DeSoto County Schools is a public school district based in Hernando, Mississippi (USA) and serving all public school students in DeSoto County in the Memphis metropolitan area. With an enrollment of more than 30,000 students, DeSoto County is the largest school district in the state of Mississippi.
There were a total of 28,738 students enrolled in the DeSoto County School District during the 2006–2007 school year. The gender makeup of the district was 48% female and 52% male. The racial makeup of the district was 26.05% African American, 67.91% White, 4.64% Hispanic, 1.22% Asian, and 0.18% Native American. 27.4% of the district's students were eligible to receive free lunch.
|School Year||Enrollment||Gender Makeup||Racial Makeup|
The school district did not integrate until forced to by court order in 1970. As recently as 1997, one school had two principals; a white principal to deal with white students and another black principal to deal with black students. Of the district's 42 schools, only two have black principals.
While blacks make up approximately one third of the student population, they receive well over half of the suspensions from school. In 2015, the NAACP filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights, alleging that the school district has violated the Civil Rights Act by discriminating "against Black students on the basis of race through its discipline policies and practices fostering a school-to-prison pipeline and fueling racial disparities." The suit asks the federal government to force the district to revise the vague code of conduct which allows for uneven punishments of minority students. The school district has a long history of violating federal mandates requiring civil rights reforms. In addition to the racial disparities in suspension rates, they suit also alleges that punishments differ widely for the same actions. In one fight, for instance, a black student was suspended a week for shouting, while the white girl with whom she fought was suspended for only two days.
|District Accreditation Status||Accredited||Accredited||Accredited||Accredited||Accredited|
|School Performance Classifications|
|Level 5 (Superior Performing) Schools||16||11||15||15||15|
|Level 4 (Exemplary) Schools||11||12||6||5||5|
|Level 3 (Successful) Schools||0||1||2||2||1|
|Level 2 (Under Performing) Schools||0||0||0||0||0|
|Level 1 (Low Performing) Schools||0||0||0||0||0|