Saturday, September 26, 2020


A Large Gap

I attended the Black Lives Matter rally on the Branford Green on July 12. As a former teacher (not in Branford), I was a bit upset to hear one speaker complain about institutional racism in the Branford School System. I had heard about some bullying that hadn’t been addressed, but not racism until that day.

I decided to do some research and, in a nutshell, this is what I found. Suspensions and expulsions were listed by race beginning in 2013. I have averaged out the numbers to save space. The information is found at the state’s Department of Education website.

The averages are from 2013 to 2019. White enrollment was 76.5 percent; the suspension rate was 9.8 percent. Hispanic enrollment was 9.8 percent; the suspension rate was 14.8 percent (data for 2018-’19 was suppressed). Black enrollment was 3.4 percent; the suspension rate was 31.8 percent (data for 2015-’16 and 2016-’17 was suppressed).

The school system needs to look at those statistics carefully and determine why there is a large gap between white students and minority students. This must be investigated and corrected.

Ronald Comen