Racial discrimination case closed by Wake County Schools

CARY, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Wake County School Board resolved a complaint Tuesday alleging racial discrimination in the school system's student discipline practices.

The complaint was filed in 2010.

The Board of Education came to an agreement with the US Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights.

The office said it had no findings that the district violated any laws and agreed to close the case entirely in 2021 as long as the district continues to implement current measures and takes certain steps to address potential causes of differences in student discipline.

"We are pleased to reach an agreement with the Office of Civil Rights in these areas and look forward to continued improvement in suspension rates," said Monika Johnston-Hostler, school board chairwoman. "We are grateful OCR recognized the work already underway and the district's efforts to ensure future progress."

The OCR agreement acknowledges the "many voluntary and proactive steps" taken by the school district, including:

  • Multiple revisions to discipline policies by the school board to reduce suspensions
  • The creation of an Office of Equity Affairs" and its work with schools
  • Expansion of peer mediation and "restorative justice circles" as alternatives to out-of-school suspensions
  • An "Equity Collaborative" staffed by district and school leaders that has dramatically reduced suspensions in target middle schools
  • Development of a comprehensive Memorandum of Understanding with every local law enforcement agency that defines the role of school resource officers and helps reduce unnecessary law enforcement referrals
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