Suspension of disbelief v. 2.0

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WCSC's Live 5 News has more on the protest last night over the allegedly disproportionate suspension and expulsion rates of black students in Dorchester District Two. And while a certain gut feeling may tell you that the protesters, who WCSC reveals joined together to form a group called Concerned Mothers of Dorchester District Two, are correct, whatever figures they have are meaningless without figures for the number of suspensions and explusions for white students. As WCSC reports:

A Dorchester District Two spokesperson says the group's stats are wrong, but the concerned mothers said they got these numbers from the district itself, through a Freedom of Information Act request.

When we took a look at the numbers, we couldn't figure out how the concerned mothers came up with the percentages. That's because the numbers from the district don't include the number of white students suspended or expelled, and the district said in the report that drop out rates are not available.

The Concerned Mothers say they came up with their "facts" by "crunching numbers."

"The student population is 21,400 at Summerville, at District Two. The amount of suspensions on the blacks is 6,119 is up to 25%. The students, so that means 15,000 white. If you use those same numbers, that means you have to expel or suspend 5,000 white students," said Smith.

Before we get to the "have to," let's look at Smith's numbers, but as the Live 5 claims, the numbers just don't match up. The total number of black students in DD2 are 6,119. Smith claims that 25% of black students have been suspended or expelled, which would give us 1,530. However, according to the previous P&C report,  the number of those suspended came to 1,310. (Even if you added in the number of black students who were expelled, 88, that figure only rises to 1,398.) Moreover, if you were to apply the same 25% rate to the estimated white population of 15,000, the number of suspended or expelled white students would only be 3,750. And like Barbie once said, "Math is hard."

As for the "have to" bit, I don't think that's what we mean when we talk about equality.

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