Share This Page

Study: Black student suspensions more common

| Monday, May 13, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Black students are suspended more than three times as often as their white classmates, twice as often as their Latino classmates and more than 10 times as often as their Asian classmates in middle and high schools nationwide, a new study shows.

The average American secondary student has an 11 percent chance of being suspended in a single school year, according to the study from the University of California at Los Angeles Civil Rights project. However, if that student is black, the odds of suspension jump to 24 percent.

Previous studies have shown that even a single suspension can double a student's odds of dropping out, said Daniel Losen, a former Boston-area teacher and one of the authors of “Out of School & Off Track: The Overuse of Suspensions in American Middle and High Schools,” released in April. The study used Department of Education data collected during the 2009-10 school year, the latest available.

“Pointing fingers and using the ‘racism' word isn't going to get us where we need to go,” said Losen, who is white. “But I think we need to acknowledge that there may be general bias against black students.”

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.