Board of Education focuses on zero-tolerance policies, alternative education in equity report – Kansas Reflector

by | May 11, 2022 | Education

TOPEKA — The State Board of Education is focusing on recommendations from a state commission report on racial equity issues, particularly ways to update or address zero-tolerance policies in Kansas schools.
The second annual report from the Kansas Commission on Racial Equity and Justice focused on the social determinants of health, which include access to quality education. In the final set of recommendations, the panel homed in on several aspects of educator and staff training, ways to leverage funding for students in need, and partnerships to curb the school-to-prison pipeline.
Among areas the commission felt schools could improve upon was the dynamic between law enforcement officers in schools and students, said Tiffany Anderson, co-chair of the commission and superintendent of Topeka Public Schools. The report details data showing more arrests of students for minor crimes in schools with school resource officers, especially among students of color.
“School districts really should seek to implement alternative complementary programs to address conflict and violence,” Anderson told the state board of education Tuesday. “So, evidence-based programs such as restorative justice practices should be used along with or instead of SROs when kids are experiencing conflict.”
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