State looks at inequity in school discipline of disabled, minority students
A report issued earlier this year by Vermont Legal Aid, called “Kicked Out!, What’s Happening, Why It Matters, and What We Can Do to Stop It” found that minority and disabled students were banished from school two to three times more often than their peers.
Jay Diaz, a Legal Aid attorney and the lead author of the report, who also chairs the Vermont Dignity in Schools Coalition, said the coalition has brought together school administrators to address the problem.
"We have a broad group, a wide coalition that works with kids that are most likely to be kicked out of school," said Diaz. "Members have spoken to many schools across the state from Burlington to Brattleboro about school discipline issues, and how they can reform their own policies to be more fair, more equitable, and make sure they're not kicking kids out of school unnecessarily.”
Steps need to be taken to ensure that expelled students continue to receive an education, even if they are out of school for valid disciplinary reasons, said Diaz.