National Institute on Aging

Huge Racial Disparities in School Suspensions and Expulsions

department_of_educationThe Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education has issued a new report on discipline in the nation’s schools which shows a wide racial disparity even for very young children. Among the findings of the report are:

  • Black children represent 18 percent of preschool enrollment, but 48 percent of preschool children receiving more than one out-of-school suspension.
  • Black students are suspended and expelled at a rate three times greater than White students. On average, 5 percent of White students are suspended, compared to 16 percent of Black students.
  • While boys receive more than two out of three suspensions, Black girls are suspended at higher rates (12 percent) than girls of any other race or ethnicity.
  • While Black students represent 16 percent of student enrollment, they represent 27 percent of students referred to law enforcement and 31 percent of students subjected to a school-related arrest.


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