Evaluating The Fairness in School Punishments
For our second project, we wanted to assess to what extent school punishments affected students of color differently than their white counterparts, if at all. We used the same three phases utilized in our first anti-discrimination project.
Phase 1: Community Feedback
We released a survey to the student body where individuals who have ever received a school punishment were able to share their experience. Participants were also asked to comment on any observations they saw regarding their peers receiving punishments throughout their time in the district. Many of the students reported seeing a double standard regarding school discipline on not only race, but gender as well.
“I never did anything serious that needed punishment. But, I’m a white girl who was really involved in school and has parents who are well-known in town. I could roam the halls and never be questioned.”
Phase 2: Discussion on Solutions
We organized a zoom meeting for students, teachers, parents, or anyone in the community to attend and voice their concerns, as well as potential solutions to propose to district and school leadership. There were several participants that attended and contributed to the discussion. At the meeting's conclusion, we had a list of solutions that we wished to bring to Phase 3.
Phase 3: Meeting with Town & District Leadership
We then had a meeting with the Board of Education three school Principals, and the Superintendent to share our findings from our survey as well as the student experiences and solutions that were proposed during our community meeting. All participants were actively engaged in the conversation and expressed commitment to making positive changes within the North Brunswick Township School District.