I’m writing this letter to commend Scott Brabrand, superintendent of Lynchburg City Schools, and Derrick Brown for introducing change in our schools concerning the high rate of suspension of our students of color.
Last year, my daughter attended Dunbar Middle School and was having some difficulty in her relationships with her teachers. It seems to me that the more I tried to help, the worse the situation became. I decided to speak with Superintendent Brabrand, and after hearing my concerns, he assured me he would look into the situation and if possible make some changes.
Well, he did just that and things are a little bit better. Because of the PBIS initiative implemented in our schools, teachers are encouraged to reward good behavior instead of only focusing on bad behavior. He has also created a process for students who get expelled to appeal their case to the School Board. As small as these changes may appear to be, for me they are a move in the right direction.
Our superintendent’s willingness to admit that we have a suspension problem in our schools is encouraging but is only the beginning. As a member of Virginia Organizing, I look forward to working with our School Board and the Lynchburg City Schools officials to disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline and improve our school system. Our responsibility to our children requires us to be innovative in our thinking so the end result will be a successful future for our children.
REASON A. CHANDLER