Black public school students in the US are suspended and expelled at a significantly disproportionate rate in 13 Southern states, according to a new study from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education.
“On average, Blacks were 24% of students in the 3,022 districts we analysed, but rates at which they were suspended and expelled are disproportionately high,” write GSE student Edward J. Smith and professor Shaun R. Harper, who also runs the school’s Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education.
Black students accounted for 100% of suspensions in 84 districts, and 75% in 346 districts, according to the report. Additionally, black students accounted for 100% of expulsions in 181 districts, and 75% in 255 districts.
This divide is evident from early in a student’s education, according to a 2014 Department of Education study. As NPR notes, the ED study found that “black children make up 18% of preschoolers, but make up nearly half of all out-of-school suspensions.”
Here’s a deeper look into the stats at the 13 states included in the UPenn report:
As the UPenn authors point out, this could have a real life effect for students outside of the classroom.
“The overrepresentation of Blacks among students impacted by discipline policies and practices has incontestably helped sustain the ‘school-to-prison pipeline,’ a term that signifies the roles schools play in putting certain students on pathways into the criminal justice system,” Smith and Harper write.
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