Last week, over 60 Kern High School District (KHSD) parents and students (as well as several KHSD administrators) gathered in Bakersfield for a community meeting to learn about next steps in the wake of a landmark settlement reached this summer with KHSD as a result of school discipline policies that disproportionately impact students of color. The meeting was organized by Building Healthy Communities, The Dolores Huerta Foundation, Faith in the Valley Kern, Equal Justice Society, the National Brotherhood Association, California Rural Legal Assistance, Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance, and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund.
The meeting was a safe and engaging space for parents and students to have an opportunity to learn about what was accomplished in the settlement, and most importantly, meet the experts who will be responsible for implementing the steps to decrease expulsions and bring equity to the district’s practices. Feelings were very raw, fears were expressed, and impactful personal stories of trauma were shared – all of which will help guide experts as they move forward. It was stressed to the community that it is critically important to remain engaged and to attend future public forums that will be held by KHSD, which are a requirement of the settlement.
EJS and our partners are hopeful and encouraged as we begin to take a step in the right direction.
Parents or adults with complaints about school discipline issues can call 877-622-2652 toll-free, or visit http://kernstudents.com. The toll-free number should only be used for KHSD issues.