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U.S. Department of Justice Visiting South Bend Schools

The main entrance of Washington High School in the snow.
Jennifer Weingart
WVPE Public Radio


Representatives from the United States Department of Justice are visiting schools in South Bend this week. It’s part of a decades long agreement to integrate the district.

The South Bend Community School Corporation is under aconsent decreeto integrate its schools from a 1980 court case. Decades later, what that means is the district speaks regularly with the government about it’s progress and problems. 

This week’s visit from the Department of Justice includes an expert on discipline disparity. The district has struggled with having high rates of suspension and expulsion among students of color. 

Superintendent Todd Cummings said having the expert here will help the district figure out what they should be doing.

“We need the expert here, not just on the phone. We need to make sure that we’re getting the technical support that we need.”

Recent reporting from the South Bend Tribuneshows black students are five times more likely to be expelled and four times more likely to be suspended compared to white students.  

Cummings said funding and support from DOJ will help the district reduce that disproportionality.

Visitors from DOJ will be in schools meeting with administrators and teachers. Cummings said the report they make will likely be shared with the community in some form in the future.


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