Schools punish minority, disabled children at higher rates – Arizona News

Schools punish minority, disabled children at higher rates – Arizona News

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A report by the ACLU of Arizona confirms that some schools punish minority students and students with disabilities more than their white counterparts. Ashleigh Wilson/azcentral.com
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A new report from the ACLU of Arizona confirms what some Phoenix-area parents have suspected for years: Certain schools punish minority students and students with disabilities at disproportionately high rates.

Black students are eight times more likely to be suspended from charter high schools than their white counterparts, according to the report. Latino students are six times more likely to be suspended than white students in charter high schools.

In district schools, K-12 students with disabilities are twice as likely to be suspended than their peers without disabilities, the report says.

The findings, released Wednesday, have broad implications. Experts say over-disciplining students — particularly using out-of-school suspensions — can push kids away from the education system and toward the criminal-justice system. 

“It doesn’t matter the age. There are kids who are as young as 8 years old that are getting suspended and expelled,” said Luis Ávila, director of the ACLU’s Demand 2 Learn campaign for fair disciplinary practices. “The punishments are so harsh that kids are eventually just dropping out.”

The ACLU report used the most recent data available from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights,…

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