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New report analyzes Wake schools suspension rates

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Activists protest what is known as a school-to-prison pipeline. Activists protest what is known as a school-to-prison pipeline.

Protest after protest this year was held to highlight what activists believe are troubling figures coming out of the Wake County School System.

They said suspension rates are too high, and that minorities are being targeted. But a new report that came out this week challenges those assertions.

In the latest report issued by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, Wake County officials said it shows their schools faring well compared to other school systems. In fact, they said the county's short-term suspension rates are lower than other large districts.

"That unfortunately is not an accurate picture," said Sanyu Gichie, an organizer with the Youth Organizing Institute. "I was really excited when the report came out. [I] was like, 'Yes, things are happening.' But it just so happens that the suspensions that are reported to DPI are very restricted.”

Some experts agree. Jason Langberg from Advocates for Children’s Services said the figures are misleading.

"The Wake County School System has, by far, the highest long-term suspension rate among the largest districts in North Carolina" and that the data used was merely a small snapshot of the issue, Langberg said.

Officials from the Wake County School System maintain the report is positive and accurate.

To view the report click here.


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Eileen Park

Eileen joined WNCN after years of working as a foreign correspondent. During her time off, she enjoys relaxing with her dogs, reading, and exploring the Triangle. More>>

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