These Are the States That Suspend Students at the Highest Rates

Rebecca Klein, Huffington Post, February 23, 2015

Schools in the Sunshine State may not rank at the top as far as SAT scores or high school graduation rates, but they did suspend students at the highest rate in the country during the 2011-2012 school year, according to a report released Monday by UCLA’s Center for Civil Rights Remedies.

Using the latest data from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, the report and an accompanying research tool analyzes which states and school districts handed out the most out-of-school suspensions and whom these suspensions most affected.

Overall, while suspension rates for black, white and Latino students were similar in 2011-2012 to suspension rates in the early and mid-2000s, they were still significantly higher than they were in the early 1970s, when the federal government began collecting such data. Black students, Latino students and students with disabilities are still significantly more likely to face this type of punishment.


Florida suspended 19 percent of its secondary school students–a category that includes middle, junior high and high schoolers–during this time period. Alabama, Mississippi and South Carolina suspended 16 percent of those students. North Dakota, at the opposite end of the spectrum, suspended only 3 percent of its secondary school students.



Racial disparities in suspension were especially present in Missouri–a trend that is notable given recent, racially charged protests in the state. At the elementary school level, Missouri had the highest gap in school suspension rates between black and white students. At the middle school, junior high and high school level, Missouri landed in the top five in terms of suspension disparities.



“The Normandy school district in Missouri, where Michael Brown attended, is among the highest suspending districts in the entire nation with an overall suspension rate for black students of just under 50 percent,” Losen said in a press release. {snip}



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