After seeing reports of high and disproportionate suspension rates in schools across Virginia, a local open data organization is looking to make information and resources available to students who get suspended or expelled and their parents.
Smart Cville has been working on the Legal Equity Project, which will give families an online tool to access information in an easy-to-use format with school division policy and legal sources should they need it.
Figures from the Legal Aid Justice Center, which is working with Smart Cville on the project, showed that black students were disproportionately more likely to be suspended than white students. The same was true for students with disabilities versus those without.
“After hearing stories from community members who felt overwhelmed and powerless when their students were suspended or expelled from school, we felt that providing access to information about the student discipline process in Central Virginia public schools was an important goal,” the project’s description reads on Smart Cville’s website.