Minority Students Face Harsher Punishments than Whites

More than 70% of students involved in school-related arrests or cases referred to law enforcement were Hispanic or African-American, the Associated Press Reports.

A report that will be released Education Department Tuesday raises questions on the severity of treatment minorities receive when facing disciplinary action. Black students are more than three times as likely as their white peers to be suspended or expelled, AP reports.

The report is a culmination of civil rights data from 2009-10 of more than 72,000 schools serving 85 percent of the nation.

“The sad fact is that minority students across America face much harsher discipline than non-minorities, even within the same school,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan told AP.

Duncan said some school officials might not have been aware of inconsistencies in how they handle discipline, and he hoped the report would be an eye-opener, according to AP.

According to the report, 42% of the referrals to law enforcement involve black students and 29% involved Hispanics, while 35% of students involved in school-related arrests were black and 37% were Hispanic.

Black students made up 18% of the students in the sample, but they were 35% of students suspended once and 39% of students expelled, according to the report.

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