Arkansas school district enters agreement in discipline suit

     PINE BLUFF, Ark. (AP) – A Pine Bluff school district has entered into a consent

agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice in a lawsuit that began more than

45 years ago involving the alleged discrimination of black students in

administering discipline.

Mike Dennis, an attorney representing the Watson Chapel School District, tells

The Commercial newspaper that the DOJ and the district agreed to the consent


The agreement doesn’t resolve the lawsuit, but requires the district take

several steps. Those include transitioning away from exclusionary discipline and

implementing positive interventions with students.

The DOJ reviewed documents involving the district’s disciplinary actions and

visited the district in November 2015 to interview administrators and other

employees. The agency concluded that during the 2014-2015 school year, the

district expelled and suspended black students at rates significantly higher

than white students.


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