On Sept. 5, The Pat Brown Institute held a forum in at the Fresno convention center. The topic: School Discipline and the Future. Many important names of the Central Valley attended as a audience to the event, Ceila Maldonado Arroyo [Trustee of Tulare board of education], Barbara Thomas [Fresno trustee, board of education] and Cal State Bakersfield. The audience was able to express their opinions with live polling.
The panel had four speakers expressing their knowledge from the 2011-12 records, in particular “zero-tolerance” discipline laws. The panel said willful defiance accounts for 42% of all suspensions in California, leading to more suspension, expulsion and higher dropout rates. Studies show more men of color [18-25] are more likely to graduate in prison than graduating in public schools, and African-American students are three times more likely to be suspended than white students. Fresno’s school district faces one of the highest rates of this crisis in California. Panelists in the PBI forum believe without active support in the school system, there will be no change. Now give yourself time to think, are you active?
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