SB school board approves new position for African American student services

A new position is being created at South Bend Schools that is set to help African American students.

Monday night the school board voted to approve the creation of a new Director of African American Student and Parent Services.

The job comes with a hefty price tag and a lot of responsibilities.

The board voted 5 to 1 to approve the position.

According to school board member Dawn Jones it's designed to lower suspension rates, increase graduation rates and take a look at the special education program.

In the job description, experience working with African American students and participation at schools on all levels is required.

The decision was ultimately pushed forward this spring when the district was cited by the state for placing too many African American students in special education classes.

"We need to identify and find out the need of our children at a young age through the school... to find ways to help to do that to prevent violence and crime," says Reverend Cory Gathright, who served on the committee to create the position.

Right now 40 percent of South Bend students are African American and it's estimated half of those students are in special education classes.

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