New research led by scholars at the School of Education at Indiana University in Bloomington shows that deep-seated racial biases contribute to widespread racial disparities in school discipline. The latest government data shows that Black students in the public schools are suspended or expelled at rates that are three and half times the rate for White students.
The authors write that “our history has left us with pervasive and false ideas about ‘races’ that have shaped our perceptions of who is valued and who is not, who is capable and who is not, and who is ‘safe’ and who is dangerous.'”
The authors conclude that “because we don’t discuss and then address the racial dynamics of our racially disproportionate discipline, racial disparities in discipline continue to worsen over time.” They recommend that “schools and districts will make the most progress if data open a door to reflective and critical conversations about the ways in which school processes, adult actions, and adult interactions with students may contribute to disciplinary outcomes.”
The paper, “You Can’t Fix What You Don’t Look At: Acknowledging Race in Addressing Racial Discipline Disparities,” can be downloaded by clicking here.