By Julissa Catalan
According to a study conducted by 26 experts, a school-to-prison pipeline which transitions underrepresented children from school discipline to prison is very much in existence.
The findings indicate that Black students and kids with disabilities are suspended at “hugely disproportionate rates compared to white students,” said the report by the Discipline Disparities Research-to-Practice Collaborative, which is made up of experts in fields like advocacy, policy, social science and law. Latinos, Black and Latina girls, and LGBT students were also suspended at a high rate.
“We already knew that African-Americans were disproportionately affected, but this new research is also saying that it’s also Latino students, it’s also students with disabilities, it’s also girls of color,” said Russell Skiba, the Indiana University professor who directed the project. “LGBT students may be at risk for increased discipline. These things have a big effect on achievement.”
Research indicates that Black students were 78 percent more likely to be suspended from school than white kids, while Latinos’ were more than twice as likely to face the same discipline than their whites peers. Disabled students were suspended at double the rate of non-disabled children, and for longer periods of time. Black students with disabilities seem to receive the harshest punishments as 25 percent received at least one out-of-school suspension in the 2009-2010 school year.
The study also indicates that restorative and prevention programs, which call for more interpersonal communication between teacher and student, are more likely to have an effective disciplinary outcome, as opposed to out-of-school suspension. The collaborative finds that this approach would lower suspension and disruption rates, thus benefiting both the poorly behaved students and their well-behaved peers.
“Several studies indicate … that racial disparities are not sufficiently explained by the theory that Black or other minority students are simply misbehaving more,” the collaborative wrote.
The group gathered their information from research studies and data from the U.S. Department of Education.
Disparate discipline in schools has been under investigation in recent months.
The Obama administration released its first legal guidance—which relied on the Civil Act of 1965—on school discipline at the beginning of this year. Schools were warned that they are now legally responsible for all decisions made in their buildings, including the impact of unequal actions and decision-making. This includes the actions of police officers who do not work directly for the school district.
Last month, President Obama launched the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative, a $200 million program aiming to guide boys of color to success in school as well as in life after graduation. This is done through mentorship and communal solution, as well as through discipline reform.
“School districts have just been put on notice and now we’re showing them there’s real research to show that there are alternatives to frequent use of suspension that will not just reduce suspensions but also reduce racial disparities,” Dan Losen, a member of the collaborative who directs the University of California, Los Angeles, Center for Civil Rights Remedies, said.
The study began shortly after the Sandy Hook mass shooting in Newton, Connecticut, a time at which schools around the country increased on-campus police security.
“There is a tendency in times of threat to focus on implementing more extreme solutions,” Skiba said. “There are schools that feel they need to use metal detectors or video surveillance but we also need to realize that kids who really get to the point where they want to engage in these incidents, they’re looking for ways around those things. Our best bet is to be comprehensive from the start and say let’s look at all levels.”
The report concludes that this form of segregated over-discipline has an adverse effect on underrepresented students as they then regress to becoming underachievers who become accustom to being in trouble with authority.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Andre Koen To Speak At 121st Annual MSSA Training Conference And Expo
Diversity Training Specialist Andre Koen is slated to speak at the Minnesota Social Service Association’s 121st Annual Training Conference and Expo. The
MSSA 2014 conference will be held March 18th - 21st at Hilton Minneapolis.
MOUNDS VIEW, MN (March 17, 2014) - Bringing his own brand of diversity training to an even broader audience Andre Koen is slated to speak at the 121st Annual Training Conference and Expo for the Minnesota Social Service Association (MSSA). The conference will be held March 18th through the 21st and will help inform the leaders of health and human service agencies, their peers and staff members. Held at the lovely Hilton Minneapolis the MSSA annual event is known as the largest most comprehensive and cost-effective health and human service conference in the nation.
Koen said of the annual social service conference in Minneapolis, “It’s my honor to work with a reputable organization like MSSA. Being one of their speakers is by far a highlight for me due to the prime audience that can benefit from what I have to share. It’s proven to be effective and a thrill to see it be available in such an advantageous way.” Koen’s workshops are scheduled at four times throughout the day on March 21st. Rounding out the event, Koen will speak on “Wealth and Poverty” beginning at 8:30 a.m. The Diversity Trainer will then speak on “Creating Cultural Competence” at 10:15 a.m and “Archie Bunker: The Great American Hero”at 1:15 p.m. Finally, he will speak at 3:00 p.m. about “Sexual Harassment and the Hostile Work Environment.”
Endeavoring to bring information to the masses the MSSA 2014 conference will include various national and local presenters over the four day event. Attendees will have opportunities to network with public and private agencies, direct line staff and leaders in various sectors of the industry from within and without their region. Additionally attendees can visit more than 150 exhibits that will offer technology vital to health and human services.
About Andre Koen:
Andre Koen is a Diversity Trainer in Mounds View, Minnesota that provides his clients with one-on-one online courses and diversity education. Described as “Andre, the Enkindled Spirit” Koen is adept at leadership development, empowerment and cross-cultural competence training. Koen focuses on sensitivity, team building and anti-racism training and has a weekly blog that discusses ideas on how to control, remove and fight discrimination. Additionally, he holds Organizational Training Workshops on Mondays from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. at Rasmussen College in Blaine, Minnesota.
Mounds View, MN -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/05/2014 -- A leader in workforce diversity education Andre Koen announces his weekly Organizational Leadership Workshops held on Mondays from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. at Rasmussen College in Blaine, Minnesota. The Diversity Training Specialist offers his expertise in what he describes as the challenging “Time of Diversity” that all too many businesses, government agencies and educational organizations face. Addressing leaders who find they have employees that are mired down in poor critical thinking skills, excuses, and an inability to grab the vision of the organization Koen speaks to practical solutions.
Fame and fortune are not excuses when it comes to getting away withsexual harassment. The recent $50 000 fine handed down to Brett Favre of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings has turned into an even larger problem. Two more women have spoken out about their own experiences, claiming to have been sexually harassed by the famed quarterback. Other celebrities – actors, musicians and pro athletes; have also encountered their fair share of sexual harassment lawsuits. Whether or not they were found guilty is another story, but the fact that they faced the accusations in the first place takes a toll on their reputation. The same rules apply for businesses. No matter how big or how loved your brand is, sexual harassment allegations can knock you down quickly. Many of the lessons learned from celebrity sexual harassment scandals apply to the workplace.
Normally I write “Lessons Learned” posts about groundbreaking scandals at well-known companies. This time I wanted to focus on cases and investigations involving famous individuals in order to prove that regardless of who you are, you’re NOT invincible to sexual harassment allegations. Your name doesn’t blind the fact that you will be called out for actions that make someone feel uncomfortable. The same applies in the workplace. Just because you are a big shot employee from corporate or someone’s manager, you don’t have the right to get away with inappropriate actions.
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1. Gender doesn’t matter
Sexual harassment is still sexual harassment regardless of who the target is. Unfortunately, there are still many workplaces that are dominated by a particular gender. In these types of environments, sexual harassment training is that much more important. As an employer, you’ll likely have to be upfront and spell out actions that cross the line into sexual harassment.
2. Your reputation will suffer
Brett Favre was positioned to be a football legacy. According to former NFL player Kurt Warner, people have to think back past all of the recent events to remember Favre for the football great he was - and I agree. It will be hard for many to remember Favre’s achievements on the field without recalling his unwise decisions off the field. The same rules apply in the workplace. If you’re an employee found guilty of sexual harassment, it won’t be your top sales or million dollar ideas that you’re remembered by. Companies with a culture of sexual harassment suffer the consequences of a poor reputation by:
3. Cooperate during investigations
The NFL stated that Favre’s $50 000 fine wasn’t because they concluded he was guilty of sexually harassing Sterger, but because he failed to cooperate with the investigation (seems a bit fishy if you ask me). Failure to cooperate with an investigation usually signals that the accused is trying to hide something – their guilt. However, just because a company or individual is willing to cooperate with an investigation, it doesn’t mean they are innocent. In the US, companies that cooperate during an investigation and prove they had measures in place to prevent these types of events will be given additional consideration during the decision of their sentence. The Siemens case is a great example of this. Siemens employees worked with investigators to gather evidence, provide statements and cater to additional requests during a bribery investigation. The end result: a lesser fine and amnesty for certain employees who shared information.
Article Published January 6, 2011
A current and hot topic in corporate America these days is that of workplace bullying. Workplace bullying has become a serious problem, affecting a large number of employees across the country. In fact, it not only affects the employees themselves who are on the receiving end of the bullying, but it also naturally affects morale within a company as well as the efficiency of an office.
What is Bullying?
Before attempting to solve the problem, a prerequisite and difficult challenge is to specifically define what exactly “bullying” is.
According to The Workplace Bullying Institute, bullying is a systematic campaign of interpersonal destruction that jeopardizes an employee’s health, career and the job the employee once loved. Bullying is a non-physical, non-homicidal form of violence and, because it is violence and abusive, emotional harm frequently results.
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To date, there are no federal laws that make the act of bullying illegal. Some states, for example, New Jersey, may have laws prohibiting bullying in schools, but have yet to apply a similar law to the workplace.
Individuals on various sides of the issue might admit that creating laws and legislating may not be the solution, but it could be a step in the right direction. That being said, if there are no laws currently protecting workers against bullying in the workplace, how can it be stopped?
Certain companies prohibit bullying by including provisions in their employee handbooks and/or having stand-alone policies that specifically prohibit bullying in the workplace. These policies carry penalties ranging from a warning or minor discipline up to and including termination.
One of the keys to addressing and potentially eradicating workplace bullying is to not only have a policy in place prohibiting bullying, but to train managers and supervisors on how to:
Should such a policy not be consistently enforced, a company could find itself exposed to even greater liability from a discrimination or breach of contract standpoint.
“It doesn’t matter if the bully is a worker or a supervisor, the first step you must take as a business owner is to have a policy in place and be prepared to take the necessary steps to recognize and correct the problem,” says Timothy Dimoff, corporate security expert and president of SACS Consulting.
“Make sure you have a strong, written anti-bullying policy that clearly defines all non-acceptable behaviors,” says Dimoff. “And make the policy known to all staff, especially supervisory personnel. Let them know these actions will not be tolerated and enforce the policy.”
What to Include
The Workplace Harassment Cheat Sheet Covers Warning Signs, Prevention and Protected Classes
A strong anti-bullying policy should include the following:
Until companies take bullying seriously and implement strong anti-bullying policies, backed up with enforcement, bullying will continue to affect the health and happiness of the workforce and the financial health of organizations.
Andre's purpose is to reconnect people to their Dignity and Honor in Being Human.