RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A spokeswoman for Richmond Public Schools say the district has already made efforts to address many of the concerns laid out in a federal complaint alleging the schools more frequently and harshly punish black students and students with disabilities than their classmates.
Kenita Bowers said in a statement Wednesday that the district is “working diligently to ensure that all disciplinary actions are fair and consistent.” She says the district has moved away from “zero tolerance-based discipline.”
The American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia and the Legal Aid Justice Center filed the complaint Wednesday with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights. They’re asking federal officials to investigate Richmond Public Schools’ disciplinary policies and force the school system to make changes.
Bowers says the district will fully cooperate in the investigation. She says the Richmond Public Schools system wants to find disciplinary measures that “balance safety and instruction” and welcomes the dialogue.