Dothan City Schools Expel Only Black Students

The Southern Poverty Law Center, a non-profit civil rights organization, unveils racial disparities in Dothan City schools.

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) revealed that 100 percent of students expelled from Dothan City schools and 87 percent of them suspended were black, even though only 55 percent of the schools’ population is Black. The schools unfairly penalize African-American students, which might force them to drop out of school making educational opportunities for blacks even more limited than they are now.

Attorney Natalie Lyons said, “When we looked further into the district, other issues popped up, including racial disparities in discipline, and specifically, suspensions and referrals to the alternative school.”

Such results are not surprising as Alabama has always been the racist states opposing school desegregation.

The SPLC report, which was presented to the Dothan school administrators Monday, June 6, however, recommended reforms to their educational system in terms of discipline, some of which included “providing staff training on policy revisions, collecting and reporting data on law enforcement referrals and school-related arrests.”

The Dothan City School Superintendent, Charles Ledbetter, demanded the school administrators to work on strategies that can be used to rebrand local educational system.

Some of these black students, especially coming from low income families are very special and very vulnerable at the same time, but the schools find it easier to get rid of the black sheep than to work out solutions for their real problems.

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