A message from J. Luke Wood, Ph.D.:
If you have participated in the Black Minds Matter events over the past several years, you may be aware that we are co-sponsoring California Assembly Bill 740. This bill would require school officials to contact a foster child’s social worker and attorney as part of the suspension process. AB 740 will ensure that all foster youth have an experienced person advocating on their behalf in school discipline proceedings.
Statewide, the suspension rate for foster children is more than four times the suspension rate for their non-foster peers. Breaking this data down by race, gender, and ethnicity reveals even more alarming inequities. In 2021, my colleagues and I released a report called Suspending our Future, and we found that Black male foster youth are nearly eight times more likely to be suspended in comparison to the statewide average.
Unfortunately, Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell has not scheduled this bill for a hearing. O’Donnell is a former classroom teacher who has been tepid in supporting any bills that address suspension issues facing students of color. We need your support in writing to him and asking him to give the bill a hearing.
Contact him on Twitter: @AsmPatOdonnell
Contact his Chief of Staff on Email: email@example.com
We hope you will join us in efforts to reduce the suspensions of foster children and Black students in school.
J. Luke Wood, Ph.D.
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