Lexington NAACP says data shows FCPS disproportionately punishing students of color

Published: Apr. 20, 2021 at 11:44 AM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Members of the Lexington NAACP say students of color in Fayette County Public Schools are being treated differently when it comes to discipline.

The organization partnered with the Grassroots Law Project and the Institute for Compassion in Justice to file an open records request.

Members of the Lexington NAACP say the data shows students of color are being punished at disproportionate rates. They say from 2017 to 2020 Black and Latino students were suspended and expelled at higher rates than their overall representation in the student population.

They also say the district has spent more money on increasing law enforcement in schools than on mental health services.

The Lexington NAACP has taken these findings to school leaders demanding change.

“We believe if you wish to address both, safety within the schools and safety in our communities, that increasing mental health is what matters,” said Rebecca Ballard Diloreto, litigation committee chair - NAACP of Lexington.

The Lexington NAACP is calling on the district to remove law enforcement from elementary and middle schools and to reduce their presence in high schools. They’re also asking the district to spend more money on school mental health resources and after-school programs.

Here is the statement from FCPS district officials in response to the Lexington NAACP’s claims and requests:

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