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
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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