According to a set of reports by 26 experts, African-American students and those suffering from disabilities are suspended at “hugely disproportionate rates compared to white students.”
The report was compiled by the Discipline Disparities Research-to-Practice Collaborative, which includes experts from fields such as advocacy, policy, social science and law.
“We already knew that African Americans were disproportionately affected, but this new research is also saying that it’s also Latino students, it’s also students with disabilities, it’s also girls of color,” said Russell Skiba, the Indiana University professor who directed the project. “LGBT students may be at risk for increased discipline. These things have a big effect on achievement.”
The researchers found that black students were 1.78 times as likely to be suspended out of school as white students. Latino students’ suspension odds were 2.23 times greater than those of white students. Students with disabilities were suspended at twice the rate of their non-disabled peers, and for longer durations. Worse, 25 percent of black students with disabilities received at least one out-of-school suspension in the 2009-2010 school year.
Latino students, girls of color and LGBT students also were disproportionately suspended. Researchers tie the suspensions to an increase in dropout risks and likelihood that youth will enter the prison system.
Research from the collaborative also shows that removing the “bad kids” from the classroom doesn’t help non-disruptive kids learn.
Discrimination is particularly prevalent in our education and prison systems. How can we combat unfair treatment based on skin color?
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