School Addresses National Numbers on Race and Suspensions

School Addresses National Numbers on Race and Suspensions
By: Ryan Tate
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - A national study shows, in many cases, school districts punish African-American students more than any other race in relation to the amount of students in the school population.
Cape Girardeau School District Superintendent David Scala says his district does not categorize school suspensions based on race. At the time of the interview, the principals in the district began breaking down the numbers to discover if the Cape Girardeau School District is similar or different from the national average.
"We try to keep [suspensions] that to a minimum and keep people in school because my goal is to keep people in school if we can," Dr. Scala said.
Scala says in the two years he has been superintendent, there have been no expulsions.  The dropout rate among African-Americans has gone down, while the graduation rate has gone up.
Scala also says that the district tries to implement programs at an early age to help teach students and staff factors that lead to troubling behavior.
"Doing this changes behaviors so as to not get suspended or not finish high school," Scala said.
When district leaders suspend students Scala believes principals in the district make the right decisions based on what's best and not bases on the color of a student's skin.