Staff Editorial: Discrimination lawsuit needs more attention, student input

Last fall, the district was charged by the Minnesota Department of Human Rights for discrimination
against students of color and disabled students for disciplinary action. Suspensions and expulsions of these groups were found to be higher than white and non-disabled students at Park.

According to the St. Louis Park Public Schools Strategies for Reducing Suspensions, the plan included a new initiative to increase minority representation in curriculum and eradicate implicit biases found in the schools. It looked to change the suspension policy to make punishments fair across the board.

The Echo Editorial Board sees the plan as too superficial, as it does not actually change any policies or guidelines in the handbook. Without any concrete change in the near future, the plan will not be effective.

Additionally, we understand how the school may not want to publicize the details of the violation, however, we believe that in order to solve the problem, the administration must be open to students and parents about what went wrong and how they should fix it.

The Editorial Board thinks there should be a meeting between families and the administration to discuss these issues together to come up with a new solution. It is necessary for these conversations
to occur before the district can move on and grow as one.

We believe the diversity in our community makes us stronger. However, we
cannot continue to claim this with such injustices in our school.

Students should be aware of these violations because their classmates have been affected by possible unfair discipline practices.

We implore students to educate themselves on their rights in this district. Students and staff should also work to discuss these issues within school walls.

Community members should be able to tell the administration what they want to see in new policies.

If families are unaware of the issues to begin with, they cannot have a voice in a new system.