Beaverton School District superintendent explains that middle school boys are disciplined at a higher rate than girls because of “bias”; teachers will receive training in equity and bias


On March 20, 2023, Beaverton School District Superintendent Gustavo Balderas stated at a board meeting that middle school boys were disciplined at a higher rate than middle school girls and that this has happened for 30 years nationwide. He said the reason this happens is because of “bias.” He provided the example of middle school boys and girls in relation to how his staff are trained and will be trained in bias. The superintendent stated:

Middle school boys get disciplined at twice a rate of middle school girls. That’s a national stat. That hasn’t changed for 30 years probably. So middle school boys get disciplined at twice the rate as middle school girls. So why is that? I mean, really. So that’s the bias. [Time Stamp: 2:45:45]

The organization Save Oregon Schools reported on the school board meeting on June 19, 2023. Earlier in the meeting, the deputy superintendent stated that the district intends to view everything through an “equity lens.” She stated:

One of the things that we always want to start our conversations with is a reminder about our equity lens. And so you will see that in the packet that we shared with you this evening. And just as a reminder about what those elements are, the first question that we ask ourselves – whose voice is and isn’t represented in this decision. The second one – who does this decision benefit or burden. The third – is this decision in alignment with the BSD equity policy. And the fourth is – does this decision close or widen the access opportunity and expectation gaps. So just as a reminder, not only do we have that equity lens in front of us in all of our teaching and learning, administrator meetings, but it is very much front and center and present in conversations such as the one we are having this evening. [Time Stamp: 57:35]

Save Oregon Schools continued to report on how the deputy superintendent elaborated further on training for staff and how equity will be a top professional development focus and requirement for staff moving forward. Save Oregon Schools summarized that in the meeting “district leaders and board members agree that teacher and other staff biases are the cause of disparities in student discipline.”