Academic Publications

Separate and Still Unequal: An Analysis of School Discipline

Melissa F. Kwende | Jennifer Wyatt Bourgeois | Howard Henderson | Julian Scott


The chapter examines racial disparities in school suspensions, finding that Black students are suspended at higher rates than White or Hispanic students despite making up only 20% of the student population.

Key Takeaways

  • Black students had much higher suspension rates compared to White and Hispanic students.
  • Male students and economically disadvantaged students also had higher suspension rates.
  • Most suspensions occurred in grades 9-12.
  • Black students received harsher discipline like out-of-school suspension and disciplinary alternative education.
  • The authors recommend reducing discretionary suspensions, using restorative practices, requiring cultural competency training, and improving data collection on discipline.