Monday, August 10, 2015

NAACP Legal Action Too Late?

Amherst Pelham Regional School Committee last week

At a joint meeting this afternoon between the Amherst, Pelham,  Amherst Regional & Union 26 School Committees the NAACP threatened legal action for breach of a 1993 agreement concerning disproportionate discipline actions against minorities will once again be a (hot) topic of discussion.

But in a letter dated August 7 the School District's Attorney Giny Tate pretty much destroys the legal standing of the current threat due to a statue of limitations being l-o-n-g expired.

According to Ms. Tate the original "agreement could only be enforced through a breach of contract action."  Therefor the consent decree was really not a "consent decree" but was nothing more than a simple "contract" between the NAACP and the Regional School Committee.

According to Ms. Tate a "breach of contract in the state of Massachusetts must be brought within 6 years of the breach" (expired 1999).

Attorney Tate continues to pile on:  "Failure to file a breach of contract within the statute of limitations terminates the NAACP's  rights to persue any actions now. The case is dismissed, and the School Committee has no further contract obligations under the agreement."



To sum it up succinctly Attorney Tate concludes, "The NAACP had no current right to enforce any terms of the agreement."

Click to enlarge/read
In 2013-2014 White students (60.6% of population) received 29.9% suspensions -- or half their average make up, while Black students (7.4% of population) received 28.6% suspensions -- more than three times their average make up.

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yeah, that sounds nice and simple, except that sounds headed for court, whether it deserves it or not.

Dr. Ed said...

How about a breakdown of boys & girls --- while male students are likely less than half the student body, my guess is that you will find that they constitute the overwhelming percentage of the suspensions.

So is the school anti-male, or are the boys doing things that they deserve to be suspended for???

And how many of these suspensions are of some bad actor who has already been suspended once, twice, thrice before??? When you are dealing with population samples this small, one or two really bad boys can do to these statistics what the Cosby estate does to the average (mean) property value in the Town of Shelbourne.

Wasn't there a group of 3-4+(?) Black students who beat up "the Whitest kid they could find"? If each of them was suspended for this, which they should have been, that alone is enough to cause this discrepency...

And the NAACP wants to be careful with something like this lest it be used against them. What is the racial demographics of the Basketball and Football teams? The only team picture I could find, that of the Boys BBall Team with arms draped over each other's shoulders while the National Anthem was being played (IMHO, highly inappropriate) shows a team that is about 50% Black -- which is a whole lot more than the 8% student body statistic that the NAACP cites here. Hence the percentage discrepancy between the percentage of Black students who are on the team and the percentage of White students who are on the team will be a hell of a lot greater than the suspension discrepancy.

Does the NAACP want to see Black kids kicked off sports teams because of the color of their skin? Do any of us want that? Would any of us tolerate that?!?!?

Seriously, do you want to tell some kid who has earned a slot on a team -- earned it not just by being talented but by hard work, repeatedly working on basics like dribbling, working on them out in the hot sun, all summer, every summer since grade school -- that he/she/it can't be on the team because we need to make the demographics of the team reflect those of the student body?

You really want to take the qualified Black kid, who's worked hard to be the best -- and is -- that he/she/it will be replaced by a less qualified White kid so that we can meet some arbitrary demographic criteria? Folks, that is right out of the Nuremburg Racial Purity Laws of 1933 -- the laws which defined who would be sent to the gas chamber and who wouldn't be...

Anonymous said...

If you read the original Agreement it is pretty clear that it is a contract. There is absolutely NO question that it is NOT a consent decree. I urge people to Google the definition of consent decree. I'd love to know how it came to be called a consent decree in the first place.

Dr. Ed said...

And the larger question is this: Do you want to tell some White kid (and the kid's parents) that he/she/it is being suspended for the offense of being White?

Assuming that Team Maria has a justification for each and every one of these suspensions -- I trust the NAACP would be raising a fuss on behalf of the individual Black student if one wasn't (and isn't Mary Custard, who is herself Black, the one making these decisions?) -- the only way to balance these statistics is to either suspend more white kids or fewer black kids.

Either way, you are going to have White students suspended for things which they wouldn't be suspended were they Black. (That's a lawsuit if Daddy knows a good lawyer -- but I digress...)

The perception is going to be worse -- White students who are suspended for things they deserve to be suspended for, things which anyone of any race would be suspended for, are still going to believe that it is only because they are White, not because of what they did. They'll be able to convince their parents of this as well.

This is how you breed racism....

It isn't like the NAACP is going down the list and asking what each of these little darlings was suspended FOR HAVING DONE -- and it definitely isn't like the NAACP is coming in and saying "you suspended John Doe for no good reason, because of that we claim racism."

No, they are just looking at statistics and that is asinine.

And the kids who will be hurt the most are the BLACK kids who want to learn, who want to make something of themselves -- it's called the "soft bigotry of low expectations" and if it becomes known that Team Maria won't suspend Black kids for things that White kids are suspended for, less will be expected of ALL the Black students. It's the converse of the Willie Horton issue, if a few Black kids are behaving badly with impunity, the perception will be that ALL Black kids behave that way...

Boys (of any race) will behave badly if they are permitted to do so -- it's developmental and why we treat them as minors and not emancipated adults. At least in theory, all of Team Maria's rules are intended to facilitate learning -- if young Black men are permitted to violate them with impunity, they won't be learning -- and the average Black high school GRADUATE already only has the reading and writing abilities of the average White 7th grade girl...

And what is not being mentioned in any of this is the impact upon the young ladies -- the female students of all races, but particularly the Black ones as we all tend to date persons of our own race. Boys who behave badly tend to treat their girlfriends badly as well, and what continues to amaze me is the extent to which slightly older women (college undergrads) nonchalantly accept being treated badly.

And for every Black male in college, there are TWO Black females -- nationwide. That's a problem on multiple levels -- it's a national scandal -- and where the hell is the NAACP on *that*? How about telling the young Black men to "sit down, shut up, and learn" when they are in K-12 so that they wind up as adults who aren't disabled by their lack of basic skills....

Dr. Ed said...

Back in the late '90's, there was a shootout inside the Malcolm X Center at UMass. There was a dance and presumably some sort of dispute which led to two people shooting at each other inside a room not much bigger than the one the Selectboard meets in, in a building made of concrete which means that rounds (and fragments) would have been bouncing around everywhere.

Somehow, miraculously, no one was hit -- I still am amazed that no one was even injured.

A young lady who was there at the time -- an articulate, intelligent Black woman then in her Junior year at UMass -- told me that "it was no big deal" and that she couldn't understand why people were making such a fuss about it.

I begged to differ -- lethal chunks of lead flying around in close proximity to your body IS a big deal...

This is what I mean by how the young ladies being hurt -- she accepted this kind of behavior as normal...

Anonymous said...

Thankfully, all lives matter.

Anonymous said...

I suspect that when the data are more closely examined that a small number of individuals are repeatedly suspended, and that suspensions are not evenly distributed across an entire subgroup.

Anonymous said...

All of which makes for nothing more than hot air from the threatening comments made to the School Committee by the smiling windbag lawyer who stood up and spoke for the NAACP.

Blah, blah, blah, all with that Uriah Heep smile of his. He had nothing.

Anonymous said...

Larry, is it true that the Amherst Office of the NAACP is not currently up-to-date with their status with the national organization? If that is true, can they actually refer to themselves as part of the NAACP?

Anonymous said...

The NAACP thought they could pull a fast one on the SC, aided and abetted by their ally Trevor.

Anonymous said...

People just love to use the race card. Another instance of the pussification of America.

Anonymous said...

I hope this fiasco with the NAACP is enough to get Trevor bounced from his job as chair. He totally abused his authority in this mess. Wasn't it a perceived abuse of authority by Mr. O'Brien that caused him to lose this job as chair? That happened at last year's retreat. This year's retreat is coming up in a few weeks. Let's hope the SC comes to its senses by then and elects a new chair.

Anonymous said...

How many of the suspensionable offenses are committed by members of each ethnic group?

As a straight-talker, unafraid of being vilified in Amherst as a racist, might ask, "Are blacks committing 7% of offenses in proportion to their numbers, 28% of offenses in proportion to the suspensions levied, or a number lower, higher or in the middle? Are whites and Asians committing just as many offenses per capita and simply being suspended less?" And I'd add, what is the "training" that teachers are to receive that will correct this imbalance and bring it into line with the quotas - "Turn your head sideways... look the other way... and cough!"

We are always hectored about the suspensions being out of proportion to the share of population. What's never cited is, Who is committing the rule-breaking that requires enforcement? And Right on, 11:48am: isn't it counterproductive and stereotypical to presume everyone in a given ethnic group, and in all ethnic groups, is equally prone to bad acting?

Anonymous said...

We all agree that black lives matter. Except to other blacks who kill each other at a rate that is far beyond that at which whites kill blacks, or other whites, and also that at which blacks kill whites.

Anonymous said...

Are teachers being told not to mete out detentions to students of color? Please clarify.

Anonymous said...

Nationally, according to statistics, blacks are suspended twice as much as whites, and more than Hispanics and five times more than Asians. Number one reason is fighting, number two is calling out. No one dare say that maybe the subculture of black up-bringing as a whole might create the imbalance. Rather, it must be racism because blacks are less of the population but are suspended far more. And now these hate groups such as 'Black Lives Matter' are trying to convince everyone that blacks, who commit 90% of crime in this country, must be being picked on because of their color, rather than the inevitability that being in mostly single mother, fatherless and mentor-less, poverty-cultured families has nothing to do with it. Let's blame whites because the black sub-culture refuses to do something to better their lives. Those that do fit in perfectly well, have careers and even run for president. Political correctness is a disease that is destroying this country and social media is the carrier of the disease.

Anonymous said...

"blacks, who commit 90% of crime in this country..."

According to the FBI, whites commit 69.3% of all crimes, but please go on with your racist diatribe.

Please note that the Oklahoma City bomber, Boston Marathon bombers, Colorado movie theater murderer, Nashville movie theater attacker, and financial crooks like Bernie Madoff and Allen Stanford were all white. Maybe your glasses are on inside out.

Anonymous said...

Sure, pick out a few crimes and claim what you want. apples and oranges. Here is a fact. More white commit crimes than blacks, that is not disputable. But you have to look at the propensity for crime and blacks like violence is you look. During the 2012/2013 period, blacks committed an average of 486,945 violent crimes against whites, whereas whites committed only 99,403 such crimes against blacks. This means blacks were the attackers in 84.5 percent of the violent crimes involving blacks and whites. This figure is consistent with reports from 2008, the last year DOJ released similar statistics. Violent interracial crime involving blacks and Hispanics occurs in almost exactly the same proportions as black/white crime: Blacks are the attackers 82.5 percent of the time, while Hispanics are attackers only 17.5 percent of the time. Fact: A black is 27 times more likely to attack a white and 8 times more likely to attack a Hispanic than the other way around. And contrary to media white washing, only 40.1 percent of the victims of black violence are black, while people of other races account for nearly 60 percent of the victims of black violence.

Source: DOJ, Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Crime Victimization Survey 2013

Anonymous said...

This is good right? Doesn't this leave the local board less encumbered? Which is then better for the community because the board is supposed to represent the community's dynamic interests as opposed to the agreement's static and perhaps archaic interests.

It is clear that racist behavior is not tolerated with or without any prior agreement. One could argue that despite continued low levels of racism, that the reactions of paying out $100,000's or terminating employment over the "slave unit" comment have not helped one bit, are perhaps over reactions.

Perhaps we could get to the point where such responses are not as likely or as costly.

Anonymous said...

Who cares what the statics are, if you do the crime you should do the time.

Anonymous said...

Bingo. But someone give a yes or no: are ARMS teachers being told not to discipline black students?

Dr. Ed said...

I hate to tell you this but the Boston Marathon Bombers are Chechen Muslims -- President Obama is more "White" than they are.

And in the month of December, 2012, more Black children were shot to death in Chicago (by Black perps) than were murdered in Sandy Hook, CT.

Anonymous said...

"Do the crime do the time"
Not Bingo
The kids know that's not how things work in this town

Anonymous said...

Bingo only meant that that's the way it oughtta be. Sadly, not the way it Is.

Anonymous said...

What are teachers being told to do? I cannot seem to get an answer to this.

Anonymous said...

I play cards a lot and have never seen this card in any deck...

Anonymous said...

I teach in the ARPS system We have been told to try to find out why black student Johnny is "having a bad day." Remember West Side Story? "I'm depraved on account I'm deprived!" Oh. I forgot. We didn't See WSS.

Anonymous said...

From the ARHS system: almost impossible to discipline students anymore due to the current guidelines. Will soon be a zoo, with teachers frustrated when a student is appropriately referred and then bounced right back to the classroom. The hands of the lower-level admins to whom the student is sent also have hands tied. Ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

And exactly what Are the current guidelines 3:06? Would you mind expanding, please?

Anonymous said...

Interesting. No answer.