Alright – so, Sen. Torres-Ray authored a bill to ban suspending students from kindergarten to grade three in the senate and it had its first hearing; it was laid over for possible inclusion into the final omnibus education finance and policy bill. The house version is authored by Rep. Richardson.
I had to testify for this and you are not going to believe who came and was supporting suspending kids? seriously guess? I certainly could not have guessed. None other than the chair of Bloomington Public Schools (BPS). Yep. I am still in shock. BPS supporting any legislation that keeps kids in the school – what?. At any rate, I had my testimony written and submitted for the record. I was just going to read it and call it a day. Then, when I saw her face; I got emotional and what I wrote went out of the window. I told her how BPS affected our family’s life. Suspension is hurtful and heart-breaking to the kid and the whole family. Sen. Chamberlain was kind as usual and understood my perspective as a parent. Sen Isaacson was rude and dismissive as usual. And we minorities vote for democrats, come on people. By the way, BPS which has a shameful and horrible education gap and suspension disparity is controlled fully by democrats. How do you like them apples.
Minnesota State Senate
Education Finance & Policy Committee
Chair – Sen. Chamberlain
March 10, 2021
My son who has nonverbal autism was suspended by teacher Kelly Morris and principal Jaysen Anderson on Thursday, May 3rd, 5:18pm in 2018. The teacher neglected to give him his communication device, disrupted his routine then called the principal and security on my kid. I never took him back. My son now goes to a charter school which has been simply wonderful. They understand he has a disability and does not comprehend suspension nor cause/effect.
I will never forget that day.
Re: SF 1048
Mr. Chair and Members, thanks much for the opportunity to testify today. I support this bill that bans kicking kids out of their educational environment. My own kid was suspended by a union-protected teacher and a lobbyist-protected principal.
We know that one of the main factors in education gap is the result of discipline disparities (Pearman et al., 2019) If students are not in school; they are not learning; if they are not learning; they are failing.
To those that say, what do I do with a child that brings a weapon to school that is a whole another kind of action. If a child in third grade or younger has access to any kind of a weapon, there must be different type of consequences and questions. This bill does not address that and yes, we want safe schools, but we also want schools that teach children by keeping them in their educational environment.
Additionally, to those that preach we understand, we know, and we care about disparities, yet their school districts have been cited for the very thing (discipline disparities) they supposedly care about; please stop preaching sugar while practicing salt. If whatever you are doing was working, we would not be here. Opposing this bill while bringing no alternative solutions to the table is not acceptable and cannot be tolerated.
Please take a read in below research to further understand how discipline disparities and education gap are very much connected. This is why Minnesota has a horrible and shameful education gap. We must keep kids in school and teach them; suspending students has zero educational value.
As always, I thank you for your time.
Idil – Somali Autism Mom
The above words do not reflect any candidate, agency or, committee.