Report Shows Minority Students Suspended at Higher Rates

Greg Toppo, USA Today, October 4, 2011

U.S. public schools suspend black, Hispanic and disabled students at much higher rates than others, according to a new report by a Colorado-based civil rights group.

The report by the National Education Policy Center (NEPC) says that frequent suspensions and expulsions should “raise questions about a school’s disciplinary policies, discrimination, the quality of its school leadership and the training of its personnel.”

The report follows several recent studies in which advocacy groups have questioned harsh school disciplinary policies. {snip}

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The report doesn’t provide any new findings, but instead reviews current statistics from states and the U.S. Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights.

The federal government found that between the 1972-73 and the 2006-07 school years, suspension rates for white students rose from 3% to 5%. Meanwhile, suspension rates for black students rose from 6% to 15%.

Suspension rates for Hispanic students rose from 3% to 7%.

{snip}

Recent federal findings also show that minority students with disabilities are suspended at a much higher rate than white students. In the 2007-08 school year, 16.6% of black disabled students were suspended, vs. 6.7% of white disabled students.

{snip}

[Editor’s Note: View the full report here.]

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  • Anonymous

    I am curious what the definition of disable students is. I have read that a disproportionate number of blacks are put into special ed classes because of intelligence and behavioral issues.

  • Question Diversity

    Recent federal findings also show that minority students with disabilities are suspended at a much higher rate than white students.

    “Disabled” here really doesn’t mean wheelchairs. A “black disabled” student is usually classified “disabled” because of low IQ (hay in a haystack) or ADHD (read: undisciplined) because that “disability” is the vector for the kid’s parents to get SSI. After the ’96 “Welfare Reform,” there was a big lateral move in the ghettos away from the time limited AFDC replacement program, TANF, to SSI, not time limited.

  • Uniculturalist

    It never ceases to amaze me how every discrepancy nowadays is somehow or other attributed to racism. It seems that it never occurs to anyone that something else might be responsible (in this case, misbehavior).

    I experienced forced busing for five years growing up. It was a jungle. None of the hard facts in this article surprises me in the least.

  • PhillyGal

    My good friend was a Special Education teacher in North Philly, and according to her, the natives had the whole system rigged from top-to-bottom. She told me that, per federal law, Special Ed kids were allowed to be suspended only 10 days in one school year. So the “emotional support/seriously emotionally disturbed/emotionally disturbed-behavioral disorder” kids – who were invariably classified “Learning Support” so as not to drive off hard-to-find prospective instructors – would act like total hellions in the first few weeks, using up all their suspension days, and then be “untouchable” for the remainder of the academic year. These kids played federal law like a violin. By October, the only punishment they could suffer was a 5-minute talk with a counselor who’d invariably send the monsters back to their classrooms with a note reading, “This pupil has been counseled.” Even “In-School Suspensions” (i.e., eating lunch in the principal’s outer office instead of the cafeteria)had to be documented for the DOE’s Civil Rights Office. She said that teaching Special Ed in Philadelphia was almost as rewarding as being a mine sweeper in Afghanistan – only there they gave you a gun and a helmet. (The rate of attrition was probably about the same.)After one of her “Special Ed” students carved “DIE, WHITE B****!” into her desk and defacated on her chair (resulting in a stern 5-minute lecture from the counselor), she quit and went to work as an executive secretary. She earns the same and she looks 30 years younger.

  • Alexandra

    My fourth-grader is in special ed due to developmental issues and he knows that he’ll be held accountable for his actions. His teacher fills out a little chart daily. My son knows that any sad faces on it results in punishment, and all happy faces gets rewards.

    He’s actually been doing pretty well so far.

    I also think ADHD is a load of malarkey. Lots of times kids are given stuff that’s high in sugar, so they’re bouncing off the walls. Or it’s the food dyes, or even a deficiency in essential fatty acids. Boys tend to be more active and restless than girls, on top of that.

  • Anonymous

    I guarentee that they are not nearly as high as they should be! I know from first-hand on-the-job experience!

  • on the lam from the Thought Police

    3 — Uniculturalist wrote at 12:52 AM on October 6:

    It never ceases to amaze me how every discrepancy nowadays is somehow or other attributed to racism. It seems that it never occurs to anyone that something else might be responsible (in this case, misbehavior).

    I experienced forced busing for five years growing up. It was a jungle. None of the hard facts in this article surprises me in the least.

    ——

    White racism does not cause black social pathology. Black social pathology causes white racism.

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    Special Ed kids are allowed to be suspended only 10 days in one school year

    Yes, 10 days for special Ed students and for regular students, 20 days. However, a school suspension is entirely different from an in-house or classroom suspension. Still, it is almost impossible to suspend a special Ed student from a special Ed classroom. This is why a special Ed colleague used to send me her worst behavior problems because I, as a regular teacher, could suspend students from my classroom (not the school) much easier than she could.

    Suspending students from school means that they are to be OFF the school grounds for the period of the suspension and will be arrested if they set foot on the campus. However, it is in my teachers’ contract that I have the right to suspend or exclude from my classroom any student that is disruptive or defiant, including special Ed students, even if this means the kid is sent out every single day of the entire school year (I’ve seen this). Classroom suspensions do not count toward the total number of out of school suspension days.

    The following is from my union contract:

    2.0 Student Suspensions:

    The teacher may suspend a student from the teacher’s class for that day and the following day due to:

    a. Disruptive behavior or willful defiance of valid authority

    During the period of the suspension the student shall not be returned to the teacher’s class without the consent of the teacher, or be placed in another regular class.

    We are required to contact a parent but often the phone numbers for these types of kids are disconnected. Teachers must keep meticulous documentation.

    The cost of special Ed is breaking the back of my district, therefore to ameliorate the enormous expense, more special Ed students are being mainstreamed into regular classrooms, their IEPs written specifically to allow for this (they don’t lose their special Ed classification).

    We regular teachers are told this is so “special Ed students are not segregated for the entire day” and because “special Ed students have a right to the same curriculum as regular students.” This is not the reason, of course, it is to hold down the cost of educating them.

    Classes in my district now commonly run 40-50+ and with “inclusive” mainstreaming now mandatory in all schools, somewhere between six to 10 of those students will be special Ed, some of whom have severe or even psychotic behavior issues.

    I strongly suspect that at some point, federal laws WILL be re-written to limit the number of or to prevent classroom suspensions, but as of now, this is not the case.

    But, that is not the real problem. The real problem is a system that insists on maintaining the LIE that ALL races are the exactly the same in every single way — behavior and intelligence — and that ANY disparate result (such as suspension rate or test scores) is the result of White Racism and Oppression.

    Bon

  • sbuffalonative

    When are we going to read this headline?

    “Minority Students Act Up at Higher Rates, Require More Discipline than White Students”

  • Michael C. Scott

    This is interesting, because school districts generally have “zero tolerance” policies in place these days, which effectively take the decision to suspend completely out of the hands of school officials; something other than “racism” is clearly at work here.

    This is why one reads about white high school sophomores being suspended for “drugs” when they give a classmate some of their Tylenol for menstrual cramps, or “weapons” when they bring a plastic picknic knife to lunch in order to spread peanut butter on crackers; sanity has been thrown out the window.

    That said, in spite of lowering the bar for suspensions to a level approaching zero – solely to increase the relative numbers of white suspensions, blacks can still not seem to behave themselves, while whites are able to adapt to these absurd rules, arbitrarily written to trip them up.

    This may be more of that “raciss” stuff again, but I suspect what we are seeing here is more of that funny “IQ” thing.

  • patthemick

    You know since schools get money based on participation they are loath to suspend any student. So to go to the trouble and loss of income the students that get actually suspended have got to be the worst of the worst.