The New Jersey Department of Education and Public Schools (NJDOES) has released a list of students in Newark Public Schools who are not allowed to use laptops or tablets in the classroom.
The Newark Public School District announced on Friday that the Newark Public Library’s library will no longer allow students to use the computers in their classroom.
The announcement came after a group of students petitioned for the district to lift its ban on laptops and tablets to allow students more time to learn, and the school district has not made any changes to the policy since the announcement.
“We are making a decision that we want to support our students in learning as they can,” said Newark Public Superintendent Barbara Smith.
“Our decision to eliminate laptops from the school library has been made after a rigorous review of the needs of students.”
Smith said students have been allowed to bring laptops and other devices into school libraries for over a year, and that the decision to make the change was based on concerns from students and parents.
“This is a very tough decision to be making,” she said.
“But the safety of our students and staff is of the utmost importance to us.”
Newark Public Schools, located about 90 miles (145 kilometers) east of New York City, is one of the state’s most segregated schools.
The district has more than half of the city’s black students and has faced scrutiny for its high rate of suspensions.
According to the Newark Police Department, more than 60 percent of the school’s students are black, and more than 90 percent of those suspensions have been for violent offenses.
The school district also has faced criticism for its lack of diversity, with the New Jersey Education Association citing a lack of support for black students in the district.