Behavior explains discipline disparity

Angel Rojas, shot to death on a New York City bus, is mourned by his wife and children. A Dominican immigrant, Rojas worked two jobs to support his family. — New York Daily News

Kahton Anderson, 14, charged with opening fire on a Brooklyn bus and killing a 39-year-old man, shows what’s wrong with the racism meme, writes Heather Mac Donald in National Review.

The day before Anderson shot at a rival “crew” member and killed a passenger, the Obama department released data showing that black students are suspended at three times the rate of white students. “The civil-rights industry predictably greeted this information as yet more proof that schools are biased against black students,” writes Mac Donald.

But “behavioral differences, not racism, drive the disparity between black and white student suspensions,” she argues.

Anderson was “frequently in trouble” in school, reports the New York Times.

Sometimes it was for violating the school’s uniform code or disrespectful chatter in class. . . . Sometimes it was worse: He had a sealed arrest from 2011, and often, high-school-age members of a crew students knew as “R&B” or “RB’z” — the initials stand for “Rich Boys” — loitered outside the school, waiting to fight him.

About three weeks after he got into a fight near school last year, he was transferred to Elijah Stroud Middle School in Crown Heights. . . .

But he seemed to do no better at Elijah Stroud, where he had been suspended from the early fall until very recently.

“The lack of impulse control that results in such mindless violence on the streets unavoidably shows up in the classroom as well,” writes Mac Donald. “It defies common sense that a group with such high rates of lawlessness outside school would display model behavior inside school.”

The Obama administration’s anti-suspension campaign will undermine school safety, argues Hans Bader, a former attorney in the Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights. He cites a study by University of Cincinnati criminologist John Paul Wright, which found racial disparities in suspensions and discipline are caused by disparities in student behavior.

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  1. I hope that many, many schools are seeking an injunction against the Holder interpretation of “disparate impact”.

    Of course, it could be the thing which brings about the abolishment of “disparate impact” doctrine altogether.

  2. Phillipmarlowe says:

    Actually, some will welcome the DOJ’s action here, as the effect of them will be to drive family who give a damn about their child’s education out of the public schools and into the welcoming arms of charter schools.
    Then what will be left in the public schools will be the dregs and thugs like Kahton, for who no tears will be shed.

    • Phillipmarlowe says:

      …. as the effect of it will be to drive the family..

    • Elizabeth says:

      The major benefit for the school districts is that they will have even less accountability, no more pretense at providing valuable education, so they can do whatever they darn well want with our tax dollars , and guilt us out of even more.