Students Rally For Equality, Safety In Pittsburgh Schools

Robert Mangino
August 23, 2018 - 7:04 pm

Related: Study Shows Glaring Racial Disparities In School Suspension Rates In Allegheny County

PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) — As Pittsburgh students get ready to head back to school, some rallied in Schenley Plaza Thursday to outline their demands for equality in Pittsburgh Public Schools.

Demonstrators called for Pittsburgh Public schools to conduct racial and implicit bias assessments for their staff, eventually moving to the district’s offices.

Nia Arrington with the One Pennsylvania Youth Power collective recently graduated from CAPA. She told the KDKA Radio Afternoon News that racial bias within the schools could lead to severe consequences for students.

“That may turn into accepting a lower performance from a student of color because they don’t see any more potential or want to push them,” Arrignton said.  

The rally comes following a report released earlier this week that said black students in Allegheny County are suspended at seven times the rate of non-black students. Arrington said the report is an example of a larger problem.

“Students of color are being treated in ways that are just way different — drastically different — than white students are treated,” Arrington said.

The group also called for a ban on out-of-school suspensions for students in grades 3 through 5, recruit and retain more teachers and social workers of color, ensure racial and ethnic diversity in both school and district staffing patterns, and ban firearms in all PPS schools.

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