Black Students Are the Most Likely to Be Suspended or Expelled

According to the Department of Education, black male students who attend public schools are more likely to receive harsh punishments at school than other students.

The Department of Education released data that shows that black students make up 35 percent of the students who have been suspended once, 46 percent of the students who have been suspended more than one time, and 39 percent of students who have been expelled. Interesting enough, the black students were only 19 percent of the total population at the schools that were sampled in the 2009-2010 school year. The surveys also show that black students are 3.5 times more likely to face suspension or expulsion than white students. Black boys were twice as likely as black girls girls to receive an out-of-school suspension as a punishment.

“Education is the civil rights of our generation,” said Arne Duncan, the Secretary of Education. “The undeniable truth is that the everyday education experience for too many students of color violates the principle of equity at the heart of the American promise.”

Hispanic students are also more likely to face sever punishments at public schools. The reports also show that more than 70 percent of students who were arrested or referred to the police for school-related events were Hispanic or black.

This trend can be seen in schools in big cities like Los Angeles and Chicago. In Los Angeles, black students account for only 9 percent of the student population, but they make up 26 percent of the population that has been suspended. In Chicago, they are 45 percent of the student body but 76 percent of the suspended student body.

What happens to these students when they are suspended? Usually the suspensions only last for a few days, but this amount of time is enough for students to fall behind in their coursework, which can lead to them becoming frustrated and dropping out of school.

“The harsh punishments, especially expulsion under zero tolerance and referrals to law enforcement, show that students of color…are increasingly being pushed out of schools, oftentimes into the criminal justice system,” said Deborah Vagins, senior legislative counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union in Washington, D.C..

Although Vagins’ train of thought seems to be jumping to extreme conclusions, it does make sense.

Via The New York Times

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