In 2015, the Ferguson Commission published the Forward through Ferguson Report, sharing 189 recommendations, or calls-to-action. Based on expert testimony, research and experiences collected by the Commission, “Reforming School-Based Discipline” was found as a Call-to-Action in the Report.
After much deliberation, research and dialogue, a team of Impact Fellows decided to produce a multimedia advocacy campaign, providing tools for citizens to tackle the regional issue of racial disparities in out-of-school suspensions.
Although Black children make up only 17% of Pre-K through 3rd grade students in the state, they received almost 70% of all out-of-school suspensions in the 2013-2014 year.
During the 2011-12 school year, elementary schools in Missouri suspended 14.3% of black students at least once compared with 1.8% of white students. The 12.5 point gap is twice the national disparity.
Young students who are expelled or suspended are as much as 10 times or 1000% more likely to experience academic failure and grade retention, hold negative school attitudes and face incarceration that those who are not.