Feds Probing Seattle Schools’ Treatment of Black Students

Keith Ervin and Maureen O’Hagan, Seattle Times, March 5, 2013

As the U.S. Department of Education investigates whether Seattle Public Schools discriminated against African-American students by disciplining them more frequently and more harshly, Superintendent José Banda promises to find solutions.

The numbers are stark, although Seattle school administrators and many parents have been aware of them, and troubled by them, for years.

African-American students are suspended from school more than three times as often as white students from elementary schools to high schools.

More than one-fourth of black middle schoolers have received short-term suspensions every year since 1996. Native Americans are disciplined more often than Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

Now the U.S. Department of Education is investigating whether Seattle Public Schools discriminates against African Americans by disciplining them “more frequently and more harshly than similarly situated white students,” department spokesman Jim Bradshaw said Tuesday.


Banda pledged cooperation with the investigation and said he expects the Department of Education will find disproportionate disciplining of black students.

“I think we have a serious problem here,” Banda said. “We do. We acknowledge that. We acknowledge the fact that the data is clear that there is a disproportionate number of students of color being suspended and expelled.


Seattle Public Schools has set up two advisory committees—one called Positive Climate and Discipline, the other Equity and Race—that are studying disproportionality in discipline.


In September the department settled its first discipline-related compliance case in years when it reached an agreement with California’s Oakland Unified School District.

Oakland school officials agreed to avoid suspensions or expulsions as much as possible; to collaborate with experts to create positive, nondiscriminatory school climates; to give more help to at-risk students; to revise discipline policies; and to survey students, staff members and families each year.


About two years ago, Seattle’s School Board asked to see statistics on expulsions.

“Those numbers showed us we had a growing problem,” said board President Kay Smith-Blum. “They showed a disproportionate amount of students being disciplined at the suspension or expulsion level in our minority groups.”

Banda and several board members said discipline policies should be clear and consistent and should, in most cases, provide a way for students to continue their studies even if they are removed from their regular classrooms.



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  • Board member Marty McLaren said she wants to shut down the
    “schools-to-prison pipeline” that can begin with inappropriate

    That was in the original article.

    I keep seeing that phrase, “school-to-prison pipeline,” so often, that I can’t help but deduce that the hot new theory in liberal kookville is this: Blacks are in prison more than whites because they commit more crimes than whites, but the reason they commit more crimes than whites is because they’re less educated than whites, and the reason they’re less educated than whites is because they’re in school less than whites, and the reason they’re in school less than whites is because they (“for some reason”) get suspended more often than whites, ergo they miss out on all those astrophysics lessons. So all we “need to do” is to stop them from being suspended. Then they’ll learn their astrophysics, pass their finals, get hired on by NASA, and therefore they’ll be smart and won’t commit violent crimes.

    It’s the kind of crackpot theory that a loser clad only in his underroos tweeting from his parents’ basement can come up with.

    • josh

      I would call it a “vagina-to-prison pipeline”!

    • eavesmac

      Reminds me of the up-in-arms bl. woman who objected to the CA law enforcement officers shirts that said, “You raise em’, we jail em'”

      • brengunn

        “You raise em’, we jail em'”

        That is a little offensive, in a funny kind of way!

      • The shirts (which said “you raise ’em, we cage ’em”) actually showed a white child. But that didn’t prevent a public controversy, even though reportedly only 30 were ordered by the police union.

    • GeneticsareDestiny

      I’ve always heard it explained pretty similarly to that.

      “Blacks are innocents who just want to attend school and learn, but evil racist whitey forces them to drop out by creating institutional racism in all public schools. When they’re pushed into poverty from being denied an education, they steal a loaf of bread to feed their family and an evil white racist police officer locks them up in prison for the rest of their lives.”

      It’s like a children’s fairy tale.

    • Felix_M

      Bad behavior and poor impulse control would go far toward explaining a lot more than just why Tyreefus and Shaneeqwa can’t read.

    • brengunn

      Board member Marty McLaren said she wants to shut down the
      “schools-to-prison pipeline” that can begin with inappropriate

      That can begin with inappropriate behaviour, she meant to say.

    • sbuffalonative

      As I say, theory after theory after absurd theory; anything than to admit the truth.

      • Non Humans

        Exactly!! It is now to the point where it is insulting to Our intelligence that they try to sell us this bull. Makes you wonder if they ever actually listen to what is coming out of their mouths?

  • We should welcome this. Classroom experience shows most teachers that black students are much more disruptive and demanding. Yet teachers are now going to let black kids slide, punish white kids more, or both. It will enhance and accelerate self-segregation.

    • jay11

      Most schools no longer have any white kids to speak of. It’s latinos, blacks, asians, arabs and southeast asians at the party now! Other groups will not be saddled with any ‘priviledge’ nonsense, nor will they accept ‘guilt’ even though ALL those groups enslaved blacks too.

  • Paleoconn

    Hey there should be a ‘boys rights’ group to investigate why boys are suspended probably 10x more than girls. On that note, why is there not a men’s group to protest the 99% of prison inmates being men? /sarc

    • Nathanwartooth

      Females and Asians are suspended less than males and Whites!

      Stop female and Asian privilege now! The feminist and racist teachers are just picking on the helpless males and non-Asians. This must stop!

  • SargeInCharge

    The Feds, if honest, will find that blacks are suspended three times more, but that’s low because they commit twenty times more problems.

  • a multiracial individual

    In high school, and during undergrad, I was completely surrounded by whites and asians. In elementary school, the school was 50-50 White/Black. The kids seemed to get along well enough. Is puberty where the cooperation stops?

    • Luca

      Probably around age 10 – 11 when testosterone starts flooding into young black males. It is well known that blacks get a heavier dose of the hormone and earlier than their peers with Asians getting the least and the latest.

      DNA + Culture + Environment + testosterone are the problem. But the pansified, liberal academians will come up with some cockamamie psuedo-social-science claiming it’s racism or white privilege.

      • Isn’t it age 10-11 when blacks start becoming thug rapists?

    • josh

      Yes,the only problem being most blacks hit puberty when they are 6 years old!!

    • The__Bobster

      Most animals are well-behaved when they’re young. When male chimps hit puberty, all hell breaks loose.

    • HamletsGhost

      The situation has deteriorated across the board. What years did you go to high school?

      I went to an elementary school during the 70s, and the blacks were troublemakers even then.

      • a multiracial individual

        I went to high school in the 2000s. There were not many trouble makers in my high school, but more white students had discipline problems than the Japanese/Chinese/Korean students (approx 50% of the student body).

      • Seek

        I have yet to hear of a single case of high school in America in which blacks constituted at least 10 percent of the student body and didn’t cause mayhem. They are unfit for any civilized educational environment.

      • Felix_M

        I was very lucky. My dad was posted to a military base in the middle of nowhere. There were few minorities in the town and the school system was first rate.

        • a multiracial individual

          If you were a child today your experience may have been different. Aren’t most servicemen these days gangbangers?

    • GeneticsareDestiny

      When I was in elementary school, blacks made up about 10-15% of the school’s student body. Even then, they were over half of those suspended and otherwise punished. The black kid I was assigned to sit next to in 5th grade was on first name terms with the principal, because he was in her office so often. She, of course, made every excuse for him and was a typical white liberal female.

      I think their behavior definitely gets worse after puberty, but it’s not exactly good to begin with. Also, many blacks have already started puberty by the time 4th-5th grade rolls around (mainly the girls). Perhaps the presence of soon-to-be-fertile females around them pushes the black boys to misbehave to attract attention.

  • So CAL Snowman

    Why don’t they just install cameras in some of the class rooms and in a week they will understand WHY the blacks get suspended more.

    • brengunn

      They have cameras in schools and classrooms here in Britain but it’s highly unlikely they’ll ever use them to prove differences in behaviour among different racial groups.

    • sbuffalonative

      They’re well aware of the reasons. They just have to keep working to find ever more absurd theories to distract people from the real reaons.

    • Non Humans

      Undisputable facts tend to be discrediting to the libtards far-fetched theories and dismantling to their agendas. The truth is essentially kryptonite to them.

  • josh

    Lotta kids gonna get the hell beat out of them,as the “blacks” as you call them,will not be punished for the horrendous things they do. The only solution is for the WHITE parents to march down to those schooze and demand that,yes,the “black” youf SHOULD be punished. I have no doubt that at the present time,blacks are already being judged less harshly than others.It will only get worse.You’ll have 6 foot tall bucks in class with children,and the teacher tooscared to protect the kids. That pig Obama sure loves to blubber about the poor dear scoo-kids when it suits him,but loves to push this “dont punish the black” garbage!.

    • sickandtired

      When my son was in the 8Th grade, he was going to the community school. I lived directly behind this school. I came home from work one morning and he was still home and messing around. I got on him and told him to get to school. Well, he left but he didn’t go to school. My wife just happened to go to the 7/11 and saw him, so she picked him up and brought him home. I was furious and questioned him as to why he didn’t go to school like I told him. He told us that there was a 16 yr old black guy that was beating him up and taking his money and told him he better bring $25 when he came back to school. I was furious so I went over to the school to see the principal, who was also black. She argued with me and argued with me and she kept telling me that 16 yr old was just a kid and wouldn’t hurt anybody. I was 5’10” 195 lbs and the boy was bigger than I was. I insisted that the police be called and I was going to have him arrested. They actually had a policeman on grounds so he took care of it. I was assured that the boy would never be back there at that school. This was on Friday.

      On Monday, I got a call from the office and it was my son and he said I needed to come get him because the guy was back and he told him he would finish what he started Friday. The office wasn’t going to let my son call and finally did when he said he would just leave. So my wife got my son and took him to the school board and got a hardship transfer to another school.

      The boy that threatened him?

      The following summer, he killed a man and did 21 months in the pen. They let him out and 2 months later he killed 6 people…his brother, his brother’s wife, 2 cousins, 2 children, and after he killed them, he stabbed the last child, a 6 yr old boy right in the top of the head with a big knife. When the paramedics got there the child still had the knife in his head. Turns out the killer was his uncle and he killed all those people because his brother wouldn’t loan him his leather jacket.

      Watch out for your children because they are not safe at school. Luckily I got mine graduated before he got hurt…

      • brengunn

        That’s an amazing story. What’s the perp’s name?

        • sickandtired

          Jessee Dodson

          • Thanks. I Googled it. That must have freaked you out, to learn how close your son may have come to being murdered in school. FYI, you misspelled the perp’s name by one letter. See “Jessie Dotson Gets Six Death Sentences for Memphis Mass Murder, One for Each Life He Took”

      • HamletsGhost

        21 months for killing someone? He must have had one hell of a lawyer.

    • HamletsGhost

      The real solution is for white parents to get their kids the hell OUT of these so-called schools. Even if the kids are not brutalized or murdered, their minds will turn to jello by the time they’re old enough to vote. They’ll be fed slop in the cafeteria that will do the same thing to their bodies that the Cultural Marxism has done to their brains.

      Parents, if you love your children, get them home schooled TODAY.

    • Bud

      Nah, the solution is for white people to demand their own schools in, dare I say it, reparation for the American Holocaust.

  • generalquagmyer

    Even as a junior high school kid in the late ’60s, I wondered why blacks practically had to batter a fellow student in front of an administrator before anything would be done to them. White kids, meanwhile, were pinned to the wall over the most minor infractions; I couldn’t drop a candy wrapper on the ground without three teachers surrounding me instantly. It took many years to realize it was a tactic to even out suspensions and punishments, since blacks commit exponentially more numerous and more serious infractions.
    I can’t even begin to comprehend how much worse that situation must be today.

    • jay11

      I taught in a mixed latino/black school. The blacks were only 30% of the population, but caused about 90% of the trouble. Sometimes the latino kids actually voiced it in class that they were amazed the black kids could get away with so much.

    • sickandtired

      The schools are overrun by the gangs, now….

    • Daisy

      That’s a pretty chilling story because of how insidiously perpetrated the attacks against white males are. I’ve heard stories from friends who went to college in that era of how white males would be attacked intellectually so that the less qualified blacks could compete, in say, engineering or something. But to think that white boys are actually being given ‘records’ in school as punishment for blacks’ depravity is terrifying. I have a little blonde blue eyed nephew who’s eight but luckily not in school with any black kids.

  • The__Bobster

    We keep seeing the same story over and over. I’m getting tired of it. They either want to instill White guilt or have punishment meted out by quota.

    • Felix_M

      Guess what? I’m not feeling guilty…and I’m not afraid to tell my friends and family not to feel guilty either. Time to tell the PC sob-sisters trying to push this hunky-dory rainbow coalition BS to f*** off. It not only doesn’t work, but it’s counter-productive and a waste of resources.

  • New Rise

    Notice nothing about making the “climate” safer from the risk of getting stabbed.

  • jay11

    Seattle? The home of fruits, nuts and anarchists to boot! Those leftists there in the school system are – horrors of all horrors! – suspending black kids ‘disproportionally? Say it ain’t so! I think those leftists are harboring some deep-seated racism and need even more diversity seminars where they can confess their white priviledge (original sin) and audacity to hold black students to ‘white’ standards (culturally insensitive). There are still a lot of traditionally minded teachers in many school districts across the nation, but I cannot imagine any Seattle school personnel are anything but social justice yapping commies.

    • a multiracial individual

      Isn’t Seattle the liberal, non-racist paradise we are supposed to emulate? Even in such a place, stubborn disparities exist.

      • Felix_M

        You can’t fight reality.

  • Lewis33

    Is it a rule that all school superintendent’s be minorities? Every. Time.

    • Slav

      Weaponizing diversity.

  • They should be investigating the civil rights violations of white human children.

  • Fed Up

    Maybe what is needed is a thorough examination of what disciplinary problems the Black students were causing. Then comparing those to problems by White students.

    Nothing, but nothing will anger your average liberal more than pointing out that Blacks are many times more crime-prone than Whites. You can provide numbers and statistics, examples of how bad crime by Blacks but the White Liberal simply can’t stand to have TRUTH shoved under his nose.

  • APaige

    Is there a school district that does not have a discipline gap? The true answer to every black social problem is ‘black behavior’.

  • It’s not just schools . . .

    Five of six United States congressmen under review by the House Ethics Committee in 2012 were black; a ratio of one of every three black congressmen. Blacks and whites can’t harmoniously inhabit classrooms or Congress without moving the denominator marker to a lower position.

    • Felix_M

      Out of Africa…nothing knew happening in ghetto schools or in the halls of congress.

  • Devils Breath

    ….maybe because pavement monkeys are less disciplined and have a lower IQ.

  • tickyul

    LOL, this is a good one! The most PC city in the country…..and they are holding back all those poor, poor Skittlesbandits.
    NOPE, the sad truth is Urban Americans are a very poor fit for the USA. No amount of coddling will change this fact.

  • Zackers

    The only thing missing is this story posted right after the story about the kid beat up by bullies. . . A little political correctness seeps in even here on AmRen from time to time.

  • Beetlejuice

    the fact that the data is clear…

    –Superintendent José Banda

    A grammar error and lie all in one sentence. Tells me everything I need to know.

  • PatriotGames

    I suppose that blacks just committ more acts that are against the rules than whites do. The solution, obviously, is to relax the rules as they apply to blacks. They are a protected specie in other respects, why not in the government indoctrination facilities.

  • Seek

    Why are blacks suspended at three times the rate as whites? Gee, that’s a hard one. Could it be that they engage in the kinds of behavior that get students suspended three times as often?

    As for the investigation: The U.S. Department of Education is staffed with blacks and their timid white allies. No mystery there.

  • eavesmac

    Ohhh, this is terrible. (big frown on forehead) What are we going to do? (throwing arms over head) I just can’t believe all the racism. (eyes rolling) Glad they don’t have the gate code. (snicker, snicker)

  • GeneticsareDestiny

    There are only two ways to get rid of the discipline gap:
    1. Never punish blacks for anything, up to and including assault with a deadly weapon, or
    2. Punish whites for breathing
    Any school district that wants to get rid of the gap will have to choose one or both of these options. And even then, they may not get rid of 100% of the disparity.

  • Daisy

    Whenever victimology is at issue, the passive voice is used. Black kids…are being suspended, expelled, etc. How about the active voice…black kids bully, steal, pimp, sell drugs, etc.

  • dj2

    I think what’s happening now is a double edged sword for American whites.

    On one hand, their land is being invaded by Asians and Latin Americans, pushing them out from alot of areas and increasingly turning the country into an ungovernable tower of babel.

    On the other hand, these groups are more resistant to Jewish propaganda and do not harbor any “white guilt.” Moreover, any success by these groups, however marginable, is a strong and almost unassailable argument against all of the stuff we here about white racism against blacks.

    Ultimately the facts on the ground win out every time. If you can walk through a Mexican or Asian neighborhood without being shot. If your kids can play together, if you can patronize their businesses…well, then everybody will slowly but surely start to see the differences.

    I’m not arguing for any grand coalition, but what I am saying is this…although things are bad for white America, they are even worse for “black America”. Black America is finished. They have no more excuses, they’ve taken all they can take, and they continue to go nowhere and act out. So nobody believes any of the lies anymore, nobody has any guilt.

  • bigone4u

    Expectations of blacks are so low and they pull so much crap that the reality is that if they were held to white standards they would be punished and suspended even more. The reality is that they’re already getting a break that whites would never get. Segregating troublesome blacks into their own “schools” (detainee camps?) is the only real solution. Let the victimized white students get back to learning and let the blacks do their monkeyshines on their own turf..

  • Zackers

    “They either want to instill White guilt or have punishment meted out by quota”.

    That about sums up 60 years of civil rights. Black students harass whites. Whites punished.

  • Triarius

    Why can’t these libtards judge a man by the content of their character like their commie hero said. If so, even more would get suspended, that why.

    For fun can we do a study to see how black students treat teachers, white students, etc.?

  • Felix_M

    And when a black kid wants to do well in school, his peers mock him for acting white. If you really want to know why the black community fails in so many ways, then start looking at the black community.

  • Vyncennt

    “Seattle Public Schools discriminates against African Americans by disciplining them “more frequently and more harshly than similarly situated white students”

    Why white students? Would not any study of this type be inherently flawed if it were to omit any of a limited list of variables? Are not African Americans suspended more than Hispanics and Asians?

    To cherry pick variables from any study, and base a conclusion on only those variables, is blatantly disingenuous. Until liberals can answer the very basic question I asked above, nothing else they say on this matter can possess any credence. This is the question we need to ask liberals again and again until they are forced to answer, as there is no opinion here, only an effort to redefine scientific methods.

  • cali

    I have actually seen the opposite in our school system. Blacks are often overlooked because they can’t address EVERY time they cause a problem. I often sub in my child’s school simply to know his teachers and environment, and can assure you blacks are “let off easy” the most. No one wants to look racist, so their discipline is reserved for the most serious offense. Sorry, but our white and Asian kids DO act the best. Disruption is generally from blacks/Hispanics and one or two bad seeds from the white community. The most consistent reason I have noticed for bad behavior is the lack of a father in the home. Period.

  • “more frequently and more harshly than similarly situated white students,”

    who are they kidding? it’s virtually impossible to do an apples to apples comparison of white/black student discipline practices. While some white students will wear the sagging pants and listen to black music they are not able to stoop to the violence and other typical black behaviors. Another aspect that is not taken into account is that white administrators are extremely forgiving towards black students and bend over backwards to accommodate the sociopath behavior of blacks for fear of having them drop out altogether. I am willing to bet that if blacks were disciplined in the same manner as whites their suspension/expulsion rates would be double the rate they are reported as.

  • tomasso

    Yes you dumb monkeys blacks misbehave more than white students. I guess Mr Bradshaw did not see those flashmob videos. I hope he is their next victim