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Oroville school districts working with minority leaders following state investigation

One week after the California Dept. of Justice reached discrimination settlements with two Oroville school districts, the districts are now working with community leaders in taking corrective action

Posted: Sep 1, 2020 10:43 PM

OROVILLE, Calif. -- African-American leaders in the Oroville community are working on changes in the school system.

Oroville school districts recently settled after a California Dept. of Justice investigation on discrimination.

Oroville Union High School district and the Oroville Elementary School District are involved in settlements following State Attorney General Javier Becerra's investigation.

The investigation uncovered trends of disciplinary action aimed specifically at black students and those with disabilities.

Issues that didn't go unnoticed.

“The NAACP and AAFCC were heavily involved from the beginning, from the on-start with this so we were very much aware,” said NAACP Interim President for Butte County Janet Goodson.

Action News Now met Goodson and Director Bobby Jones at the African American Family Cultural Center in Oroville.

“Students have been severely affected by it. There are scars in the community,” said Goodson.

“At the end of the day, it's about building relationships and being open to build relationships
outside of people who might not look like us, who might not think like us,” said Jones.

Rather than dwell on the past, Goodson and Jones want current and future generations to move beyond these prejudices.

“This is a sad, but good victory because it has brought attention and light to a situation that's probably going on in many rural areas,” said Jones.

“We're always trying to look for ways to improve our services to kids and we're always looking to find ways to help students be successful,” said OUHSD Superintendent Dr. Corey Willenburg

Both Goodson and Jones will be sitting down with Oroville superintendents this Friday continuing dialogue.

Each Oroville school district has a five year plan dedicated to corrective action overseen by a state monitor.

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