Several studies have found black students are suspended more often and for smaller infractions across the country but new data released by the U.S. Department of Education on Tuesday shows Los Angeles’ black students are getting it the worse.
Howard Blume at the Los Angeles Times reports:
That year [ 2009-10 academic year] black students made up about 9% of the enrollment in the Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation’s second-largest. But they accounted for 26% of suspensions — a ratio of almost 3 to 1. Latinos, whites and Asians were suspended at rates lower than their percentage of district enrollment.
In New York City, by contrast, black students account for 40% of enrollment and 46% of suspensions; the numbers for Chicago are 45% and 76%. In San Diego Unified, the nation’s 17th-largest school system, African Americans make up 11% of enrollment and 24% of suspensions.
“Disciplinary policies are racially profiling African American students,” Marqueece Harris-Dawson, president of the nonprofit Community Coalition, told the LA Times. “It is not that African American students are lazy, unmotivated or not smart. These students are being pushed out of schools.”
The suspension discrepancy is included in statistics collected by the department’s Office for Civil Rights and available at ocrdata.ed.gov/.