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Report points to racial disparity in out-of-school suspensions

The disciplinary measures schools take can have major impacts on students. So, one would hope all schools would act fairly in their disciplinary decisions. One would certainly hope schools would take great care to not let discrimination, such as racial discrimination, seep into such decisions.

Among the things that can raise serious questions and concerns as to whether racial bias and discrimination are playing a role in school disciplinary actions are major racial disparities when it comes to the use of a given school disciplinary measure.

A recent report points to there being such a disparity when it comes to out-of-school suspensions given to female students.

The report was by the National Black Women’s Justice Institute. It analyzed federal data covering the 2013-2014 school year to compare the out-of-school suspension likelihood of black girls and white girls. The report found that, nationally, the likelihood of being given such a suspension was over seven times higher for black girls than it was for white girls.

The report also looked at how the size of this disparity varied between the different regions of the United States. In the region Florida is in, the South, the disparity was smaller than the national average. However, it was still plenty sizable. According to the report, in this region, the likelihood of receiving an out-of-school suspension was five times higher among black girls than white girls.

What do you think is causing the disparity this report points to? How prevalent of a problem do you think racial bias and discrimination are in school discipline in Florida and the rest of the U.S.?

No child should have to face wrongful discrimination, such as racial discrimination, at school. When a parent suspects their child is being treated unfairly at school, such as being unfairly disciplined, for discriminatory reasons, they may wonder what actions they can take to stand up for their child’s rights. Education lawyers can advise parents on what steps can be taken in response to suspected discrimination at school.

Source: Huffington Post, “Black Girls Are 7 Times More Likely To Be Suspended Than White Girls: Report,” Taryn Finley, Sept. 11, 2017

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