Parents concerned over racism at DPS

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Racial Justice NOW! (RJN) is a community based, grassroots org led by parents pushing back on dehumanization in education.

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DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Parents and several organizations are raising concerns about racism taking place in the Dayton Public Schools’ district.

Their two biggest concerns are armed law enforcement at sporting events and suspension and expulsion rates of black students.

In 2015 and earlier this year, disruptions and arguments occurred during Dayton’s high school games. In an effort to reduce the issue, DPS brought in armed law enforcement to watch over the games. Instead, it sparked outrage from some parents in the district.

“Many parents in the community are afraid of police handling their children at the games. That is what prompted this,” said Zakiya Sankara-Jabar, a mother of two.

“Dayton Public Schools contracts with outside security to supplement our security resource officers at selected sporting events. The safety and well-being of our students is always the bottom line when making these determinations,” said Jill Moberley, Director of Public Information with Dayton Public Schools.

Parents and a community group called Racial Justice NOW! held a discussion about the matter Tuesday in the Dayton Public Schools administration building at 3:00 p.m. Dozens of parents, community members and teachers participated in the conversation.

Jabar hopes the talk will prompt a change and resolve issue resolved before the school year starts in August.

2 NEWS reached out the school district and received the following statement via e-mail:

“Nationally, expulsion and suspension rates are disproportionate for African American male students. We are working to change this trend in Dayton Public Schools through staff training, cultural competency, a revised student code of conduct that eliminates zero tolerance, and adoption of restorative justice practices to help ensure safe and positive school climates. Students cannot learn if they are not in school; our goal is to keep students in school and learning.”

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