawrence, U.S. Department of Education 

Harvey Buckhour, Michigan Protection and Advocacy 

Mack Cody, Michigan Protection and Advocacy 

Janet Cooper, Michigan Department of Civil Rights 

Richard J. Halik, Lansing School District 

Patricia Farrell, Lansing School District 

Santanino Rodriguez, Lansing School District 

Ann Blair, Lansing School District 

Michael Foster, Lansing School District 

Ricardo Martinez, MAP 

Larry Scott, Parent Support Group 

Wilson Caldwell, Lansing NAACP 

John Pollard, Black Child & Family Institute 

Vemadine Lake 

Joyce Hartfield 

LaQuan Hartfield 

Ann Green 



81 



Session 2 

Ann Arbor, Michigan 

Thursday, August 4, 1994 

Kirk Profit, Michigan House of Representatives 

Duke Williams, Ypsilanti School District 

John Fulton, Ypsilanti School District 

Bill Snyder, Ypsilanti School District 

Tilani Smith-Sambe, Ypsilanti School District 

Linda Crabtree, Ypsilanti School District Board of Education 

Marilyn Goodsman, Ypsilanti School District Board of Education 

Herman Humes, Ypsilanti Education Association 

Mary Gibson, Ypsilanti Education Association 

Dave Johnson, Ypsilanti Education Association 

Percy Bates, Programs for Education Opportunity 

Charles Vergon, Law and Policy Institute 

Nancy Francis, Probate Judge, Washentaw County 

Tim Marvellis, Washentaw County 

Nathaniel Reid, COPE 

Margaret Hamer, Teachers Shop & Learn Center 

Eugene Cain, Highland Park School District 

Sharon Baskerville, principal, Ann Arbor School District 

Pam Beatty Cupid 

John Rohde 

Leonia McKaye 

Vemita Wilson 

Jeanetta Jennings 



82 



Appendix 11 

Michigan Public School Enrollment by District 





White 


Black 


Amlnd 


Asian 


Other 


Hispanic 


Michigan 


1,254,734 


275,386 


13,988 


20,933 


21,675 


47,265 


School district: 














Battle Creek 


6,095 


2,386 


30 


68 


180 


248 


Bessemer City 


579 





6 








4 


Harbor Beach 


882 





8 





5 


10 


Bloomfield #1 SD 


11 








3 


7 


7 


Bloomfield Township 


8 

















Sigel Twp School 3 


26 

















Sigel Twp School 4 


12 

















St Ignace Area 


519 





311 











Marquette Area 


4,660 


13 


141 


53 


8 


17 


Ewen-Trout Creek 


555 





10 





2 


2 


Wayne-Westland 


14,700 


1,259 


132 


116 


71 


405 


Crestwood 


2,494 


9 


6 


79 


19 


75 


Bad Axe 


1,465 


4 





6 


7 


22 


L'Anse 


848 





154 


1 





4 


Superior Central 


449 


2 


14 





2 


5 


Adams Township 


447 

















Addison 


1,133 





8 


1 


11 


46 


Adrian City 


4,663 


100 


35 


34 


536 


875 


Airport Community 


2,512 


149 


23 





. 


26 


Akron Fairgrove 


627 





3 


3 


2 


27 


Alba 


168 





21 











Albion 


1,371 


824 


15 





89 


181 


Alcon 


1,032 


2 


10 








2 


Algonac 


2,730 





17 


12 





30 


Allegan 


2,603 


102 


6 


13 


4 


30 


Allen Park 


2,573 





7 





28 


153 


Allendale 


1,056 








17 





25 


Alma 


2,711 


4 





18 


87 


229 


Almont 


1,128 





10 


7 


21 


21 


Alpena 


5,806 





20 


23 


5 


29 


Anchor Bay 


4,262 


115 





13 


34 


87 


Ann Arbor 


10,254 


2,344 


73 


1,161 


147 


357 


Arenac Eastern 


503 





6 








14 


Armada 


1,785 


2 





1 


11 


30 


Arvon Township 


36 





6 











Ashley 


366 











11 


11 


Athens 


911 





3 


5 


7 


35 


Atherton 


1,108 


48 


12 


7 


6 


13 


Atlanta 


553 





8 


2 


6 


10 


Au Gres Sims 


553 





9 


2 





3 


Autrain-Onota 


117 





6 











Avondale 


2,526 


178 


17 


128 


4 


29 


Baldwin 


695 


281 


5 





1 


5 


Bangor 


1,361 


160 


25 


1 


135 


189 


Bangor 


2,654 


12 





7 


80 


127 


Bangor Twp 8 


15 

















Baraga 


487 





121 








4 


Bark River Harris 


619 





65 












83 



Appendix II (continued) 

Michigan Public School Enrollment by District 





White 


Back 


AmkHJ 


Asian 


other 


Hispanic 


Bath 


1,187 











14 


33 


Bay City 


10,588 


226 


88 


112 


380 


760 


Seal City 


421 





18 











Bear Lake 


88 








4 


2 


6 


Beaver Island 


83 





2 











Beaverton Rural 


1,699 





10 





9 


21 


Bedford 


4,601 








16 


10 


37 


Beecher 


1,050 


2,209 


33 





130 


125 


Belding 


2,172 


23 


5 


4 


3 


21 


Bellaire 


535 





8 


3 








Bellevue 


1,159 


7 


5 


8 





13 


Bendle 


1,495 





40 





46 


74 


Bently 


1,039 


14 


19 


8 


14 


14 


Benton Harbor 


1,254 


5,973 


48 





32 


71 


Benzie County 


1,533 


11 


46 


11 


7 


42 


Berkley City 


4,364 


114 


11 


56 





39 


Berlin Twp 3 


42 

















Berrien Springs 


1,244 


193 


4 


21 


40 


112 


Big Bay De Noc 


400 


1 


23 


3 








Big Jackson 


86 





2 





13 


13 


Big Rapids 


1,961 


77 


13 


31 


4 


42 


Birch Run Area 


1,864 








3 


32 


64 


Birmingham City 


6,915 


104 


14 


324 


14 


88 


Blissfield Community 


1,409 





19 





24 


65 


Bloomfield Hills 


4,647 


191 





799 


27 


111 


Bloomingdale 


1,048 


132 


20 


2 


35 


82 


Bois Blanc Pines 


8 

















Boyne City 


1,280 





21 


2 


6 


11 


Boyne Falls 


266 





8 


2 





3 


Brandon 


2,791 





6 


41 


18 


76 


Brandywine 


1,433 


80 


7 


19 





11 


Breckenridge 


1,191 











9 


76 


Breitung Twp 


2,062 





27 


22 





18 


Bridgepon-Spaulding 


2,289 


1,040 


14 





279 


406 


Bridgman 


887 





2 


2 





4 


Brighton Area 


5,330 





43 


46 


23 


80 


Brimley Area 


302 


2 


257 











Britton Macon 


411 














4 


Bronson 


1,523 


20 


2 


2 


22 


54 


Columbia 


1,638 





25 








14 


Brown City 


998 





12 


6 


2 


17 


Flat Rock 


1,620 


20 





20 


17 


47 


Buchanan 


1,894 


163 


18 


7 





51 


Buckley 


384 





4 











Buena Vista 


212 


1310 


28 


10 


156 


166 


Bullock Creek 


1,582 





15 





40 


55 


Tahquamenon 


1,217 





180 











Burr Oak 


382 

















Burt Township 


89 





3 











Byron Area 


1,141 





16 





9 


9 



84 



Appendix II (continued) 

Michigan Public School Enrollment by District 





White 


Black 


Amlnd 


Asian 


Other 


Hispanic 


Byron Center 


1,541 


5 


13 


5 





6 


Cadillac Area 


3,554 


22 


32 


45 





30 


Caledonia 


2,432 


48 


7 


56 


7 


19 


Calumet 


1,620 


3 


2 








25 


Camden Frontier 


650 


2 


2 


2 





5 


Capac 


1,274 


2 


3 


10 


35 


46 


Carman-Ainswoah 


4,644 


714 


96 


175 


24 


96 


Carney Nadeau 


275 





4 











Caro 


2,143 





32 





27 


105 


Carrollton 


769 


87 





72 


73 


105 


Carson City Crystal 


1,367 


28 


33 


3 


7 


51 


Carsonville-Poa Sanilac S/DG 705 





1 


14 





31 


Caseville 


209 














9 


Cass City 


1,562 





18 





7 


43 


Cassopolis 


1,075 


438 


21 


21 


22 


15 


Cedar Springs 


2,534 


5 


19 





25 


32 


Center Line 


2,546 


23 


55 


28 





31 


Central Lake 


477 


6 


6 











Central Montcalm 


2,168 


1 


26 


6 


12 


49 


Centreville 


930 


27 


6 


29 








Charlevoix 


1,229 


13 


108 


4 


2 


2 


Charlotte 


3,427 


7 


24 


25 


14 


119 


Chassell Twp 


306 

















Cheboygan 


2,284 


2 


53 


6 





15 


Chelsea 


2,420 


22 


2 


16 


8 


21 


Chesaning Union 


2,362 


44 


36 


9 


58 


97 


Chippewa Hills 


2,330 


55 


98 


8 


37 


49 


Chippewa Valley 


8,816 


15 


34 


76 


25 


114 


Church School 


41 

















Clare Public 


1,375 


2 


11 


6 





6 


Clarenceville 


1,563 





9 


17 


43 


95 


Clarkston Comm 


5,390 


38 


5 


9 


15 


66 


Clawson City 


1,962 


3 


17 


25 


9 


33 


Climax Scott 


660 


19 











7 


Clinton 


1,201 














13 


Clintondale 


1,674 


49 


44 








22 


Clio Area School 


4,472 


71 





35 





21 


Coldwater 


3,556 


19 


4 


27 


7 


21 


Coleman Community 


1,138 


1 


10 








2 


Colfax Township IF 


47 














1 


Coloma 


1,737 


5 


6 


8 


22 


25 


Colon 


989 


3 





2 








Fairview Area 


387 








2 


2 


2 


Comstock 


2,204 


132 


4 


24 


24 


56 


Comstock Park 


1,349 





4 


34 


5 


2 


Concord 


1,033 


5 


8 








11 


Constantine 


1,628 


18 


10 


6 





2 


Coopersville 


2,042 





16 


12 


20 


35 


Corunna 


1,913 


2 


2 


19 





30 


Covert 


215 


428 


18 












85 



Appendix II (continued) 

Michigan Public School Enrollment by District 





White 


Back 


Amlnd 


Asian 


Other 


Hispanic 


Crawford Ausable 


1,930 


17 


23 


8 





22 


Cross Village 


26 





17 





2 


2 


Croswell Lexington 


2,184 


7 


8 


10 


52 


95 


Forest Park 


820 





5 


2 


2 


11 


Dansville AG 


852 





2 


18 


27 


41 


Davison 


4,407 


31 


34 


22 


10 


72 


Dewin 


1,616 


7 











44 


Dearborn City 


12,623 


77 


113 


258 


73 


506 


Dearborn Hgts No. 7 


2,268 








12 





62 


Westwood 


1,158 


1,158 


23 


41 


81 


126 


Decatur 


1,049 


67 


53 


4 


9 


46 


Houghton Portage 


1,078 





3 


25 





13 


Deckerville 


979 





4 





34 


83 


Deerfield 


337 





2 





5 


13 


Delton Kellogg 


2,114 








2 


18 


18 


Detour Area 


284 





27 











Detroit City 


19,410 


157,114 


564 


1,401 


3,323 


5,523 


Dexter Connnriunity 


2,351 


5 


14 


2 


4 


138 


Dowagiac Union 


2,471 


305 


93 


7 


72 


161 


Dryden 


798 














2 


Dundee 


1,337 


28 


14 





13 


34 


Durand Area 


2,336 


6 


9 





21 


33 


East China Twp 


4,662 








9 





52 


East Detroit 


6,143 


4 


68 


88 


8 


60 


East Grand Rapids 


2,223 


8 





54 





8 


East Jackson 


1,336 


22 








14 


20 


East Jordan 


1,102 





20 


2 


6 


24 


East Lansing 


3,241 


475 


44 


407 


93 


93 


Easton Twp 6 


78 

















Eaton Rapids 


2,839 


2 


5 


29 


32 


114 


Eau Claire 


505 


14 


10 





18 


34 


Ecorse Public 


1,042 


914 


58 


8 


63 


189 


Montabella 


1,317 





20 


6 


16 


35 


Edwardsburg 


1,716 


6 


5 


10 


5 


30 


Elk Rapids 


1,195 





32 





2 


18 


Elkton Pigeon Bayport 


1,454 


2 





7 


3 


40 


Ellsworth 


280 


8 


3 











Elnn River Township 


42 

















Escanaba Area 


3,882 


13 


147 


17 


14 


27 


Essexville Hampton 


1,597 


32 





14 





143 


Evart Public 


1,190 


15 


11 


5 


4 


12 


Excelsior District #1 


64 





2 











Falmouth Elem SchI 


224 





2 











Farmmgton 


10,100 


151 


14 


501 


62 


127 


Farwell 


1,552 


8 


11 





4 


17 


Fennville 


1,334 


17 


11 


7 


134 


324 


Fenton Area 


2,828 


21 


21 


28 


22 


32 


Ferndale City 


3,876 


514 


55 


43 


26 


110 


Ferry 


227 





12 











Fitzgerald 


2,723 


74 


34 


49 


6 


47 



86 



Appendix II (continued) 

Michigan Public School Enrollment by District 





White 


Back 


Amlnd 


Asian 


Other 


Hispanic 


Flint City 


9,403 


17,712 


193 


114 


517 


983 


Flushing 


3,638 


73 


33 


31 


71 


76 


Forest Area 


695 


7 


6 


6 





6 


Forest Hills 


5,362 


70 


13 


99 


2 


39 


Gwinn Area 


2,765 


103 


51 


71 


25 


79 


Fowler 


509 

















Fowlerville 


2,051 





67 


2 





29 


Frankenmuth 


1,182 








2 





15 


Frankfon 


495 





15 


8 





14 


Fraser 


4,590 


12 


26 


64 


6 


27 


Freeland 


1,143 


4 


14 


8 


23 


55 


Freesoil 


220 

















Fremont 


2,240 


7 


5 


9 


38 


92 


Fruitport 


2,910 


14 


37 


23 


46 


103 


Fulton 


847 





11 


5 


4 


14 


Galesburg Augusta 


1,214 





27 


4 


2 


2 


Galien Township 


603 


2 


2 











Ganges No. 4 


24 











8 


8 


Garden City 


5,298 


62 


41 


60 





61 


Engadine Consolidated 


336 





46 








2 


Gaylord 


2,697 





12 


20 


3 


12 


Genesee 


825 


12 








8 


45 


Gerrish Higgins 


1,699 





31 


13 





23 


Gibraltar 


3,416 





36 


36 


37 


106 


Gladstone 


1,961 





44 


28 





5 


Gladwin 


1,875 


8 


11 


4 


2 


4 


Glen Lake 


638 





2 


4 





10 


Gobies 


1,047 


26 


2 


2 


6 


18 


Godfrey Lee 


980 


6 








65 


98 


Godwin Heights 


1,881 


86 


9 


45 


73 


128 


Goodrich 


1,489 


6 


2 


31 





37 


Grand Blanc 


5,030 


236 


55 


141 


50 


171 


Grand Haven 


5,418 


19 


59 


21 


86 


106 


Grand Ledge 


4,449 


44 


34 


69 


21 


106 


Grand Rapids City 


13,750 


9,386 


399 


418 


1,411 


2,168 


Grandville 


4,213 


46 


24 


116 


82 


99 


Grant 


1,713 


5 


16 


4 


106 


141 


Grant Township 


18 

















Grass Lake 


823 





4 





2 


5 


Greenville 


3,784 





13 


6 


16 


94 


Grosse lie Twnshp 


1,709 








90 





19 


Gull Lake 


2,476 


63 


8 


8 





12 


Hagar Township 6 


67 





6 











Hale Area 


748 





3 











Hamilton 


1,948 








81 


49 


49 


Hamtramck 


1,869 


507 


16 


24 





49 


Hancock 


992 


14 


15 











Hanover Horton 


1,222 


29 











2 


Harbor Springs 


828 





27 





2 


5 


Harper Creek 


2,136 





42 


8 





35 



87 



Appendix II (continued) 

Michigan Public School Enrollment by District 

White Black Amlnd Asian Other Hispanic 

CitY of Harper Woods 927 18 15 

Harrison 1,858 3 3 7 19 

Hart 1,205 20 3 125 201 

Hartford 1,338 2 40 91 118 

Haaland Consolidated 2,765 21 19 10 31 

Haslen 1,963 34 46 51 57 

Hastings 3,204 3 15 13 6 24 

Hazel Park City 4,696 11 74 136 47 

Hemlock 1,634 3 25 32 

Hespena 1,020 5 4 4 19 43 

Highland Park City 63 3,888 5 17 

Hillman 643 2 7 

Hillsdale 2,502 10 40 43 40 69 

Holland City 4,142 86 35 233 701 1,280 

Holly Area 3,779 53 27 29 105 131 

Holt 4,184 102 54 27 76 152 

Holton 1,190 5 7 

Homer Community 997 2 2 Oil 24 

Hopkins 1,163 11 21 21 

Houghton Lake 1,608 36 9 12 

Howell 5,205 122 26 23 67 

Hudson 1,173 3 19 19 83 

Hudsonville 3,267 4 40 30 

Huron 1,859 12 13 9 24 

Huron Valley 9,373 6 78 20 12 140 

Ida 1,648 6 14 

Imlay City 1,779 2 2 30 65 133 

Inkster City 205 2,436 14 7 7 

Inland Lakes 707 36 3 3 

Ionia 2,770 76 19 32 43 234 

Ionia Twp Dis, 2 48 

Ionia Twp Dis. 5 33 

Iron Mountain City 1,478 13 21 

Ironwood Area 1,554 11 5 3 28 

Ishpeming 1,325 4 2 

Ithaca 1,653 9 4 62 115 

Jackson 6,352 1,590 44 73 167 263 

Jefferson-Monroe Cnty 2,641 17 14 18 41 

Jenison 4,189 8 47 68 23 68 

Johannesburg-Lewiston 682 6 7 9 

Jonesville 1,019 3 5 5 

Kalamazoo City 8,065 4,271 106 259 357 493 

Kaleva Norman Dickson 760 15 3 5 7 

Kalkaska 2,123 3 44 4 10 26 

Kearsley 3,078 27 18 23 32 93 

Kelloggsville 1,746 95 19 65 31 80 

Kenowa Hills 2,462 11 45 13 14 31 

Kent City 1,394 6 4 5 34 

Kentwood 6,124 544 38 225 85 215 

Kingsley Area 1,026 18 20 



88 



Appendix II (continued) 

Michigan Public School Enrollment by District 





White 


Black 


Amlnd 


Asian 


Other 


Hispanic 


Kingston 


679 


63 


7 


2 


6 


15 


Laingsburg 


1,008 











4 


36 


Lake City 


1,182 





12 


2 


4 


10 


Lake Fenton 


1,421 





13 











Lake Linden Hubbell 


745 








15 





5 


Lake Onon 


4,700 


24 


6 


11 


58 


182 


Lakeshore 


2,606 


12 


13 


41 





54 


Lakeview 


2,901 


94 





73 





40 


Lakeview Area 


2,704 





18 


38 


19 


62 


Lakeview Community 


1,681 


8 


20 


6 


32 


57 


Lakeville Comm School 


2,689 


10 


24 


5 


24 


49 


Lakewood 


2,604 


10 


15 


21 


26 


70 


Lamphere 


1,953 


52 


54 


86 


39 


47 


Lansing 


13,031 


5,969 


305 


515 


1,736 


2,789 


Lapeer 


7,393 


20 


51 


80 


75 


204 


Lawrence 


635 


5 


10 





83 


111 


Lawton 


1,033 


14 


9 


6 


22 


60 


Leiand 


367 








3 








Les Cheneaux 


288 





62 


3 


11 


11 


Leslie 


1,470 


1 


2 


2 


8 


19 


Lincoln Cons 


2,664 


411 


3 


37 





27 


Lincoln Park 


5,618 


23 


75 





77 


279 


Linden 


2,401 





14 








25 


Litchfield 


594 


2 


11 








2 


Linlefield 


499 


6 


11 











Livonia 


16,078 


92 


26 


321 


44 


287 


L'Anse Creuse 


9,260 


837 


20 


161 


21 


203 


Lowell 


2,917 


10 


2 


46 


6 


28 


Ludington 


2,513 


15 


43 


11 


30 


58 


Mackinac Island 


44 





14 











Mackinaw City 


205 





18 











Madison 


2,426 





30 


23 


11 


30 


Madison District 


542 











124 


190 


Mancelona 


948 





13 





2 


3 


Manchester 


1,089 


4 


3 


15 


3 


9 


Manistee 


1,881 


5 


39 


4 


45 


82 


Manistique 


1,283 





130 


5 





17 


Manton Consolidated 


823 





16 


3 





13 


Maple Valley 


1,590 





19 


2 


4 


2 


Marcellus 


878 


18 


7 





2 


14 


Marenisco 


130 


20 


2 








2 


Marion 


721 


1 


19 





2 


6 


Mar Lee 


351 








2 


17 


22 


Marlene 


1,501 


4 


19 





8 


35 


Marshall 


2,334 


29 





6 


15 


42 


Martin 


856 


2 


6 


6 


3 


3 


Marysville 


2,105 





17 


44 





6 


Mason 


3,477 








26 


47 


70 


Mason Cons 


1,532 





19 


10 


25 


117 


Mason County Central 


1,327 


3 


10 


7 


20 


43 



89 



Appendix II (continued) 

Michigan Public School Enrollment by District 





White 


Black 


Amind 


Asian 


Other 


Hispanic 


Mason County Eastern 


560 


7 


6 





15 


19 


Manawan Cons 


2,168 


20 


66 


17 


15 


39 


Mayville 


1,320 


3 


10 


16 





3 


McBain Rural Agr 


790 








2 


5 


5 


Melvindale Allen Park 


2,064 


50 








70 


159 


Memphis 


816 


25 











9 


Mendon 


615 


37 











4 


Menominee Area 


2,332 


6 


18 


16 





10 


Meridian 


1,810 


4 


7 


4 


11 


20 


Merrill 


1,101 


6 


2 


4 


5 


35 


Mesick Consolidated 


757 





14 


2 


2 


6 


Michigan Center 


1,375 











20 


56 


Midland 


8,148 


110 


62 


163 


62 


140 


Mid Peninsula 


416 





12 











Milan Area 


1,793 


138 








39 


64 


Millington 


1,961 





9 


7 





25 


Mio Au Sable 


761 





9 


1 


3 


29 


Mona Shores 


3,396 


39 


16 


46 





98 


Monroe 


7,548 


324 


25 


47 


108 


258 


Montague 


1,502 





29 


29 


38 


76 


Montrose 


1,731 


59 


14 





35 


41 


Moran Township 


2 





44 


1 





2 


Morenci 


1,032 


2 


2 


2 


13 


47 


Morley Stanwood 


1,392 


9 


34 





1 


28 


Morrice 


762 





7 





3 


15 


Mt Clemens 


1,066 


505 


24 





24 


12 


Mt Morris Cons 


2,836 


155 


78 


28 


8 


60 


Mt Pleasant 


3,333 


78 


229 


46 


27 


70 


Munising 


899 





81 


2 





7 


Muskegon 


3,978 


2,672 


165 





170 


344 


Muskegon Heights SD 


394 


2,359 


38 


8 


13 


62 


Napoleon 


1,461 








7 





6 


Negaunee 


1,654 


5 


23 


3 





23 


New Buffalo 


634 


61 











43 


New Haven 


837 


193 


39 


2 


5 


32 


New Lothrop 


1,030 





10 





12 


14 


Newaygo 


1,381 





10 


3 


21 


37 


N.I.C.E. 


1,811 





11 











Niles 


3,731 


414 


51 


25 


37 


112 


North Adams 


621 





2 








10 


North Branch 


2,100 





6 





7 


22 


Grosse Pointe 


7,217 


31 


13 


211 





152 


North Huron 


711 


7 














North Muskegon 


605 








6 








Northpon 


181 





23 





5 


22 


Northview 


2,839 


57 


18 





34 


52 


Northville 


3,845 


70 





122 


3 


50 


Northwest 


3,098 


59 


5 


23 


2 


27 


Norway Vulcan 


827 





11 








3 


Nortawa 


292 


9 















90 



Appendix II (continued) 

Michigan Public School Enrollment by District 





White 


Back 


Amind 


Asian 


Other 


Hispanic 


Novi 


3,537 


38 


24 


177 


32 


47 


Oak Park 


974 


2,557 





61 


9 


5 


Oakridge 


1,644 


24 


11 


10 





56 


Okemos 


3,450 


164 


8 


275 


29 


78 


Olivet 


1,160 





2 





23 


49 


Onaway 


974 





8 


2 





7 


Oneida District 3 


15 

















Onekama Consolidated 


427 





8 





4 


11 


Onsted 


1,515 


5 


8 


2 





16 


Ontonagon 


859 





27 


1 





12 


Orchard View 


2,272 


28 


30 





13 


79 


Orleans Twp Dist 10 


24 

















Osceola Twp 


335 


5 


8 


4 








Oscoda 


2,903 


83 


46 


38 


6 


31 


Otsego 


2,296 


9 


35 


2 


6 


6 


Ovid Elsie 


1,680 


2 


6 


7 


18 


52 


Owendale Gagetown 


292 


3 


11 


3 


14 


20 


Owosso 


4,627 





30 


16 


57 


88 


Oxford 


2,870 


20 


6 


16 


6 


28 


Palo 


233 


7 











6 


Parchment 


1,392 


106 


12 


5 


6 


63 


Paw Paw 


1,842 


15 


4 





35 


83 


Peck 


486 





7 





7 


10 


Pellston 


690 





40 





6 


10 


Pennfield 


1,496 


57 


6 


20 





25 


Pentwater 


369 





7 





16 


39 


Perry 


1,912 


17 


41 


4 





15 


Petoskey 


2,106 


4 


38 


50 


7 


16 


Pewamo Westphalia 


705 








3 





2 


Pickford 


427 





43 








6 


Pinckney 


3,571 





25 


10 





47 


Pinconning 


2,369 


22 


26 


14 


18 


66 


Pine River 


1,334 


3 


9 


3 








Pineview 


95 





6 





2 


3 


Pittsford 


701 





2 


4 








Plainwell 


2,527 


24 


18 


12 


14 


26 


Plynnouth Canton 


14,522 


193 


30 


629 


48 


190 


Pontiac 


6,086 


7,236 


175 


347 


937 


1,611 


Port Hope 


119 





2 











Port Huron 


11,459 


620 


46 


66 


252 


464 


Portage 


7,389 


310 


33 


173 


35 


135 


Portland 


1,977 


3 








8 


32 


Posen Cons 


402 





2 


2 








Ponerville 


664 


2 


14 





16 


20 


Powell Township 


119 





6 











North Central Area 


577 





2 








8 


Quincy 


1,391 


4 


6 





3 


7 


Rapid River 


483 





44 


2 








Ravenna 


1,178 


6 


13 








16 


Reading 


875 


3 


9 


5 


3 


3 



91 



Appendix II (continued) 

Michigan Public School Enrollment by District 





White 


Back 


Amlnd 


Asian 


Other 


Hispanic 


Redford Union 


4,297 


41 


22 


92 


13 


72 


Reed City 


2,095 


11 


15 


8 


17 


30 


Reese 


1,058 


12 





2 


16 


49 


Reeths Puffer 


3,606 


119 


27 


47 


24 


95 


Republic Michigamme 


252 

















Richmond 


1,783 














21 


River Rouge 


1,231 


862 


10 





32 


106 


River Valley 


1,507 


9 


4 








6 


Riverview 


2,182 


12 


6 


10 


16 


68 


Rochester 


10,933 


147 


5 


390 


7 


166 


Rockford 


4,859 


61 


21 


67 


11 


36 


Rogers City 


876 








5 


7 


10 


Romeo 


4,086 


40 


18 


14 


28 


58 


Romulus 


3,223 


1,184 


29 


73 


99 


129 


Roseville 


6,575 


130 


43 


81 


10 


107 


Loucks-Roxand #12 


34 

















Royal Oak 


7,522 


81 


14 


103 


72 


195 


Rudyard 


1,057 


15 


130 


6 


9 


24 


Saginaw 


5,554 


7,496 


97 


168 


1,428 


2,119 


Saginaw Twp 


4,647 


228 


9 


160 


103 


332 


North Dickinson 


548 











3 


3 


Saline Area 


3,075 


35 


5 


72 


23 


35 


Sand Creek 


867 


6 


2 


6 


31 


66 


Sandusky 


1,474 





6 


4 


12 


52 


Saranac 


1,219 





30 


2 


7 


26 


Saugatuck 


455 


2 


7 


8 


15 


21 


Sault Ste Marie 


2,677 


9 


779 


16 


8 


58 


Schoolcraft 


879 


6 


5 


6 





8 


Shelby 


1,191 


5 


4 





99 


149 


Shepherd 


1,687 


4 


2 


10 


5 


27 


Sigel Twp District 6 


30 

















Sodus Dist 5 


17 

















South Lake 


2,042 








35 


12 


70 


South Lyon 


4,364 


20 


52 


20 





128 


South Redford 


3,070 


51 


3 


24 


30 


63 


South Haven 


2,255 


472 





18 





88 


Southfield 


4,367 


4,332 


44 


264 


96 


116 


Southgate 


4,374 


16 


24 


30 


48 


295 


Sparta 


2,412 





17 


10 


16 


32 


Spring Lake 


1,725 


5 





26 


12 


75 


Springport 


1,057 


5 





4 


6 


18 


St Charles 


1,249 


12 


24 


5 


11 


55 


Lakeshore 


3,444 





11 


14 





12 


St Johns 


3,228 


6 


5 





52 


148 


St Joseph 


2,551 


28 


6 


11 





30 


St Louis 


1,335 


20 


9 


10 


10 


58 


West Iron County 


1,419 





28 








5 


Standish Sterling 


1,953 


2 


50 


2 


11 


39 


Stanton Twp 


266 


2 














Stephenson 


1,120 





9 


15 









92 



Appendix II (continued) 

Michigan Public School Enrollment by District 





WhKe 


Back 


Ambid 


Asian 


other 


Hispanic 


Stockbridge 


1,790 


1 


33 





42 


42 


Sturgis 


2,712 


21 


11 


10 





30 


Summerfield 


950 





6 


5 


14 


14 


Sunons Bay 


665 


7 


63 


11 


9 


5 


Swan Valley 


1,556 


17 





3 


2 


26 


Swartz Creek 


4,206 


65 


120 


19 


9 


114 


Tawas 


1,677 


8 


2 


3 


3 


3 


Taylor 


10,899 


855 


85 


136 


141 


435 


Tecumseh 


2,859 


19 


37 


56 


50 


184 


Tekonsha 


489 





6 


2 








Thornapple Kellogg 


2,224 


2 


45 


41 


8 


50 


Three Rivers 


2,821 


270 


9 


19 


21 


30 


Traverse City 


10,081 


52 


65 


103 


11 


147 


Trenton 


3,058 





19 


46 


25 


62 


Tri County 


1,750 


17 


40 


10 


4 


26 


Troy 


9,768 


231 


31 


902 


17 


133 


Ubiy 


838 

















Union City 


1,224 





25 


9 


2 


23 


Unionville Sebewaing 


952 





3 


2 


11 


34 


Utica 


23,811 


60 


70 


538 


62 


368 


Van Buren 


5,085 


868 


12 


98 


19 


48 


Vanderbilt 


370 








3 


8 


8 


Vandercook 


893 











12 


13 


Van Dyke 


4,384 





50 


124 


32 


116 


Vassar 


1,720 


11 


16 


2 


18 


51 


Verona Township No. 1 F 


43 








3 








Vestaburg 


637 


11 











5 


Vicksburg 


2,394 


15 


4 


10 


9 


31 


Wakefield 


487 


2 


6 











Waldron 


507 





6 





6 


21 


Walkerville Rural 


224 


1 


24 





42 


38 


Walled Lake Cons 


8,903 


79 


105 


173 


6 


127 


Warren Consolidated 


14,369 


124 


60 


625 


32 


161 


Warren Woods 


2,493 


4 





30 





4 


Waterford 


10,377 


130 


142 


151 


63 


338 


Watersmeet Twp 


84 





54 





2 


3 


Watervliet 


1,042 


6 


12 





9 


11 


Waverly 


3,020 


321 


12 


6 


103 


156 


Wayland Union 


2,550 


9 


26 








36 


Webberville 


810 





11 


2 








Wells Township 


36 

















West Bloomfield 


4,467 


130 


34 


216 


4 


41 


W Branch Rose City 


2,760 





33 


2 


6 


30 


West Onawa 


4,236 


36 


28 


246 


226 


443 


Western 


1,804 


12 


31 


3 





5 


Westwood Heights 


727 


620 


8 





28 


44 


White Cloud 


1,100 


62 


11 


8 


9 


24 


White Pigeon 


1,179 








26 


10 


17 


White Pine 


191 





6 


4 








Whitefish 


114 


















93 



Appendix II (continued) 

Michigan Public School Enrollment by District 





White 


Back 


Amlnd 


Asian 


Other 


Hispanic 


Whiteford Agr 


670 














13 


Whitehall 


1,537 


124 


34 


16 


7 


30 


Whitmore Lake 


1,106 


84 








7 


21 


Whittemore Prescott 


1,274 


5 


23 


8 





53 


Williamston 


1,525 


15 


18 


4 


29 


71 


Willow Run 


2,126 


1,200 


27 


25 





83 


Wolverine 


365 





17 











Woodhaven 


4,314 


114 


37 


145 


39 


132 


Wyandotte City 


4,631 





42 


18 


46 


229 


Wyoming 


5,006 


137 


39 


129 


61 


177 


Yale 


1,939 





8 


3 


8 


9 


Ypsilanti 


3,342 


1,977 





133 


37 


79 


Zeeland 


3,184 








31 


42 


77 


Total 


1,254.734 


275,386 


13,988 


20,933 


21,675 


47,265 



94 



Appendix III 

Lansing School District Suspension Report 



StrSPKNSION REPORT 

The attached report is a suimary of all pupil suspensions in the Lansing School 
District for the 1992-93 school year. The individual reports should be read as 
follows : 

Incidents of Suspension - Ethnic by Length 

1. Thas IS a sumnary of all suspensions and includes more than one suspension 
per student. There are, therefore, more incidents of suspension than there 
are students suspended. 

2. Line one (No.) is the number of suspensions categorized by the length of 
suspension and the racial/ethnic background of the student suspended. 

3. Line two {%) is the percentage of students suspended for a given length of 
time by ethnic code. For exan^le: 39.1% of the suspensions in the ethnic 
code of 5 were for one day. 

4. Line three (% of the group) is the percentage of each ethnic group 
suspended by length. For exan^le: 17.8% of the total number of Code 5 
suspensions were for one day. 

5. There were a total of 4,434 incidents of suspensions. 

Comparison of Incidents of Suspension - Bv Sex - Bv Reason - Bv Ethnic 
These charts conpare the incidents of suspension by sex by reason by ethnic, for 
example: There were 422 incidents of fighting by females (35.5%) as coopared to 
973 incidents of fighting by males (30.0%). 

Incidents of Suspension - Bv Reason - Bv Ethnic 

This chart shows the number of suspensions by the reason identified categorized 
by the racial /ethnic bac)cground. The totals and percentages for each reason are 
also shown. For example: 1,395 suspensions, representing 31.5% of all 
suspensions, were for fighting. 

Suspension to Student Services 

This chart shows the number of incidents of suspension to Student Services by 
ethnic group. For example: There were 334 incidents (20.0%) of suspension of 
code 5 students to Student Services. A total of 1,053 students were referred to 
Student Services. 

Comparison of Number of Incidents and Students Suspended-Bv Ethnic-Bv School ^ 
This chart compares the incidents of suspension with the umber of individual 
students susp>ended for each school categorized by ethnic group. For example: 
There were 126 incidents of suspension of code 5 students at Eastern. 



^ This portion of the Suspension Report is not included in the 
appendix. 



95 



RACIAL ETHNIC COOES 

1 . American Indian or Alaskan Native or 

Native American 

2. Black (not of Latino or Hispanic origin) 

3. Asian or Pacific Islander 

4 . Latino or Hispanic 

5 . White (not of Latino of Hispanic origin) 



96 



ZVCZOXKTS or SUSPZBSXQV 

CTHVZC MX UV0T8 

1992 - 1993 



1 DAY OR LESS 


2 DAYS 


Coda 


1 


2 


3 


4 


5 


T 


1 


2 


3 


4 


5 


T 


no. 


16 


335 


7 


106 


298 


762 


9 


195 


3 


64 


177 


448 


% 


2.1 


44.0 


.9 


13.9 


39.1 




2.0 


43. S 


.7 


14.3 


39.5 




% of 

•ach 
group 


IS. 8 


16.2 


18.9 


19.2 


17.8 


17.2 


8.9 


9.4 


8.1 


11.6 


10.6 


10.1 



3-S DAYS 


1-3 WEEKS 


Coda 


1 


2 


3 


4 


5 


T 


1 


2 


3 


4 


5 


. T 


No. 


63 


1,322 


24 


322 


1,031 


2,762 


10 


154 


2 


48 


130 


344 


% 


2.3 


47.9 


.9 


11.7 


37.3 




2.9 


44.8 


.6 


14.0 


37.8 




% of 

•ach 
group 




62.4 


63.8 


64.9 


58.3 


61.7 


62.3 


9.9 


7.4 


5.4 


8.7 


7.8 


7.8 



3 OR MORE WEEKS 


TOTAL 


Coda 


1 


2 


3 


4 


5 


T 


1 


2 


3 


4 


5 


T 


No. 


3 


67 


1 


12 


35 


118 


101 


2,073 


37 


552 


1,671 


4,434 


% 


2.5 


56.8 


.9 


10.2 


29.7 




2.3 


46.8 


.8 


12.5 


37.7 




% of 
each 
group 


3.0 


3.2 


2.7 


2.2 


2.1 


2.7 















97 



nrcxaares or susrinxem - tx nxxtam ~ wx xrsxzc 

19«3 - 1993 



UASOM 


1 3 


J 


4 S 


T 


% 


Troancy 




« 7» 3 


34 86 30S 4.6 


Tardlnasa 


U 





4 


13 


sa .6 


StriiOij? T««cn«r 




QUO 


2 4 


19 


rightiaq 30 ^3 


21 


155 


956 


1,399 


31.5 




A...ult u 1,, 





47 


125 


362 


6.6 




B«tr«ry 


s 








3 


a 


.2 




V«rb«i/Kritt«n thraata j 41 





13 


22 7* 


i.a 




SmoJciag/Oaa of Tob*cco 


1 7 








24 32 


-■ 

.7 




Poaaaaaion of Tobacco 







1 


1 


4 


6 


.1 




0ru9 or Alcohol Oa« 




9 





' 


5 


16 


.4 




Druga/Alcohol Poaaaaaion/Sala 




16 





19 


21 


57 


1.3 




Poaaaaaion of Haapona - Oaa of 




SI 


2 


12 


" 


113 


2.5 




'''■■•aaion of ri-cawurJM, ate. 




c 





1 


5 12 


.3 




Poaa. of Illegal D«vic»a. Da* of 1 


" 





S 


" 


49 


1.1 




Krcorcion 




a 





1 


a 


17 


.4 




Thaft 




44 


3 


12 


32 91 


2.1 




Traapaaalng 






4 





3 


4 U 


.2 




Violation of City fi Stata, ate. 




^ 





1 


2 


4 


.1 




VandAllam/Malictoua Daatroctlon 




4 








7 


11 


.2 




Araon 




7 





1 


4 


12 


.3 




Hlaconducc - Olaordarly 


10 


313 


3 


76 


309 


611 


13. a 




Paraxatanc Miaconducr 




211 





42 


152 


412 


9.3 




Dafiad Authority - laaulxjrdinata 


24 


236 


4 


a3 214 


561 


12.7 




l.«wd/Obicana Bahartor 


4a 





9 


21 


78 


tH 




Saxuai Miaconduct 1 


17 





a 26 




.6 


Othar J 


ao 


29 


90 


200 


4.5 




TOTAL j^( 


31 


2.073 37 


552 1 




.434 







M/uuuu TO sTUDxar sxxTiaa bt iranc 

1992 - 1993 



CODE 


1 


2 


3 


4 


S 


T 


Hot R«ferr«<l 


86 


1,505 


29 


424 


1,337 


3,381 


% Noc Rafarr*d 


85.2 


72.6 


78.4 


76.8 


80.0 


76.3 


Referr«d 


15 
14.9 


568 


8 


128 


334 


1,053 


% Raferr»d 


27.4 


21.6 


23.2 


20.0 


23.8 



99 



Appendix IV 

Michigan State Board of Education, Guidelines to the Rights and 

Responsibilities of Students 



A RECOMMENDED GUIDE TO 

Students' Rights 

and Responsibilities 

in Michigan 

Second Edition 



Michigan State Board of Education 



100 



FOREWORD 

The issue of the rights and responsibiiities of students has been an 
ongoing concern of Michigan educators. During the past twenty years, 
we have witnessed a gradual change in both the legal and educational 
views of the nghts and responsibilities of students. Legally, the issue of 
student nghts has changed from the concept of "in loco parentis" to the 
concept that students do not abandon their constitutional rights when 
entenng the school house door. AJI parties concerned with education, 
including staff, students, parents and community members, have a 
responsibility to be welNnform«l regarding the rights and responsibili- 
ties of students. 

The Common Goals of Michigan Education and the goal statements 
of almost all local school districts reflect a concern that young people 
acquire the information and skills necessary to become effective adult 
citizens. P-ere is no better avenue to assisting young people in gaining 
effective atirenship skills than the process of respecting their rights and 
educating them concerning their responsibilities. 

This document provides general information concerning student 
nghts and responsibilities. The State Board of Education is hopeful that 
local boards of education will find this document useful as they develop 
and update their policies. Michigan's Mandatory Special Education Act 
along with state and federal civil rights legislation, provides special 
safeguards for handicapped students which are described in A 
Handbook For Parents: Planning. Coordinating and Implementing 
Services for Special Students. Detailed information on the rights of 
handicapped students and their responsibilities can be found in the 
Admmistrative Manual for Special Education. Volumes I and II which is 
on file In each school district. 



Phillip E^unkel ^ 
Superintendent of Public Instruction 



May, 1982 



101 



CONTENTS 

Forsword 

I. Introduction 

II. Rights and Responsibilities ..^^ 

III. Issues... 

A. Education Records. —...______ 



B. First Amendment Rights 

1. Freedom of Assembly. Petition. Symbolic 
Speech. Inquiry and Expression ^ 

2. Student Publications and Newspapers.^. 

3. Patriotic and Religious Activities .. 



7 



11 



14 

C. Smoking in tile Schools..., ^ 

0- Dress and Grooming 

E. Non-Oiscrimination 

F. Corporal Punishment __^ ^ 

G. Search and Seizure. Interrogation and Arrest 28 

H. Attendance. Grades. Fees, and Diplomas 33 

I. Fraternities. Sororities, and Secret Societies ^. 35 

J. School Board Liability 

'V. Due Process and the Fair Administration of Discipline 40 

Index 



102 



I. INTRODUCTION 

A. BACKGROUND INFORMATION 

The Michigan State Board of Education has adopted Th» Common 
Goals of Michigan Education. In Goal Area It: System Responsibilities, it 
states that: 

"Michigan education must strive for social justice in the schools 
and educational system in order to enhance each person's sense 
of dignity and worth. To achieve this goal a system should 
demonstrate efforts to assure that the educationally related legal 
rights of educators, students, and parents are protected." 

The issue of the rights and responsibilities of students remains high 
on the list of concerns within public education. Schools are significantty 
affected by court decisions, attorney general opinions, legislative 
enactments, policy directives, and rules and regulations concerning the 
rights and responsibilities of students. During our lifetime, schools have 
witnessed challenges to long held precepts of the rights of students. 
Federal troops ensured the right of Black students to attend formerly 
segregated facili^-<«. The tradition of "in loco parentis" diminished in 
favor of tt>e concept from Tinker v. DesMoines that children do not 
abandon ttieir constitutional rights at the schoolhouse door. 

8. PURPOSE OF GUIDEUNES 

The major purpose of tt)e Guidelines is to provide information to 
assist local district personnel including officials, staff, students, parents 
and community members in developing, implementing, and assessing 
policy and practices concerning student conduct It is not the purpose of 
the Guidelines to provide specific legal advice. Persons seeicing legal 
advice should contact an attorney. 

The Guidelines provide two types of information. The first entitled 
"Current Law and Practice", provides local district personnel with recent 
information concerning court decisions, attorney ' general opinions, 
legislative enactments, rules and regulations, and policy directives 
concerning the rights and resporuibllities of students. The second, 
entitled "Suggested Procedures", recommends positive approaches to 
the rights ■and responsibilities of students within the framework of local 
district policy and practice. 



103 



It It not the purpoM of ttm GuM%ilnm to dictsta a unHorm Mt of 
rulM of conduct for studants. Th« St>t« Board of Education racognlzaa 
and supports tha right of locai boards, district staff, studanta, artd 
community mambara to datarmina standards of conduct for thair 
community. Tha Stata Board of Education furttiar racognizas and 
supports tha concapt that local diatrict atandarda muat ba davaiopad 
within tha context of tha establishad rights of studanta. TTiarafora. ^ttt^f 
tha law is daar regarding specific rlgtits of students, tha Stata Board of 
Education expects that locally-adoptad atandarda of student conduct will 
be compatible with legal prindpla. 

C. 7H£ DEVELOPMENT OF LOCAL STUDENT CODES IN MICHIGAN 

The State Board of Education, under Ks leadership obllgationa.* 
believes the issue of students' rights and ra ap o nai bllltiaa to be an 
important matter but orte bast admlniatered by local achool boards. The 
State Board to this point haa rastrictad its official action in this area to 
simply requesting local districts to adopt wrtttan codca of student 
conduct The text of tha Board's resolution followa: 

" —Khool dis tricts be nquind, by April 1, 1071, to mttty ttw 
Ststa Bosrd ot Education that tho locai board of aducation has 
adoptad, or Is adopting, a Coda at Studant Conduct which coda 
idantltias eategoriaa of misconduct, daflnas tfta condltiotts 
undar which students rrmy be suspended or expelled, and 
specifies the procedural due process safeguards which will be 
utilized In the implementation of the locally-adopted student 
conduct codes. . ." 

0. ALrTHORITf OF LOCAL SCHOOL BOARDS 

Section 1300* of the Scftool Code requires each local school board 
to"mal(e reasonable regulationa relative to anythir>g necessary for the 
proper establishmerrt. mainteranca. management and carrying on of the 
public schools of ttM district indtidlng regulations relative to ttie 
conduct of pupils concerning ttieir safety while In attendance at school 
or enroute to and from school." 

This statute unquestionably provides local boards of education with 
ttie authority to establish student codes of conduct attendance policies, 
artd any ottter policies deemed r>ece3sary and appropriate. However, aa 
local school t>oards and school officials adopt ar>d carry out rules that 
strive to maimain an environment conducive to learning, they must also 
consider other criteria such as ttw autttorrty of ttte State Board of 
Education, and ttie rights and responsibilities of ttie students. 

■ MCM. CONST. 01 t. I 3 
■UCLA 3M.1iaO: MBA iMiaOO 



104 



£. SUMMARY 

TTm Stat* Board of Education, in providing generai leadership to 
education in the state, publishes 77ie Ga/tfe//nes (o ttm Rights and 
R»sonsiblHti«s of Students. The Guid^ilnmM contain the most current 
information available concerning ttiis issue. TTie State Board of 
Education's purpose in publishing the Guidelines is to provide 
information which locaJ district boards, staff, students, and community 
members can use in adopting, implementing, and assessing local 
standards of student conduct. 



105 



IV. DUE PROCESS AND THE PAIR 
ADMINISTRATION OP DISCIPUNE 




CURRENT LAW AND PRACTICE 

1. The U.S. ConstlttJtJon 

The Fourteenth Amendment of the VS. Constitution protects the 
rights of person^ against arbitrary and unreasonably imposed govern* 
merit deprivations of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. 

In Tinker v. Des Moines, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the 
applicability of coristitutionai safeguards to students while attending 
public school.** In Goss v. Lopez, the U.S. Supreme Court found tfiat 
students had a property irrterest in educational benefits and a liberty 
interest in ttteir reputations, both of which qualify for Fourteenth 
Amendment protection." Therefore, it is dear ttiat due process follows 
students to school. 

Due process is a broad cortstttutional concept relating to substance 
and procedure. The essence of both sutjstantive and procedural due 
process in the area of student discipline is to protect students agairut 
arbitrary and capricious rules and actions of school authorities. 
Substantive due process demands that a school rule must be reasonable 
and fair. Procedural due process requires a just and orderly proceeding 
when a student is charged with a violation of a school rule. Due process, 
in either instance, is a flexible concept. The standards required depend 
upon tUt seriousness of the allegations and the possible punishments 
tftat may be imposed. 



*. LOPM. 41t us a«; fl» S a 72>-. 43 L H « TS (IffTS) 



40 



106 



2. Auttwrity of School Code 

By th« •uthonty of S«rtion 1311 of th« School Cod; local school 

boards: 

"may urthoria or ordv tht suspension or sxpulsion from 
school 0/ a pupil guilty of gross misdsmosnor or persistsnt 
disobsdhncs. whon in tho board's judgmont tho intenst ot the 
school msy dsmsnd the authorization or order ..." 

Tha LagisJatura in anacting this law did not dafma "gross 
misdamaanor" or "persistant disot)adianc«.'' 

SUGGESTED PROCEDUttES 

As mantlonad aarOar, "Subatanllve" Am procaaa la coneamad 
with tha aatabliahmant of rulaa and ragulationa. K raquiraa that ruiaa 
baar a raasonabia raiatlenahJp to prapar govammantal purpoaas — In 
tha eontaxt of acheola; aducationaJ purpoaaa. In ganaral, rulas must 
not go ao far bayond aueh purpoaaa aa to eonstltuta an abuaa of 
govamniantaJ authortty and thua viotata dua procaaa guarantaaa. 

In davaloping a policy govaming aehod rulaa and ragulatiena, tha 
following lagai principlaa ahould ba kapt In mind: 

1. tha policy muat provida notiea of what conduct la prehlbltad or 
pamittadt 

2. tha rulaa muat ba raaaonably undarstandafala to tha avaraga 
atudant; 

3. tha rulaa must ba rationally raiatad to a valid adueational 
purpoaa; 

4. tha fulaa muat ba pradaa ao aa not to prohibit conatttutionally 
pro ta ct a d acthrttiaa; 

5. tha policy muat provida atudants wtth notiea of potanHal 
eonsaquancaa for violating spacffic rulaa; 

L the typa of purtiahmant spadftad In tha policy muat ba within tha 
azprasaad or Impilad authorfty of tha achool district to utOlza; 

7. tha puniahmant must t>a of raaaonabia aavarity in raiatlen to ttM 
aariouanasaa of tha miscor>duct or tha numbar of tlmas tha 
miaeanduct waa commtttad. 

1. A copy of tha rulaa and procaduraa muat ba dlaaaminatad to all 
atudanta. 

Procadurai dua procaaa can be bast charactarixad aa a lagal 
atandard of varying, minimal procadurai aafaguarda daaignad to insura 

41 



107 



that a ttudant it aflordad avary opportuntty for a fair and raaaonabia 
datarminatlon substantiatad by avidanca that cauaa azlats to Juattfy an 
ofDdal aeftooMmposad sanction. 

Partiapa tha most Important eharactaristlc of proeodurai dua 
procaas is its variabia natura. Notwitttstanding ttta daaira of settools to 
iiava a simpia and succinct dafinition of dua precaaa wtUcb covars 
avary concalvabia situation, ttia vary natura of dua procaaa rafacts 
suefi a rigid approach. 

In tha school contaxt, procadural dua procaas raqulramants wffl 
vary dapanding on ttia langth of ■ suapanaion; a.9^ a short'tarm 
suspansion varsus a long-tarm suspanaion or axpulaion. indaad. In 
Michigan schools, axpulsion as tha most sarious aehooHnHiatad 
punishmant, should ba daddad upon by tha board of aducation upon 
racommandation of tha auparlntandant and Ma/har subordinatas." 

Also, school officials should not bi axamining various dadalons, 
conciuda that tha raquiramants wittttn thoaa caaaa raprasant tha 
totality of safaguards which can ba affordad a studant School ofttdais 
ara fraa to go bayond tha minimum and afford procachiral aafaguards 
in aO dladpiinaiy procaadings aa a mattar of ganarai policy. 

Tha following ara soma of tha atamants of procadural dua procaas 
which ahouid ba eonsidarad: 

1. Tha timaiy and spaciflc notica of ehargaa agalnat tha studant 

2. Tha studenf s right to quastion aach mambar of tha profassionai 
and school staff or studant Invoivad in or witnass to tha 
IncidanL 

3. Tha studanf s right to prasant avidanca in Ilia or liar bahaif. 

4. Tha studanf s rigiit to an Impartial haaring. 

5. Tha studant's rigiit to rabut u&n^rf taatlmony. 

6. Tha studanf s rigiit to ba raprasantad t>y quaiMad counsal at tha 
haaring. 

7. Tha studanf s rigiit to a racord of ttia haaring. 

t. Tha studanf s right to appeaL 

Tha alamanta noted ibova ara tha amt>odlmant of tha concapt of 
procedural due proceu charadarired aarilar. Thara Is ot>viousiy a 
natural dlfferenca between a ona-day suspanaion for l>alng mildly 
insut>crdlnate end an extensive suspension for sarious misconduct A 



iiian: MSA 1141311 



42 



108 



•tud«nt In danger of b*ii>g suspended for ttis rest of the tsrni a*ght 
wsfl aspect to receive sB or most o( the elements listed above prtor to 
such actions.** Indeed, one ease" tried In U.S. Olstrtct Court ordered a 
Michigan school district to ghre an expelled student a hearing in 
accordance wtth the gtildellnes laid down In an earfier Federal ease." 
Those guidelines, the court noted, included "notice containing a 
statement of the specific charges and grounds which. If proven, would 
Justify expulsion under the regulations of the Board of Education; a 
hearing affording 'an opportunity to hear both sides In considerable 
detain preserving ttte rudiments of an adversary proceeding; names of 
witnesses against tfie student; and the opportunity to present to the 
Board his own defense.'^ A student being suspended for a short 
period of time, on the other hand, might receive adequate procedural 
due process by an informal conference wtth the principaL Indeed, in 
Goss v. Lopmz decided by the U^ Supreme Court ttie court 
enumerated the due process protections to be afforded in connection 
with a suspension of 10 days or less (Ohio's definition of short-term 
suspension). The court required that tfie student be ghren at least 
"... written or oral notice of tfte charges against Mm and. If he denies 
them, an expi* latlon of the evidence the autfioritles have and an 
opportunity to present his side of the story . . ."*• Further, the court held 
ttiat ". . . aince the hearing may occu r almost Immediately following tfie 
misconduct, it foOows that a general notice and hearing should 
precede removal of tfte student from school"" However, the court did 
recognize tfiat there are aituations where a student's presence poses a 
continuing danger to persons or p r operty or an ongoing threat of 
dlsruptlDg the academic process. In such situations, tfie court held that 
such a student could be summarily suspended wtth notice and hearing 
occurring within 72 houra." 

It la strongly recommended ttist local school districts dssslfy 
suspension and resutting due process In a uniform, districtwide 
fashion. For example: 



■■«M( *. Bef« d fduoDon a/ taramoutn Settee! Dmma. 3M f SUf* SK. (DM1 1173) 
"WBMjnr «. Mn aurwi AaWie ScMoa. 309 F SU^ 13M (ED MCH 1«W| 
■Oiaon «. AMOTM. 3M US nO. 6 S Cl SM: 7 L Ed 2d m (IMI) 
■Mawpnr «. Mm Bimwi futue ScnooM. 309 F SUP^ 13M (ED MCH. 1«W) 



■Ooat «. Loom. iuon. 

•Laou *. wm m m. 372 f surr rzn (SO 0»Mk if73) 



43 



109 



L»n9tti at 


Wbe 


Suspttaion 


Sutp«nd9 


Short 7tm 


Building ad- 




minlstrstor or 




porson dMig* 




natod 



L«ng Tonn 



Buiiding ad* 
minittrator or 
parson daaig- 
natad 



Expuision* 



Proe9durai 

Oua Procan RmqulrwmmntB 

a. Informal maating wtth building 
administrator prior to 
auspanslon 

b. studant praaantod srWi ehargas, 
avidanca and wttnassas, if any, 
■gainst him/har 

e. studant givan opportunity to dany 
diargas and rabut avidanea 

d. dadslon may ba appaaiad 

a. Informal haaring «Wi supar* 
Intandant or parson dasignatad 
by tha local aehool beard 

b. studant piaiaiitad witti ehargas, 
a»Wa nca and wttnassas. If any, 
ag^nst Mm/har 

e. studant ghran opportunity to dany 
ehargas and rabut avidanea 

d. studant antftiad to prasant own 
wttnassas and to ba raprasantad 

a. dacision may ba appaaiad 

Board of Ed- a. formal haaring bafora board of 
eation upon a d u cstf on 

racommanda- b. wrtttan, prior notica to 
tlon of auparin> atudant and parant or 

guardian If tha studant is lass 

than IB yaara old 

e. studant prasantad with ehargas, 
•vidaf>ca and wttnassas. If any, 
against him/har 

d. studant givan opportunity to dany 
ehargas snd rabut avidanea 

a. studant antltlad to prasant own 
wttnassas 

f. studant may hava raprasantation 



tandant 



I pnor to viitMBnQ wulMon. ■ s moM 
ha bMn aw i m ia o MnowaooaO- pu r mm M to mm ruMo o* Vm SUM Boar* ol fttur m i t tt n. m ■iilii»nm 
■■ni ■iiiii«l pMnvng uom iwt u * muM b* m iriia a oner to OM aoien m tna am nanotcaopad BuOataa 

mgiBliai lor •eaoal «u u>jiK ir< twuiy na and nr iiaa can ba ri ■■■ ma mro — ■ili f x m oaa mat 

fmn ■ m • mora tcorotnmm apocul aoucaBon p rop n w or ■awioa tnai roia» oa pi u otoao M Umi of 



110 



Appendix V 

Michigan Civil Rights Commission 1968 Report: Discipline and 

Suspension Policy and Practices in Michigan Public Schools 



DISCIPLINE AND SUSPENSION POLICY AND PRACTICES IN MICHIGAN POBLIC SCHOOLS 



Seport of the 
MICHIGAN Cim SIGHTS CCMMISSION 



lebmarj 29, 1963 



111 



DISCIPLITifc AiVD SZE7ZIIS1CU FCLIC" .Mdi PRACTICED IN MICHIGAN PUBLIC SCHOOLS 



Bacial tension and disturbances between students and facultj have 
reached the crisis point in several Michigan school districts. The situa- 
tion in some of these schools has become known to the public and in others 
it has not. A realistic appraisal of the school anrf cooDunity environment 
in which tension has occurred reveals numerous underlying factors. Among 
these, usually, are the questions of how policies of discipline and suspen- 
sion are formulated and hov they are applied. 

In order to highlight the seriousness of this problem, the Michigan 
Civil Rights Commission has reviewed several situations in which its staff 
has been directly involved. 

Dearbora School District No. 8 

In Nove«flber 1967, news media reported that a large group of Negro 
youngsters had been arrested and later released to the custody of their 
parents as a result of a rock-throwing incident at fiobichand Senior High 
School in Dearborn No. 8 School District. T^-i* larger incident had been 
precipitated by a fight between a Negro male student and a male physical 
education teacher at the high school. 

Die school responded to this fight by suspending several young Negro 
students. Cie teachers indicated that they would not return to school until 
the 3ocrd and administration established firm guidelines on the questions of 
student conduct and discipline piocsdures. 

In this situation, the students involved raised the question of an 
unclear discipline policy and racially biased judgments by individual faculty 
members, lie teachers deplored the fact that the students h^f^ no firm guide- 
lines which would set out, for all parties concerned, what behavior was appro- 
priate, and what acts would incur what discipline. The administration has 
subsequently re-admitted the student involved in the original incident and ap- 
pointed a stuc'-nt-faculty-administration committee to develop a code of conduct 
and reccmn-nd' standard procedures. 

Taylor Township 

Tht situation In Taylor Township Senior and Junior High Schools was 
reported to the MCRC throojh formal complaints in November 196?. Biese 
alleged, among other things, the unequal application of discipline and sus- 
pension standards based on the race of the students involved. As part of 
the final disposition of the czsis, it was agreed that the Taylor Township 
School administration would work with the Michigan Civil Eights Commission 
to solve problems of this nature. Subsequently, the Superintendent and hi -5 
administrative staff stated that there was no system-wide code. It is the 
school administration's contention that it is the best policy for each dis- 
ciplinarian - (school administrator or classroom teacher) to administer. 
punishment according to >'-i^ own standards, taiHw^ the students' Individual 
dl/ferences into account. 



112 



Discipline and Suspension Policj (Cont.) Pag* 

River Rouge 

In January of 1963, Negro students at Biver Bouge High School walked 
out protesting conditions withia the school district. Among their grievances 
was unequal application of discipline. Bie situation in Hirer Rouge reached 
the attention* of the public. School was closed at the senior high school for 
a day in order to give the faculty the opportunity to be confronted by the 
students' allegations. Demonstrations continued before school began in the 
morning, and at the lunch hour for a week. 

Among the steps beins taken by the administration is the establishment 
of a faculty-student committee to review existing discipline policies and to 
make recommendations regarding the formulation of a more np-to-date version. 

Ht. Clemens 

Negro students at Mt. Clemens High School organized a walkout in 
October 1967. Unequal treatment in discipline practices was high on their 
list of complaints. HCHC staff met with students, concerned citizens, school 
administrators and the Schcol Board regarding problems in the high school. 
"Qie students returned to their classes as school officials promised to in- 
vestigate and correct any inequities. Student and faculty groups were estab- 
lirhsd to facilitate the probles solving. 

Subsequent to this action, a number of Negro students have been sus- 
pended, placed on probation, or have dropped out of the high school, including 
seniors to graduate in June 1968. All of these students participated in the 
October walkout. A particular concern is the practice of requiring high school 
students to sign agreements which state that they will voluntarily withdraw 
from school if they violate prescribed standards of conduct. Biia agreement 
may become binding if tha student is involved in any further discipline matter. 
Negro parents feel that this procedure is being applied in a disc rimina tory 
fashion. 

Oak Park 

On February 21, 1963, some 300 adults and youth from the Royal Oak 
Township area of Oak Park Schools met to discuss problems encountered in 
the junior and senior high schools. Reports of unequal and unfair treatment 
were related during this m-eting. While acknowledging that this public testi- 
mony was not verified, the residents argued that a critical problem existed 
and directed telegrams to the Michigan Civil Sights Commission and the State 
Board of Education, requesting an investigation of "a racial crisis". 

Rumors of a major racial confrontation among students are widespread 
in the Oak Park District and absenteeism was high during the week of February 
19. "Hie rate of Negro and white student expulsions is also greatly increased. 

The MCBC staff is conferring with citizens and school officials to 
clarify the facts and identify the central issues in this natter. 



113 



Discipline and Suspension Policj (Cont. ) 
Kala/na;oo 



Pa 



ee 



Central Cants n,,-(n» v '^e^ua-L treatment of Negro students at Xalanaioo 

crests ..r. .ad., «,d • n^ber of stad.nS «!.^t,!^J ? ^ ^?°^' 

«... ^on..uii°t'^iii^^^r^^^:'^^^- """"^ '— °' *" 

Board Of Education "IVstcrl l^v I^ oSj ^'^"i'" '^" "^ **• lt«i««"o= 
di.cipll.ar. ..a^., 2=\\°IL5^"'nSrJf:"1l^:„^rL'Sti°L%'^?. 
action, th. Board also r.cco..nd.d stn-al oS.^^H^ u •f*','"" «» ""a 
».Cro M=tor7 into ti. curSSl a^d tt. adSSon S' " "=l"ion of 

=rd.r to r.U.„ th. underl^ns rao"ia1%.1»';'jS„:^^r-'^ '•""' '"'' ^ 



Other Districts 



yarding tflS'iJd ^".^SL'Ion'ScSi'oTof'd?""?"' """•• •^'^.tion, re- 
Battl, Cr..k Detroit Sfik^'-T'S^.' diaciplin. hav. also bo.n nad. in 

Tp.i.anti,L.^:?>^'tSf^,L-;.-i:n!S°i;d^So'.'-:;rJ:if--"^ 

School PopulaH nn 

occurred''LTf':S;sf "^^ "'*'°' "^'^'''^ ^ -^'■"^ "»«« ^"'^""t, 

neighbo^'In'c^l" e^inLt^r* £e^ Sjf^* n" '"r*''" ''^^^ ^^- ^■^- 
population ort.: ^oT^^^, ^^^l^tTtll^s'^C^'' ^^%^!!^ S^'=^ 
population or the school district is ap.Sroxi..t"l^^ ^3^^ tS%Sd';nt'p1^S:. 

popuiati'^n^^": i::^\r^is%ir^T.ni:'^^ ^Tr "^Lr^" -^-^ 

^ ^rlor is less than 2^ of th;^tS^^opS;tio^ ^° '""'"' population 

^,000 sSi:ntf 2; ^e'SeS:"''"?":? '"'^' ^""^- ^' ^ approxi^ately 
=cuQents and the Negro population is approxiaately 56%. 

achooi °^ fr*" ^ * "^"''^ district located in Oakland CountT It^ tai-.i 

-^k -, ^°°^^^ i-3 * school district located in Oakland r.««„*^ t^ * ^ ; 
echool population is approxiinately 17 000 S.T^ County. Its total 
-presents approximate!? 253^ of tJe'^^S'sch^V^'I^u:. '"' ''°P'^^"« 



114 



Disciplir.e and Suspeosion Policy (Cont.) Pag- 

The City of Kalamazoo has a total population of approrunately 82,OCO, 
and of that population approxi^iately S.JH are Negro. 

Status of Present Law 

The authority of school boards to authorize suspension or expulsion, 
and to oake reasonable rules and regulations regarding discipline is granted 
under Public Acts cited in the School Code. Section 613 of the School Code 
authorizes suspensions for the following reasons: (1) gross misdeameanor, 
(2) persistent disobedience, or (3) habits or bodily conditions detrimental 
to the school. Guidelines set by the State, although controlling, leare rooa 
for broad interpretation by individual school districts. 

There is a wide-spread problem with respect to the riolation of the 
rights of public school children through the absence or inadequacy of safe- 
guards for due process of the law in the procedures followed by many school 
districts in iiuplementing suspension and expulsion authority, Ciere is, in 
fact, accunulating evidence that this deficiency affects, most acutely, Negro 
and poor children. 

Disciplinary action, which takes the form of suspension or expulsion, 
generally falls into three basic categories: 

(1) short-term suspension which does not usually exceed 
five days 

(2) suspension ranging from five days to Tarying lengths 
of time and, 

(3) permanent expulsion or e:cclusion. 

Bie most severe form of discipline administered by school officials is 
expulsion. Any student subject to this action is in fact deprived of his 
right to a free public school education as guaranteed in the Michigan Constitu- 
tion. 

Underlying the racial tension which has erupted into open confrontation 
in numerous Michigan school districts this current year is the question of un- 
equal application of discipline as seen by Negro students at the secondary level. 
The matter of the unequal application of discipline raises the question of what 
action can be taken at the State level to aid in the solution of this problem. 

State Responsibility 

Michigan Constitution and laws guarantee every citizen the right to 
equal educational opportunity without discrimination. Die State Board of 
Education is vested by the Michigan Constitution with "leadership and general 
supervision over all public education ..." Bie Michigan Civil Rights Commis- 
aion also shares responsibility under the Michigan Constitution -for securing 
the civil rights of all citizens. The Michigan Civil Bl^ts Coomlssion and 
the State Board of Edocatioa have acknowledged their dual responsibility is 



115 



Discipline and Suspension FoLLcj (Cont.) 

«^t»t-— ^-,■ * ^ t *prii. of 1966. Itis dual resuonsibilit-r oeee«- 

o"t^: iJiJe." ° '" ""* ^"^"^ "'^ developi^ uniro« pollcie; "t^ou;^. 

. .,.^ ?*' followiflg recommendations are made ia lirht of th- Stat. ^ 

c nicnajan tivox Hi^ts Coooission must take joiat action. 



Preface 



15 ^1^?!„S^°°^ ^* °^ ^' ^*^^* °^ Michigan, Section 3^0.613 (MSA 
15.3613) authorizes suspensions for the following reasons: * 

1* gross misdeaeanor 

2. persistent disobedience 

3. habits or bodilj conditions detrimental to 
the school. 

of Education u« ^^^e^aSn^L*^?^ ! recommendation that the State Board 
«iistricts miv^ollof fTH!^^ au^orxty to set a standard that local school 

Of loca^ SfoTdfsSc?:'':? Sm"^s TS"^""' '! ^^^ovledge the responsibility 
scaooi districts, at times, to suspend or exclude a student because: 

1. of behavior that infringes on the riAts of 
other c.iildren to an education or 

2. because of the student's inability to be 
educated in a "nonnal" school enrircnment. 

-ch^^ude'nt^.'^*''' '"''-' ^'^ Constitution,has the responsibility to educate 

*n the .afe^ards of due oroces^ of ^e ll^ sSld*.."^ 1^^ ~ * fr'^*^^^ iil^ 

1. right to counsel 

2. right to call witnesses 

3* right to cross examination 
H.. right to remain silent 
5« right to appeal 



116 



I 



Discipline and Suspension Policy (Cont.) 

Page 

rollowe?2%!J!/!r'=""?*'^°"/° ^°=«^ «"°ol districts which should be 
and S;:pe^i°l''- """" '^'°"' P'^^*" '*' *=^«-« "'^ *?-=i7 discipline 



1. 



Each school district should reriev its discipliiie and susT^easion 
practices in light of thr — '—■•—•- . • • - • ° 
in public schools today. 



practices in li^nt of the underlyins seaeral and racial tiasicns 
lools todar. 



2. Administrators, teachers, students, and parents, should be 
incluaed in the review and re-definition of this discipline 
ma suspension ■oolicy. 

3. The local policy should contain the following elements: 

*• system-wide notice - local school policy 
and the procedure for its iiirolenentation should 
be widely prooulgated, so thkt all parties in- 
Tolved - parents, students, teachers, and ad- 
aiaistrators, know what conduct is ejtpected of 
them in their local school districts. 

*>• individual notice - prior notice, where 
possible, should be given to students and 
parents regarding pending discipline or 
suspension. 

c. when prior notice is not possible, 
parents should be notified fully of ; 

i. school policy 

il. the full nature of the student's grlevance 

ili. school action 

iv. parental action. If any, necessary to regain 
the admittance of the student 

T. what avenues are left open to parents when 
they disagree with the action taken by 
school authorities in the case of perma- 
nent exclusion? Zixe appeal process should 
be formally communicated to the oarents and 
should afford the opportuiilty for a hearing 
before : 

(a) the State Board of Education 

(b) the courts. 



Education Division 
PJ 

2-29-^ 



117 



Appendix VI 

Letter of Understanding Between Kentwood School District and 

Concerned Students and Parents 



LSSTXB oy aDBBJR&XDZVS 



IMT I U OD ICXOOL OZATJUCOS • 
CtHH'MUtM I> STUSarTf MMO PJUUBTS 



FoUovlog « sarlM of rtudant oos£liets vltb rmcial 
onrmrtaamM vhicfa culmiaatad is th» wqnzltfion tram school of 
eve XtrLezn Aaarlean »end«nt»»th» C oaai i n itY S*laeiens 
Sorvlca of tha tZhitad fltAtas D^pmr^mnt of Jtutlca eoavmnmd 
« number of disoossion ssssiaBa with raprvssntativma frea 
thm Xcatvood School District Is JHchigan Mod stadsnts, 
parents snd e on i ai i ni ty rsprsssatstives of two Ifriesa 
Aasriooa organ itstloas. 

Ths sch o ol was raprassntsd bf Mm* Linda David, Prssidsnt of 
tha Xantwood S^iool Board; Dr. Ktry LsJksr, Soparintandant; 
Ms. Boaaaary Xrrina, Assistant Soparintandant for 
corricolna/ Znstmction; Mr. Bebart OaVrias, Assistant 
guparin t andan t for Busan Basoorcaa; and Or. Larry Corbatt, 
Principal of East Xantvood High flcfaoel, Raprasaating tha 
C op camad Parent croup varat Ms. Linda Eitsfaoocde, Mr. Kaaaa 
Eosay, Mr Billy Taylor, and Ms. Barbara Blasslagaaa 
(parents) ; Ms. Bailie Blue (BAAC7) ; Mr. Rodney Brooles (Turban 
League) ; and Ms. Tia Bates, Mr. Anthony Barvay, and Mr. Curt 
Agard represented the students. 

Through a mTwber of cfiesnul ty foruas, ,the above naaed 
parsons had been selected to represent the concerns and 
issues of interest to the Afriean AaerdLcan ooBanaity. A list 
of discussion topics vers sabaiittad to oa, as a basis for 
the negotiations that took place on 31/39-11/30/93 and 
conr i nue d on 1/ii/B4, a/l5/94, 3/1S/94 and 4/13/94. 

The foUovlag is a suBBary of the conclusions and concensiu 
reached dm-in^ the coi^rse of these eastings. 

1) . The rnwimn ity requests a thorough investigation of the 
alleged existenca of vhlte suprseacy groups vithln the 
Xantvood School Syetea. 

A.) Thm school district has retained the servioes of a 
private investigacioa fira from another part of the 
state to invefl-tigate the possible aacistence of such 
a group. 



118 



B.) t bM h igh aeheel principal vlU providm tha 
»«gotl«tlng ea«iatt«« with • copy of tha 
*gvM tig»tlon report vhlch ia axpactad to ba 

""laittaa vill, in tarn, raviav and BaJca lt« own 

»od/ar vlthla taw vmrnkm of racaipt of tha abova 
raforanead raport. 



^♦^S"^^,"'"**^ ^^* policy anneuncaaanta ba 
thatracial .lura vlll not ba tolaratad and that an 
•Mandua to tha atudant handbook ba indodad that 
<i«talla that policy. «»*«««» ««^ 

*.) »• ■chool aystaa haa alraady ondartakan som action 
«y MXing public addraaa announcaBanta, as vail aa 
including aantlen in tha atodant ballatlna of aaro 
tolaranoa to racial haraaaaant. 

B.) »• •chool district agraad to davalop a draft of a 
P*»if°y *V 13/9/93, praaant it to th« group for 
raviav and raapenaa, and to inolada tha policy as an 
JddMto to tha East Kantvood High School studant 
^outl/aJyJi^ «»• and aasMtar ragiatration on or 

^'^ ^tH'^^^ **" sgraad to incorporata saxual and/or 
JJoijlharas««nt aa pjrt of Ita. 13 in stud«rt^' 
h a n dbook, iha policy irlll raad as foUovsi 

J««*i «nd/or Racial haraaaaant: Saxual harassaant 

iMludas, but is not ll«ltad to, any umralcoaTS^ 
™«t^ saxual advancaa, or othaTJaSS^^tSn 
or physical conduct of a saxual natura that is 
onvantad by or tmvalooBa to a stodant. Racial 
Jfraaaaant, vhich Ineludea, but is not llaitad to 
T!f J!^J^°"' «*»9r«ding ramarJcs and coamnta of 7n 
incltaful natura. Xaeh offanaa aay rSSt S 
P«r«otal contact, poaaiblaona to tan days 
w«P«sion poasibla poUca contact, posiibla 
*^«»aadad axpulalon. ' •^■"'*" 

^ S^i^T^^J ITF^^*^ ^^^ ■ 'o™*l "oial harasssant 
poUcy ba astabliahad by tha Board of BduMtlon/^^ 

A.) '^^twooi School Board has baan raviawing tha 
nj^or «ch a policy with thair lagal coSaS? At 
praaant tha lagality of tha wording to involva 
racial slnra haa dalayad tha finaliriag^J 

r?S?!"^^* TT^'^J^ violat. rirstlaandBant 
rights. Tha policy draft has bacn subnittad S tha 
Offica of Civil Rights in Dacaabar for thairlavllv. 



119 



■chool dUtrict irith postfUala aedds of •xl«tlap 
*atl-dl»CTi«ljuUo« pollcl*. th*t iuv Mt 1^ 
r«vl«f «ad/or Supr«M Coxrrt opinions. Th« 
•^•rlntandmat agraas to contact tho wyoaina School 

Sr^i^jT^.'^'^rr^^ "^y ^^^ in pinrnoTSir 

n^.tiK{l^i.^- ^^^^y Taylor ifill b« thm commuxlty 
m^^^J^ vill provido ut«riml tro. tbo KiS^^ 
2^2.2^ ^ ^ ■«P«rint«nd«jit r«l«tiv« to r«cUI 

baraMMiit, conflict TMolution, and hat* group*. 

4.) Tho studenta feai that thay ara not aDla to achlava 

^*^ S5 i?-rS!f "^^"^ council ia alactad at larg. 
and alao eonpoaas a claaa as a group. Tha high 
•e^l principal daal. with a cSJtt.rofrtud.nt 
council advi«ar. in addraaaing atudent concera.? 

■•' ^r^^^'i^i ■'^!*' ^^ wtabliah a co«mitta. 

^oaed of 2 .tudant council adviaora, 2 »ajority 
JS?rS^^ ^ minority atudant* vith 4ha "iSa to 
reviav tha preaant atructur* and naka aooroDrll?- 

to anaura that ainority atudanta hava a voie. 2« ' 

propoaal. vhich 1. an on^^^SS'pJScSjrT '*^"*^-"^ 

**^ S^*^n'^'^v?*^2f^ •^ -inidwita fael a n.«l to 
hava^an aaa«Bbly by grada lav.l to diacua. riSiar 

*"^ 2'nSJ^^S!^ ^°** ~^ ""*^ ^^^ Maaably by grad. 
iJv^2^ J!**"" °' ^ l*^« "^"i^' of atuSmS 
iSTiT^'.Jf^? ^? tpproxiMtaly 2.000 atudwtTin 
tha high .chool which tranalatw roighiy S^S 

ss°.srir^sf'of^•s??'s;'.s3aS;'' 'p^"-^- 

"*^ 35! r"^~^P*i '^••* ^ ^"'^Jt ^ith a coaaitt.. fw 

JJ* if2f*^" ^"^ *»»ving racial ia.J.. JcSviS^.r 
tha high .chool. Tha coinunity UaiwJ, Si S ^ 
J«ln.y arooJca .jvi m.. R.lii. Jiua 2 SlaSno.^ 
d.v.lop foraat and approach. AdditionTlfj 2! 

S"^:2uSt"^- ^°^ ''^^ di^^T^'olAt'trtt^r 
to coaaunity rMourc.. «ioh a. iric iriii«-«- 

|r^id.nt Of X.J. William* *^Sr.Sit^S^: 
fi*in«, Prwidwt of Oain«a, irinfl.irJASroJiata.; 



120 



Txnn Oalton, Xducatlon Chalrpcrcon of Cultnr&l 
Oivanlty N«tvork; Mary Idaond, Partacr of 
BtflActiona Onlimitad; «ttd Or. Char 1m Varflald of 
INstcm Xichlgan Onlvuraity; ato. 

It la baliav^ that aa intaractiva axareiaa la 
thought to b« mora affaetlva hacauaa It'a a handa-on 
approach and provldaa mora of an opportunity for 
dlalogua bafora and aftar which ia what tha atndanta 
want to aaa happaa. It la iaportant to acta that va 
atrongly baliava all atudanta in tha diatrict ahould 
ba involvad ia anch aa aoeivity. 

Tharefora, tha Aaaiat^ant Suparintandast ia charga 
of iastructioa, lU. Irvlna, vgraad to davalep and/or 
iaplaaant an aaaashly at aach achool ia tha diatrict 
ntilicia? axisting raaouroaa vhara poaaihla aad/or 
availahla. Ms. Blna and Mr. Breoka, vith tha 
coaaunity negotiatinn taaa, vill halp to coordiaata. 

C.) Tha STAK orgaaizatioa ia eomposad of African Aaarisaa 
atndanta who want to ba allotrad to partic ipat a aa a 
raeogniaad caapua group. STMl atanda for aTUUKVTS 
TOGZTHZR ACJLXX8T lU^CZSM and do«s not prasantly hava a 
faculty spoasor(a) . 

A.} Tha priacipal has ao objaction to tha greop'a 
axirtanca or participation in achool activitiaa, 
or ia advartiaiag through channala; hovavar, all 
achool sponaorad cluba suat aaat eartaia critaria 
and agraa to achool ragulatioaa. 

B.} Tha principal providad tha atudanta (via Aathony 
Barvay) a liat of all aehadula B af filiatad achool 
eluba, but failad to provida thaa vith partinant 
ragulatioaa and/ or raquiramanta for bacoaiag a 
achool apoaaorad club. Upoa raoaipt of tha abova 
aaatioaad ragulatioaa -aad raffuiraaanta, tha atudaata 
agraa to apply for achool apcnaorad affiliation and 
eoaply vith district rulaa. 

C.) A barniaiag uait iaaua vaa axpraaaad by tha 

diatrict aa to vhathar or aot thay vara obllgatad to 
effar th« poaitioa of apoaaor to a aaabar of tha 
faculty or vhathar a parant aad/or voluntaar oould 
aarva la that capacity. Aa a raault of that 
diacuaaioa. Dr. corbatt vill inqair* aaong high 
a<diool ataff if anyona haa an intarast in baing a 
faculty aponaor for STAlt. Additionally, tha 
diatrict vill raaaarch other Miehigaa diatrieta that 
Bight eurrantly utilixa vol\mtaara in Schadula B 
cluba that doaa not opan tha district op to all 



121 



Mc^i ot yi uups • 

Drs. LaDcat uvi Corbatt, mlooq with coBmmity 
a«Bb«rs Blas«ingftaa &nd Taylor, vlll verk as « 
sab-comlttaa to davslop acMptabls lariTua^a 
n^arliag thm STAR group aa a racognixad school 
q?ottserad einb, and tha uaa of a faculty, and 
parmnt aponserahip. 

7 . ) da nagotiatlng taaa f aals strongly that tha prasent 
currieuluB doaa not halghtan recognition, avaranass and 
appraciatioa for tha contrlhutions of sinoritias in 
Aaariean soclaty. 

A.) Thm school district faals strongly that in tha last 
two yaars, substantial progress tUiB b^mn sada In tha 
expansion of course content, in tha acquiring of 
sxtanslvs Bultloultural Batarlals, mnd in tha 
l a^iuvw nt of taaehar a%raranasa and cospliance 
vlth Public Act 25. 

B.) Tha Assistant St^arintandant for Curriculua agrees 
to provide, to Kr. Billy Taylor, a coapleta list of 
prasent available raferancas and resources and tha 
extent of their utllitation by facultY *^ 
students. The casmlttee agr aaa to review and Bake 
reeoKBandatlons of other reference saterials the 
district say consider including. 

C.) The principal agrees to ravlev the present class 

trips planned, the expected lect\irera aeheduled, and 
the level of funding available for possible short- 
tars efforts to isprove the sultioultural 
exparianoes for all students. 

D.) The principal vill convene a saeting of his 

sulticiiltural cosBittae (Concerned About Our Kids) 
and invite Mr. Bossy and Mr. Taylor to participate. 
Tha CfiBBlttee vill develop updated plans and 
recoBsandatlons by 1/22/94. 

8.) The concerned parents and students are opposed to the 
establi«haant of a D«as of Students position that does 
not have the responsibility to insure change. 

A. } Tha Bup«rintandent had begiin tha procaaa of securing 
authorisation to hire a person and bad already 
conveyed to tha Board of Kducatlon a specific 
recnraendation for the job to be considered at tha 
next scheduled board Bavting. 

B.) Because of the coBsunity concerns regarding the 
aasignmant of that position to the high school, as 



122 



oppo^^d to tha antral of£ie«, th« npcrlstwidant 
agr— to vlthdrav h«r raeoaaaodationa «t tha 
raqoMt et ttaa nagotimtlng eeiKittaa paadiag 
ravlav of tha job dascriptlon, and consult 
fnrthar vltH tha naTOtlatiag eoaaittaa and bar 
adsiniatrativa staff baf ora mMklng « filial 
racoooMBdatlon to tha school board. 

C) Dr. Lalkar indlcatad that thera was no consansus 
that this voold ba a distriot-vida position 
varsus a building- laval poaitioa. Sha also axpraaaad 
a ooneani that funding <»uld ba a problaa and 
raguastad tha halp of tha n i m in iiiii ty nagotiating 
ooKAittaa ia *vrastling vlth tiiis importu nity.* 

».} Tha comittaa faals strongly that thera appaars to ba a 
lack of cultural sacsltlvlty by tha faculty and staff of 
tha Kantvood School District. Tha eoasittaa raquasts 
that a coaprahanslva divarsity training packaga ba 
davalopad that would involva tha latast up-to-data 
inatruction possibla. 

A.) Iba auparintandant has undartakan axtansiva af forts 
to provida aultioultural avaranaaa training in aany 
foras. Tha dirtrict has schadulad all staff for 
inaarviea that includas tha World of Diffaranea 
Training. All staff is tha antira district 
should hava coaplatad tha World of Diffaranoa 
inaarviea by 2/94. To data tha high school 
oooplatad tha training on 11/10/93 and tha middla 
schools should ba dona by Dacaabar 1993. on 3/34 
aaka-up saaaiona irill ba co n d uc tad. 

B.) Bacanaa tha coanu nity faala strongly that tha 

affaetivanaas of tha training should ba danonstratad 
by parforaanca, soma accountability should ba 
raflaotad ia parforaanoa avaloationa. fha 
auparintandant concurs that soma avaluata aachanism 
naads to ba davalopad. Xs. Sallia Bins and Xr, 
Iiodnay IreoXs vlli provida, axlsting aodals 
prasantly in placa in otbar districts to tha 
assistant suparintandent of curriculum by 3 /IS. 

10.) Qia Coaa i ifll ty Hagotiating Taaa baliavaa that thara ia a 
lack of visibla minority rola aodals dua to tha lack of 
suff iciant ainority faculty and adBinistrators that 
contrihuta to tha inability of African Aaarican 
atudanta to ba an idantifiibla part of caapus lifa. 

A.) Tha school syataa acknovledgas tha naad for bettar 
minority raprasantation at all lavals of tha school 
anvironaaat. 



123 



B.) Thm •;9«rin't«nd«nt agr*** to \ind«rtAk« a n««da 
•■•«ssmant by rsviavlA? tha Z.I.O. raport. T&a 
aehool diatrlct vlll idasrify all araaa vtiara 
minoritlaa ara undar utilizad and prlarieisa thoaa 
araaa tor aggracalva racruitaant. Tha aebool tfyrtaa 
vlll attaspt to asa all availatala raaourcaa for tha 
idactlfication of casdldataa lncara«tad la vaxXiag 
tar tha Xantvood School Oiatriet, to Ineluda 
natlonAl aaarchaa vtiara naeaasary. Thm district 
vlll ratals tha aarvieas of 4 minority aaarch fira 
vhan naadad and ra^uaat Inpat and rafarrala froa 
tha nagetiatlng oonlttaa. 

C.} Tha Oiatrict agraaa to ijqireva Klnorlty 
raprasantation at all elaaaifleatleaa of 
aaployacnt vithln tha district. Tha districts 9oal 
is to prioritlza avallabla high prefila poaltlona 
for quallf lad alnority candidatas and to insura 
that aach hulldin? aball hava appropriata minority 
raprasantation at all classifications of aa^loyxant 
vithln tha district. 

D.) Tha district a^reas to provlda tha negotiating 
comaittaa vith a list of ainority saarch firms 
that hava baan or vlll ba contactad by tha aehool 
district. Tha Assistant Suparintandant for 
Instruction vill ba rasponsibla for providing tha 
Coaaittaa vith tha list by 5/lfi/94. 



124 



11.) ThM K«gotiatln9 Candtta* r«qu««t tlut th« 

•diOaistratlon ratJLin thm ■arvlcms of an euuid* 
eonsoltast (fixm^groopror individual} to 
facilitat« tha iBplaawxtarion of a BUltieultural 
c urr ioilm. dia can«ultant aha 11 hava 
provvn ability to IjqpiaoMnt such a prograx. 

A.) A liat ot caodidatAS for conaidaration 

•ball ba providad fay tha coaannity nagetiatiag 
caBBittaa to tba acbeol adainiatration by 
4/33/94. 

B.) Cia district «d.ll utilixa outaida raaourcas 
inoloding Verld of Oiffarasca, othar 
eonaultanta, eooBBunity maab«rs, and or a liat of 
candidatas suhaittad by tha ctaBunity 
nagetiating eeaadttaa for poaaibla naa ia tha 
area of onrricalua. 9m actual co nsaltaat or 
aaaiatant to ba usad for azxy salticnltaral 
carrienluB daeision naada to raaain a 
daoision by tha Aaaistant Suparintandant for 
cuxrieulua Council. Thia is eonsiatant vith tha 
agraoBaot in tha taachar'a contract for 
eurrieuluB iaplaaaatation (aaa attachad Master 
Jigraaaaat - Artiola 12) . In addition, any actual 
aalactien of a parson to assiat tha diatrict 
would ba ultiaataly rasponsibla to tha Board of 
Sdnoation. 

12.) Tha Hagotiating CosBittaa baliavea that tha 

adainiatration ahould rst«in tha aarvieas of an 
outaida consultant (f ira, group* or isdivldnal) , 
undar tha direct suparvision of tha Diraetoor of 
Multicultural Davalopmant,to diraet tha Ixplaaantation 
of racisa/athnie diversity training for all achool 
sBployaes. This consultant shall hava proven ability 
to iaplaBant such a progrea. 

JL.) X. liat of candidatea for conaideration shall ba 
provided by the c.iriBii u nity negotiating eoaaittee 
to the school adainietration 

B.) The District agrees to utilize outside resource 
vith the saae aethodology aa outlined in aeetion 
II above. 

13.) The Negotiating eoaaittee feela that tha aohool 
district should identify all araaa vhera ethnic 
ainoritiea are under-utilised and prioritise those 
areas for aggresaiva recruitaent. 



125 



JL. ) shia «r«« of eeneam va« thoroughly diaonssad 
imdar 8«ctlos lO) dealing vlth Xlaorlty 
BipleyBsnt vlthla the Xantvood seheel District. 

B.) the K«9oti«tiji9 CoBaittee requests the inclusion 
of elnerity (zian<»«chool personnel) oo^ranlty 
■eabers (prefarmble Beaber e£ professienel/ 
eoBBunity organisetion) on the selection, 
screening, end intarviev coHBittee. 

The District agrees to include any parent and/or 
ro BBi iinl ty ninority Beabera to offer suggestions 
for the interviev eoBmittee to consider as veil 
es a list of attribtztea the candidates should 
po ss ess. 

c.) The CoBBittee requests that for each Binority 

candidate who was intervieved but not hired, the 
ads 1 nistra tion shall document trtqr the cendidate 
was not hired. 

3be District agreee thet vithin the legal 
persBeter that protect the privacy and 
confidentiality rights of the individual 
applicants the oosBittee will be provided status 
r^orts. 

D.} nie CoBBittee requests the reessessaent 
building aeeignaents of ainorlty staff 
to reflect ainority student 
enrol laent throughout the district. 

Thm Superintendent egrees to require all School 
Buildino Adainistratora to evaluate their 
fiespectiva XXO Reports and set appropriate goals 
per building to hire or tranafer Klnorities as 
opportunity and needs becosle evident. This 
expectation of all Building Adainistrator vill be 
iaploentad for 199j4-1999 School Teer. 

2. } The e oMiinl ty requests that all publicised 

advertiseaaata for cpan positions shall include 
the stateaent "Minorities era encourBgad to 
epply",or elailar language in addition to the 
standard Z.O.I, etateaent. 

She District agraaa to this request. 

r.) Tha CoBKunlty would like to eee the District hire 
a Xinorlty Supplier Developaent Coordinator to 
eneure that opportunitiee exist for the school 
district to utilite the servicee of ainority 
contractors and s\tppliers. 



126 



Ih«r« iM BO pocition of thim typ» vithin tbm 
district «t tbi* tiam. Smm dotlM at* handlad 
vlthin th« »uMin»*a Mpartaant. 9a« caBSunity 
vlll b« proridad vltb th* prap«r contact parmon. 

14.) Th« Cegmunlty rwju**^ ^^ School District hlr^ a 



Schools, tbi* p«rsen Bhsll hsva at laast thm follovlag 
raaponsibllltlafl : 

1. Sarvs as tha first contact for all athnie/raclal 
Issoss, oonesns, problaas/ aad Incidents vlthla 
ths school district; Invsstigata all such raportad 
issuss, concama, prohlass and Incidanta, and 
racoBiMnd approprlata oorractlvs action to 
a ppr o pr lats paraenasl. 

2. Actlvaly partlelpata in tha davalopaaat and 
ijq^lsmantatlon of prograstf and prooassas vhioh vlll 
snhanca staff and faculty davalopsast and ancouraga 
avaranass and raspaot for tha eultioral dlvaraity 
vithln t2ia school and eoBHonlty. 

3. Chair an on-^olng district ^vldo aulticultural 
support groi^ oosposad of studants, cosBunlty 
BOfBhers, school staff, and adMlniatratlon. 

4. JLttand Bsatlngs, claasaa, vorkshopa, and saminars 
to stay atoraast of tha lataat davalopaants and 
advaneas for paf sonal and profassional growth. 

5. it*i«^j4n dociatantatlon of all raportad athnlc/ 
racial coneams, iamaea, problans, and incidents; 
decuaant tha raoossandad ixplaaantad corractiva 
action. 

6. Adviaa tha adnlnlstratien or Principal ragarding 
tha lapact of policies and procaduras open 
stndants, ataff , and faculty of color. 



The Adalnlstratlon agraaa to astabliah tha position 
for Director of KultlColtural Oavalepaant to be in 
place by sid June 1994. in raferanea to the areas of 
responsibility for a position to vorJc as district- 
vide faollltator for all students in the district, 
the areas 2,3,4,6, and i veuld fall vithln the 
responsibility of such a position. In reference to 
Buaber 1, the boilding level Xesistant Principala 
met continue to serve as first contact for any 
oonoem or Incident vithln their eohool eetting. it 



127 



i» thm rccpenslbility of thm laB«di«t« 
i dain l c trmtora to Jjiyvsclgata any ktm of conoem 
and racoBsaad apprupriata action. It is appropriata 
^o axpttct a paraon in tba oapaclty of district • 
vida facilitator to sarva in an appaals procadura 
capacity. 

B.) itis coB&lttaa racoasand that this parson shall 
hava at laast tha folleving qualifications: 

1. KlntBia of a bachalors da^raa (prafarahla 
■astars Oagraa) , or aquivalant, in poblie 
administration, aducation, or ralatad fiald. 

2. Xxparianca in trorking vithin a BUlticultural 
anvironaent. 

3. Strong oomnmioation skills- ability to 
cooBunieata affactivaly with studants, 
faculty, staff, and adainistration, as vail 
as staff. 

A, Avars of axtamal conninity rasourcas vhich 
can provida a diract linkaga vith tha school 
for tha banafit of tha studanta and faculty. 

S. Provan organixational and parsonnal 
aanagaxant skills. 

«. Prafarably an activa participant in 
profassional/eoBBunity organizations. 

?• Parsonal ajq>arianca vith raspact to 

conflict rasolution pertaining to racial/ 
sthnic issnas. 

Tha District agraas that in raf aranca to tha 
qualifications for this position itass 1 through 
7 ara supportad by tha district vould dafinitely 
axpact a parson to havs axparianca and 
nndaratanding in dealing vith racial /athnic 
isauas. 

IS.) Tha Hagotiating Taan faal that tha Adalnistration 

■hould conduct pariodio coaaninity foruas to infora tha 
public of vhat is going on vithin tha school diatrict 
*nd to offsr tha public tha opportunity to infomally 
«« qua«tions and axprmaa oplniona and racaiva 
iaaadlata rasponaa froa achool raprasantativaa. Thia 
torxMt vlll ba antiraly dlffarant than that usad at 
tha achool board »*«tiixg«. Thaaa B**tings ■hmiij ba 
bald at laa«t thTm9 ti»aa par yaar on tha first Monday 
of Kay and October. 



128 



A.) Th« Di«t=rict will a9r«« to two public 

iff?^* tJ**^ provided thm negotiation Twub i« 
part of th« foniM to insup* th« •VMt« «r« of 
a con«tructiv« natura. Tha da^aa for thasa 

K^iL'ffTT* "^^ ** •omatima La octobar 1994 
anc Miy 1995 . 

"■^ 2!uS^r^ beliayaa tha l.val of aacurlty ahould b. 
SSS^?1.^.°*"T^ <?":?'*^*^ l«vala. Thoai parsons 
?if^^5f Mcurity ahould raflact tba divaral^ of 
taa atudaat population. ' 

Tha Diatrict agraa to conf ar with tha Security 

SS*C]'-f!?*^r* *T ^' **=*'®*'^ Dirtrict to iniur. 
SS^^T^I^^* Mi^o*-!^ Security Paraonnal during 
■chool hour* ar* available. 



A..) 



iL^ .J2 V^* ^* in*^«^ity of tJiia agreeaent th« 
bS !?--'"• ^ '"nc^on as a aelf enf orce«ant aaSSiiS 
hSSiJ S'J'^'*.^*' Mnitor l-pl«m«itation of the wSiJiS^ 
is i?*!^ availabi. for aeeting raque.ted by either .iSI 

that^^ght reault during the i-vl««ntation pha.^e ?f JiS 

L^SS^^kiS^IIJS?^ "** underataadUig cont«in«l in thi. 

partl1?'Sd.S*t^"^*^.."SS' tS'*«S^^P^^*'°!- ?• 
Lattar a^ rTnrtmV7r_ _.7r^ •9«^ee -cnat tAe duration of thii 

». thirty .ftU o«p .Ipaturw tlu..:!^d.y ccUL^, i„. 



KENTWCXJD PUBLIC SCHOOLS 
*DnV0O0, laCHIGAK 








129 



KUT XBTTVOOO SISH SCHOOL 

cuHss Toraaszp, kxcsicam 



iktxy mS 






COMXTTTZE OF COHCZRNZD CITIZZNS 







JAiy^uwr^j 




Coininmt ty lUprasantatiws 



q. s pgPA RiKDrr of obstick 

C0NNUHXT7 XSIATIONS SSKVZCZ 
DETROI 



Wltziess : 

Ousravo 



isravo G«yn«oc, Olractor 



□irac 



130 



Appendix VII 
Public Act 328 

STATE OF MICHIGAN 

87TH LEGISLATURE 

REGULAR SESSION OF 1994 

Introduced by SenBtora Gongeon, Dunaakin, DINeUo, SteU, Clsky. Boadianl, D illingh a m mnd Emmona 

ENROLLED SENATE BILL No. 966 

AN ACT to amend section 1311 of Act No. 451 of the Public Acta of 197G, entitled as amended "An act to provide a 
■yatem of public instiuction and eJementary and secondaiy achoob; to reriae. exMiaolidate, and classify the lawi relating 
to elementary and secorulaiy education; to provide for the dassiflcntioo, organiratioa, regulation, and maintenance of 
schools, school districts, and intennediate school districta; to prescribe rights, powa, duties, and privileges of achoola, 
school districts, snd intermediate school districts; to provide for the regulstion of school teachers and achool 
administrators; to provide for school elections and to prescribe powers and duties with respect thereto; to provide for 
the levy snd collection of taxes; to provide for the borrowing of roon^ and issuance of benda and other evidences of 
indebtedness; to establish a fund and provide for expenditures from that fond; to provide for and prescribe the powers 
snd duties of certain state departments, the state board of education, and certain other boards and o Ciri a h; to provide 
for licensure of boarding schools; to prescribe penalties; and to repeal certain acts and parts of acta," aa amended by AA 
Na 335 of the Public Acts of 1993, being section 380.1311 of the Michigan Compiled Laws. 

The PeopU qfUu Stale o/Mietugan tnaet 

Section 1. Section 1311 of Act Na 451 of the Public Acts of 1976, as amended by Act No. 335 of the Public Acts of 
1993, being section 380.1311 of the Michigan Compiled Laws, is amended to read aa followc 

Sec 131L (1) Subject to subsection CZ), the school board, or the school district superintendent, a school building 
principal, or another school district ofEdal if designated by the school board, may authorixe or order the suspension or 
expulsion fnr.. ^^^ of s pu(.n guflty of gross misdemeanor or persistent disobedience if, in the judgment of the school 
board or its designee, as applicable, the interest of the school is served by the authorization or order. If there is 
reasonable cause to believe that the pupil is handicapped, and the school district has not evahiated the popO in 
accordance with rules of the state board to detenmoe if the student is handicapped, the pupfl shaO be evahated 
immediately by the intermediate school district of which the school district is constituent in accordance with section 
1711. 

(2) If a pupil possesses in a weapon free school zone s weapon that constitutes a dangenms weapon, or commits anon 
in the school building or on the school grounds, or rapes someone in the building or on school grotinds, the school board, 
or the designee of the school board as described in subsection (Don behalf of the school board, shall expel the pupil from 
the school district permanently, subject to possible reinstatement under subsection (5), unless the pupil establishes in a 
dear and convincing manner at least 1 of the following: 

(s) The object or instrument possessed by the pupQ was not possessed by the pupil for use as a weapon, or for direct 
ur indirect delivery to another person for use ua a weapon. 

(b) The weapon was not knowingly possessed by the pupiL 

(c) The pupil did not know or have reason to know that tlie object or ianrument possessed by the pupil constituted 
a dangerous wea|x>n. 

(d) The weapon was possessed by the pupil at the suggestion, request, or direction of, or with the express permission 
of, school or police authorities. 



131 



(3) If in individual '» expelled pumuint U) tubMdioB OX the expellinf •dwoJ dotriet tJafl enter on the indiwluari 
pemwnent reconi that he or she hw been expelled puroumt to suhweetxjn CX Except if > "e^ di«tnet opente* or 
partJci pales in a program appropriate for imliniluais expeOed pursuant to subsection (2) and in its diacretMn admits the 
individual to that projfron. an individual expelled pursuant to subsection (t) is expeDed from sH public sehoob in this 
state and the orTidais of a school district shall not allow the individual to enroll in the school district unless the individual 
has been reinstate*! uwler subsection (S). Except as otherwise prorided by law, a pn»gram operated for individuals 
expelled pursuant to subsection O) shall be operated in facilities or at times separate from those used for the fenerai 
pupil population. 

(4) If a school board expel'* an indiviilual pursuant to snbMCtion (2X the school board shall ensure that, within 3 days 
afler the expulsion, an ofTtcial of the school district refers ti>e individual to tiie appropriate county department of sodal 
services or county community mental health agency and notifles the individuaTs parent or legal guardian or, if the 
individual is at lenst age IS or Ls an emancipated minor, notifies tJie individual of the referral 

(5) Tlie parent or legal guaniian of an individual expeDed pursuant to sabaection (2) or, if the individual is st lesst 
age 18 or is an emancipated minor, the imiividual may petition the expelEng school board for remstatement of the 
iwiividual to public e«Uication in the school district. If the expelling school board denies a petition for reinstatement, the 
parent or legal guaniian or, if the individual is at least age 18 or is an emancipated minor, the individual may petition 
anotlier sdiool board for reinstatement of the indivi<lual in that other school disthcL AO of the following spply to 
reinstatement under this subsection: 

(a) For an individual who was enrolled in gnule fi o r hi»Wnv nt th«. time of the expulsion, the parent or legal guardian 
or, if tiie individual is at least age 18 or Ls an emancipated minor, tite individual may initiate a petition for reinstatement 
at any time after the ex[)imtion of GO school days after the date of y rpiilmnn - For an individual who was in ggde 6or 

_above at the time of expulsion, the parent or legnl guardian or, if the individual is at least age 18 or is an emancipated 
minor, the individual may iniOaie a petition for reinstatement at any time after the expira tion of ISO school days aftg 
the date of ex|MiLsion. 

(b) An iwlividual who was in ^rad e 5 nr below at th e time o f the expuisioo shaO not be reinstated before the 
expiration of 00 school days after th e daie ol WDUlMChTAn iwlividual who was in grade.S or above at the time o f the 
expulsion shall not be reinstated before the expiration of 180 school days afte r the dat e of exputsion. 

(c) It is the responsibility of the parent or legal guardian or, if the individual n at least age 18 or is an emancipated 
minor, of the individiuU to prepare ami submit the petition. A school boaiti is not required to provide sny assistance in 
preparing llie iietJtinn. Upon request by a parent or legal giiardian or, if the individual is at least age 18 or is an 
emancipateil minor, by the individual, a schniil boani shall make available a form for a petition. 

((I) N ot later than 10 school <lavs after receiving a petition for reinstatement under this subsection, a school board 
shall appoint a committee to review the petition and any 8up)wrting information submitted by the parent or legal 
guardian or, if the imiividual is at least age 18 or is an emancipated minor, by the individnaL TV committee shall consist 
of 2 school boanI members. 1 school adminLstrator, 1 teacher, and 1 parent of a pupfl i n the school district. During this 
time the su|>ennten<lent of the school district may prepare and submit for consideration by the committee information 
concerning the drcum.stances of the expulsion awl any factors mitigating for or against reinstatement 

(e) Not later than 10 school <by« after all members are appointed, ti»e committee descnbed in subdivision (d) shall 
review the petition and any supporting informatiim and information provided by the school district and shall submit a 
recommendation to ti>e school board on the issue of reinstatement The recommendation shall be for unconditional 
reinstatement fnr coiulitional reinstatement, or against reinstatement, and shall be accompanied by an explanation of 
the reasons for tTie recommendation and of any recommended conditions for reinstatemenL The recommendation shall 
be based on consideration of all of the follouing factora: 

(0 The extent to which reinstatement of the imiividual would create a risk of harm to pupils or school personnel 

(lO The extent to which rcin.<<:tatement of the individual would create a risk of school district or individual liability 
for the school boani or school district personnel 

(iiO The age and maturity of the individual 

(iv) The indiviiluaTs school record before the incident that caused the expulsion. 

(v) The individual's attitude concerning the incident that caused the expulsion. 

(tn) 7>>e individual's behavior since the expulsion .-umI the prospects for remediation of the individual 

(riO If the petition was Tiled by a parent or legal guardian, the degree of cooperation and support that has been 
provi<led by the parent or legal gxianlian and that can be expected if the individual is reinstated, including, but not 
limited to, receptiveness toward possible conditions placed on the reinstatemenL 



132 



(f) Not UUr than the next regubuiy i«che<luled boarri meetmg after receiTing the recoounendation of the eommittee 
under subdivision (e). i school board shall make a dedsioa to unconditiooaDy reinstate the indiridual, conditionally 
reinsute the iwlividual. or deny reinsutemenl of the indiriduaL TTie dedaion of the school baud it ftnsL 

(g) A school boani may require an individual and, if the petition was filed by i p«Pent or lesal guardian, his or her 
parent or legal guartlian to agree in writing to spedfic conditions before reinstating the individual in a eondiUonal 
reinsUtemenL The eondiUons may include, but are not limited to, agreement to a behavior eonti»ct, which may involve 
the individual, parent or legal guardian, and an outside agencr, participation in or completion of an anger management 
program or other nppropriate counseling; periodic progress reviews; and specified immediate consequences, for faihire 
to abide by a comlilion. A parent or legal guardian or, if the individual is at least age 18 or is an emancipated minor, the 
individual may include proposed conditions in a petition for reinstatement submitted under this subsection. 

(6) A school bfwnl or school administrator that complies with subsection (2) is not liable for damages for expefling a 
pupil pursuant to sub.^ection (2), and the authorizing body of a public school academy established under part 6a is not 
liable for damages for expulsion of a pupil by the public school academy punuant to subsection (ZU 

(7) Not later than 90 cLiw after the e/Iective date of the amendatory act that added this subsection, the department 
sitall develop an<l dwtribule to all school districts a form for a petition to be used under subsection (5). 

(8) SubsecUon-s (2) to (7) do not diminwh the due process righU under federal law of a pupil who has been determined 
to be eligible for !>pectal c<iucalion programs and services. 

(!)) A» use<l in this section: 

(a) 'Dangerous weapon' means that term as defined in section 1313. 

(b) -Schoiil bonnl" mcare< a !«Ht.«ol lianni, intermediate school boanl, or the boanl of directors of a public school 
academy establwlic<l umler jart 6a. 

(c) "School (lu«trirt" inc-uw a xchool «lL«trict, a local act school district, an intermediate school district, or a public 
school academy e5t.-ibludied under part Ca. 

(d) "Weapon frcp school znne" means th.nl term .ts denned in section 2rr7a of the Michigan penal code. Act No. .128 
of tiic Ihiblic AcU« of 1!EI1, Iwing Mdinn 7&(l.2T7a uf the Michigan Compiled Laws. 

Section 2. Tlii.< .-iniemLilnrtr act slvill tnkc ofTcct January I, I99ri. 

Tliis act is unlered to uke immeiliaLe effect 



O-^ 



L» v.. 



Secretary of the Senate. 




Co-Clerk of the House of Representatives. 



133 



Appendix VIII 

Violence and Vandalism Study Group Recommendations 




■©•"■rr g. scxnxxji 



WTATtar 



DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION 



fTATC KUNO Oe DUCADON 



LwtsotQ. mehtgm 4CMI 

December 22, 1994 



GOvncaoa lOM* ctcux 



TO: Julie Allen 

Alex Bailey 
Jim Ballard 
Qaude Brittinghani 
Thomas Carnegie 
Patrick dark 
David Oabuesch 
Rudy GsUins 
Gary Faber 
Slghd Grace 



Seymotxr Gretchko 
Teny Langton 
Mirda Leone 
Wmiam Mays 
Roy McNeal 
Michael Seltz 
Charles Sturdivant 
Ruth Ann Zeigler 
Ruth Zweifler 



FROM: 



Ivan L Cotman 



J"C-^Wv 



SUBJECT: Violence and Vandalism Draft Recommendations 
to be Submitted ro the State Board of Education 



Attached is a draft of the recomjnendations which were adopted at the Violence and 
Vandalism Study Group meeting on Decervber 14, 1994. Please review them and 
return your corrections or additions to me by January 3, 1995 at the following 
address: 

Dr. Ivan L Cotman 

Michigan Department of Education 

P.O. Box 30008 

Lansing, Michigan 48909 

The Study Group recommendations are expected to be submitted to the State Board 
of Education at its uieeting on February 8, 1995. After reviewing your comments, I 
will incorporate them into the State Board of F.d»raHon format with background 
information covering the many discussions, presentations and agenda items which 
led to the final Study Group recoxrunendations. Tba State Board of Education 
materials will be sent to you and other Study Group membexs prior to the 
presentation date. 



134 



SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE STUDY GROU? OH VXOLaTCE 6 VANDALISM 

Subcoasniccee Reconnnendacions Co be Submitced to 
State Bojurd of Educaton on February 9, 1994 



We reconmend that 'THE DATA COLLECTED BY TEE MI^IIGAK 
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCXTICN SEGAREING VTriENCE AND VANDALISM 
ONLY PERTAIN TO THE DEPARTMENT MANDATE AS SET FORTH IN 
SECTION ISaa IN TEE STATE AID ACT AND ANY OTHER STATE OR 
FEDERAL LEGAL RECDIREMENTS . ■ We recsnanead Chat Che reporting 
system for Section 158a be presented to the Board in 
conjunction with this report. 

He reconmend to the State Board of Education for action Che 
uniform Violence and Vandalism definitions Co be used as 
guidelines by local school districts and as part of Che 
data collection activities aus mandated in Seccion 158a of the 
School Aid Act. 

We rscoreaend that the Michigan Departaent of Education take 
immediate action to convene a task force comp rised of 
membership from state and locail Departments of Social 
Services, Mental Health, juvenile and prcbace courts, and 
other appropriate agencies, designed to develop interagency 
agreements to provide alternative education options for 
suspended or expelled Michigan students. 

We recommend to the Stats Board of Education that it Cake 
action to ensure that expelled students have continued 
education by forming a Subcommittee of practioners from 
alternative educational and violence prevention programs, 
local education agencies, colleges and universities, state 
government, and private citizens to review the state of 
alternative education and violence prevention programs 
and, if necessary, make recommendations for improvement. 

A. Adopt a policy defining Che characceriscics of effective 
options . 

B . Collect and support the dissemination of information on 
local schools with model programs. 

C. Compile and distribute a list o^ -•Effective Mich i gam 
programs. 

D. Develop statewide program standards in line with existing 
core curriciiluffl, school improvement, and accreditation 
initiatives . 

E. Review existing interagency agreements between public 
agencies which offer programs to insure Chat all students 
needing such programs may have access amd benefit from 
them. 



135 



F- Review public funding scruccures supporring curxenc 

G. Compile daca on scudeac suspension, expulsion and 
f!r!""*~ "^ a^-ar=acive and traditional educational 

sec ..nCS . 

H. Review Iccsl rrccsdures for moving students between 
axcsrr.a-ive asc irsditicnal educational settings. 

I. Detarmirs whar ?r=crsms exist for youth in the elementary 
-S*^'..''^'""*"""^ ^'" students in Jcindergartgen through 



136 



U.S. COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS 
Midwestern Regional Office 
55 West Monroe Street 
Chicago. IL 60603 

OFFICIAL BUSINESS 

PENALTY FOR PRIVATE USE. $300