The New York Times reports today on a Southern Poverty Law Center study that shows black middle school students — boys and girls — are three to four times more likely to be suspended than white students.
The co-authors, Daniel J. Losen, a senior associate at the Civil Rights Project at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Russell Skiba, a professor at Indiana University, said they focused on suspensions from middle schools because recent research had shown that students’ middle school experience was crucial for determining future academic success.
One recent study of 400 incarcerated high school freshmen in Baltimore found that two-thirds had been suspended at least once in middle school.
The study did not include any Arkansas school districts, but disparate punishment rates have long been an issue in the Pulaski desegregation lawsuit. They continue to be an issue in North Little Rock and Pulaski County, not yet dismissed from the lawsuit.