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You Can’t Fix What You Don’t Look At: Acknowledging Race in Addressing Racial Discipline Disparities

Resource type: Research Report

The Discipline Disparities Collaborative |

Recent evidence shows that racial disparities in school discipline are continuing to worsen. According to the latest federal data, black students are suspended and expelled at a rate three and a half times greater than white students. On average, 5 percent of white students are suspended compared to 16 percent of black students.

This report from the Discipline Disparities Collaborative, a group of 26 nationally known researchers, educators, advocates and policy analysts, highlights how our interactions across racial lines continue to yield differential outcomes in school discipline.

To truly acknowledge and confront these disparities, the report argues that schools first need to gather detailed disciplinary data that can be examined for patterns. This data can be used to inform district-wide discussions about why students of color are being suspended and expelled at a higher rate and to support the implementation of new disciplinary approaches that minimize suspensions.

Media Coverage

> Race in School Discipline: Study Looks at Silence Among Educators, Christian Science Monitor, 17 December 2014

Learn More

> Download the Report (PDF)

> Experts: Schools Can’t Address Racial Disparities In Discipline Without Confronting Racial Issues

> Visit the Discipline Disparities Collaborative website

The Discipline Disparities Collaborative is a grantee (via The Trustees of Indiana University) of Atlantic’s Children & Youth programme in the United States, which funds efforts to reform school discipline policies.

Related Resources


Children & Youth, School Discipline Reform

Global Impact:

United States