Black children are more likely to be disciplined than white kids for the same behavior

By Brett Arends

African-American students are nearly four times as likely to be suspended from school as Caucasians, researchers say.

And a new study may help explain why.

It alleges to have uncovered evidence of racial bias among a sample of school principals and assistant principals.

African-American middle-school and high-school boys were more likely to be seen as troublemakers, and their misbehavior more severe, than Caucasian counterparts for exactly the same behavior, researchers found.

The results help explain not only issues relating to school discipline, but also problems with education and life chances, the researchers added. School suspensions can end up having serious long-term consequences for the students, they note.

Students who have been suspended from school can fall badly behind others in key metrics such as reading skills. “The more students fall behind, the less likely they are to graduate from high school or enter college and the more likely they are to become incarcerated, a growing concern called the ‘school-to-prison pipeline,’” the researchers add.

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