In schools across the United States, Black students are punished more severely than their peers. But nowhere are Black students suspended or expelled more than in the South.
A study released today by the Center for Race and Equity in Education — as reported in the New York Times — reveals that 55 percent of the 1.2 million Black students suspended in the U.S. live in just 13 Southern states.
Researchers Edward Smith and Shaun Harper offer a state-by-state, school district-by-district examination of school discipline for Black students in the South.
Smith and Harper found Black students were consistently suspended and expelled at higher rates than their peers across the region. This held true in urban, suburban, and rural districts, for both Black boys and Black girls.
View Video of Harper & Smith:
“We want policy makers, parents and everybody to understand that any degree of disproportionality is in need of redress and response,” Harper told the Times.
As the Times notes:
The report includes recommendations for how educators and communities can work to improve school discipline, including recommendations for more in-depth discussions about race in teacher education programs.
“This is at least partly attributed to people having these racist assumptions about Black kids,” Harper told the Times. “We argue that too little happens in schools of education to raise consciousness about that.”