Suspension, Restorative Justice and Productive Schools

CEI's Hans Bader pens a letter to the Wall Street Journal:

Eva Moskowitz is right to criticize New York City’s new disciplinary code making it harder to suspend violent students. As she notes, advocates of lax discipline wrongly “claim it would benefit minority students, who are suspended at higher rates than their white peers,” ignoring the fact that most victims of violence are also minorities. The erroneous legal justification given for curbing school suspensions is to avoid racially “disparate impact,” which occurs when a higher percentage of blacks are suspended than whites under colorblind school rules.

The only way to equalize black and white suspension rates would be to impose racial quotas. But quotas are unconstitutional: In 1997, a court ruling in People Who Care v. Rockford Board of Education struck down a rule that forbade a “school district to refer a higher percentage of minority students than of white students for discipline.”