Grass roots group challenges DPS

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The Dayton Public School District faces a challenge from local citizens.

The activist group, Racial Justice, Now!,  claims Dayton schools have a quadruple number of suspensions than the Ohio average.  Superintendent Lori Ward acknowledges discipline problems within the district, but wants to be transparent about those  issues with the  public.  She says a committee that includes parents, monitors the progress of containing school discipline. But the challenging group says in 2012, 49.8 percent of Dayton Public School students were suspended compared to 12.6 percent of Ohio’s public schools.

The district has a program called restorative justice, designed to prevent out of school suspensions, developing initiatives to dig deeper into the student’s problems, especially those who are non violent.

One parent at Ruskin School, April Combs, wants a closer look at that program to keep troublesome kids in class.  She said, “I do feel it’s a better way than taking them away from their education, no matter what they go through, they shouldn’t miss out on that.”

Racial Justice Now! issued a proposal to the district, asking to expand the restorative justice program so that it more schools will be included.

“We realize kids only learn when they are in school. We are and have always been proponents of trying to make sure we have in school suspension programs”, said Ward.

 

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