Michael Brown’s High School Has an Alarmingly High Suspension Rate

By Julianne Hing Aug 14, 2014

Michael Brown, the 18-year-old African-American teen who was gunned down by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, last Saturday lived in a community with longstanding residential segregation, issues with racial profiling and concerns about the racial makeup of its police force. He also graduated from Normandy High School, a racially isolated high school with a dismal graduation rate–and alarmingly high school suspension rate. 

The national suspension rate for secondary schools is 11 percentNormandy’s was nearly four times that, journalist Dana Goldstein reports in a portrait of Normandy High school by the numbers.

Typically, racial disproportionality is a central part of the conversation around school suspensions. But African-American students already make up 98 percent of the school, so it’s barely surprising that the school’s black students received 99 percent of the school’s out-of-school suspensions in 2011.

Read Goldstein’s blog post, which offers a quick look at the conditions Brown went to school in and survived before he was killed.

Read Colorlines’ long look into the school-to-prison pipeline, its impact on black youth and efforts to reimagine the school discipline paradigm in our Life Cycles of Inequity series.