The U.S. Department of Education has released startling new findings as part of the Civil Rights Data Collection, which reveals that members of minority communities are subjected to punishment at much greater rates than white students in schools across the country.
The research looked at more than 50 million students and found that black children were four times as likely as white children to be suspended from school during their time as students. They were also twice as likely to get expelled.
The trend can be observed as far back as preschool. They found that black preschoolers were 3.6 times more likely to actually be suspended from school as white preschoolers. Out of the 1,439,188 preschoolers that were a part of the study, 20% were black females. However, that demographic represented 54% of all of the preschool-aged girls who were suspended from school.
Education officials said that the data should lead to further research into how discipline is applied in the classroom. U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King, Jr. told the Los Angeles Times, “We will not compromise away the civil right of all students to an excellent education.”