Did You Know That This Was Happening to Black Students?

St. Bons Black Blazer/ PaulHalliwell /Wikimedia/CC-SA-3.0

January 16, 2018

There’s a myth that Black students are just “bad kids” because they get in trouble more often than white students in school.

Well, that’s not true, and a Louisiana study has the proof.

Recently, Tulane University’s Education Research Alliance for New Orleans released a policy brief that examined Louisiana’s Department of Education discipline records.

The findings are revealing.

The Alliance found that schools are twice as likely to suspend Black students than white students, whether or not the infraction was violent.

And it happens at all income levels.

The Alliance found that Black students get longer suspensions and harsher punishments than white students for the same infraction. So, a Black student may be sent home for speaking out of turn, while a white student may only receive a warning.

These are staggering statistics, but, unfortunately, this isn’t just happening in Louisiana.

Across the country, Black students are disproportionately punished in schools. The study found that 18 percent of Black boys and 10 percent of Black girls get out-of-school suspension while only 5 percent of white boys and 2 percent of white girls receive the same punishment.

“Education is the civil rights of our generation,” former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said to The New York Times in 2012.

Disciplining Black students for minor offenses and criminalizing behavior is what creates the school-to-prison pipeline.

In a state that houses the largest number of prisoners (Louisiana’s Angola Prison), statistics like these should serve as a call to action.

Black students aren’t more mischievous than other students. At all. They are just treated unfairly.

To learn more about Black students and school discipline, read up on There Is Nothing Wrong With Black Students.  

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