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Black Lives Matter Rally Addresses Alleged Racially Charged School Suspensions

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BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -

Concerned residents in Binghamton held a Black Lives Matter march and rally on Wednesday to call attention to what they say is a disproportionate incident referral rate for children of color and children with disabilities.

The group claims that an analysis of the Binghamton City School District's incident reports show these students are seven times more likely to receive punishments that lead to suspensions. They argue that this is creating a school to prison pipeline.

"There's other alternative punishments that you can give a child that keeps the children in school, allows them to continue working. What we do know is that once a child is suspended he or she is three times more likely to not graduate and over 8 times more likely to be incarcerated," said Bobby Black, Regional State Board of Director Citizen Action New York.

The Black Lives Matter group attended a school board meeting in Binghamton Wednesday night in to present this information in efforts to enact change.

Members of Citizen Action, school teachers, parents, and other community members will meet with the school board in a day long work session on Thursday to discuss issues like these and ways they can work together to make that change a reality.

BCSD Interim Superintendent Steven Deinhardt says this work session is the first of many in a new initiative to help facilitate communication between the board and the community.