CJP Partners with the Department of Human Rights and NAACP to Address Discipline in MN Schools

November 19, 2018

The Minnesota Department of Human Rights has been investigating disproportionate discipline by public school districts on a statewide basis. As part of a collaboration between the CJP and the MDHR, St. Thomas co-hosted a conference entitled “Instead of Suspension: Alternative Strategies for Effective School Discipline” in which Professor Jane Wettach, the Director of Duke Law School’s Children’s Law Clinic spoke to about 100 Minnesota School Superintendents, Charter School Directors and staff about successful alternatives to suspensions and expulsions. On April 24, 2018, the CJP and MDHR co-hosted a Diversion Committee meeting attended by staff from the Minnesota school districts to review and analyze suspension data and practices and discuss possible best practices that school staff can implement to reduce suspension disparities. The CJP and MDHR co-hosted a follow-up Diversion Committee meeting on October 9, 2018. The CJP also collaborated with the Minneapolis NAACP to host a town hall meeting to gain the perspective of parents regarding school discipline. Kevin Lindsey, Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, participated as a panelist. Current clinic students Jamil Masroujeh, Cindy Chooraman, Elaine Mikel, and Rachael Sterling continue work on the project.