Suspensions, special education continue to be focus at Montclair BOE meeting
he subject of suspensions and equity continued to come up for discussion at the Monday, Jan. 22, BOE meeting.
The meeting – a relatively short one, lasting an hour and a half – also included a discussion of the district’s action plan for its special education services.
At the Jan. 10 workshop meeting, the board presented the suspension report, which appeared to indicate that students of color and special needs students were disproportionately more likely to be suspended than their peers in other demographics.
James Harris, representing the Montclair NAACP, said that the district needed to pay close attention to how an unusually large number of African-American students, especially boys, were being classified into special education classes. He said that Montclair had been under review for that issue in the past.
“I’m hoping that as we dive into more info about the profile of the students in special ed, that we will have a voice implying the disproportionality of African-American students in special ed,” he said.
Petal Robertson, chair of the Montclair Education Association, said that it wasn’t fair to assume that teachers were largely responsible for what led to the suspensions.