The Relationship Between Ethnicities and Suspensions
Robertson, Clifford Gregory
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Inappropriate behavior among students has long been a point of great concern and contention for public schools in the United States. Our national school discipline rates have reached an all-time high. As suspension and expulsion rates continue to grow at schools across the country, so do racial disparities. Over the past 4 decades, the K, "12 suspension rates have doubled for White students but tripled for Black students. In Arlington County Public Schools (ACPS), inappropriate student behavior that may result in suspension is classified as either "zero-tolerance" (for which the student must be suspended) or "nonzero-tolerance" (for which the school administrator can choose between suspension and other forms of discipline). Suspension is assumed to be one of the more severe forms of discipline. This study analyzes the impact that student ethnicity had on suspensions in ACPS during school years 2006 to 2011. The results indicate that Hispanic and Black students are suspended more than White and Asian students. However, when the administrator has the option to suspend, results suggest that Blacks and Whites are given the benefit of the doubt but Hispanics are not. Possible causes of the relationship between ethnicity and inappropriate behavior are provided. Reasoning for school administrators' possible leniency with Blacks and their possible lack of leniency with Hispanics is also provided. Areas of future study are recommended.
- Doctoral Dissertations