Thursday, December 29, 2011
Across the Washington area, black students are suspended and expelled two to five times as often as white students
An analysis shows the phenomenon both in the suburbs and in the city, from the far reaches of Southern Maryland to the subdivisions of Fairfax, Prince George’s and Montgomery counties. In 2010, for example, one in seven black students in St. Mary’s County were suspended from school, compared with one in 20 white students. In Alexandria, black students were nearly six times as likely to be suspended as their white peers. In Fairfax, African American students were four times as likely to be suspended as white students, and Hispanic students were twice as likely. A disproportionate number of black students live below the poverty line or with a single parent, factors that affect disciplinary patterns. In Montgomery, nearly 6% of black students were suspended or expelled from school, compared with 1.2% of white students. 71% of suspensions for insubordination were handed out to black students. African Americans make up 21% of students in Montgomery’s schools. In the Washington suburbs alone, more than 35,000 students were suspended or expelled from school at some point last school year — more than half of them black students. The most recent national figures, from 2006, show that 5% of white students are suspended, compared with 15% of their black classmates, 7% of Hispanics and 3% of Asians.