In the past few weeks, I’ve read two letters to the editor that are critical of the Forest Park Review for running the story about the racial disparity in suspensions at District 91 schools. I applaud the Review for taking on the issue. The criticism I’ve read ignores one basic, indisputable fact: The district student body is 46 percent African American, but more than 80 percent of the suspensions are of African American children. Clearly, this a very serious problem in D91’s schools.
I’m disappointed that the administration would administer discipline in a way that the village’s most vulnerable children are suspended at such a higher rate. But I think it’s critical to also hold the school board responsible. They were elected to lead, and to act in the best interests of all of Forest Park’s children. So far I have not seen evidence that they are doing anything to improve this situation.
As a taxpayer in this community and resident for more than 10 years, I call on the board to take immediate action to hold the district’s administrators accountable and begin a process of reform.
Children learn from mentoring and guidance, not punitive actions.