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African American black girl student doing an exam at elementary school. Adorable young girl children sitting indoors on table, feeling upset and depressed while learning with teacher at kindergarten.

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A new 2024 report focused on the youngest children has found that there is “ongoing, excessive, and inequitable over-disciplining of Black students, especially boys.” The study, conducted by Calvin Zimmerman, the O’Shaughnessy Assistant Professor of Education at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, used data collected from the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC), which is the largest national database for school districts and buildings.

So as much as white conservatives bemoan what they perceive as anti-white racism in America, and as much as they use that narrative to come for critical race theory, wokeness and all programs that promote diversity, equity and inclusion, the fact is, white people’s grievances regarding anti-white racial discrimination is never backed by up by any independent data.

Let’s set the table about a few things independent data tells us about Black people who are older than preschoolers. Despite the factless and unhinged rantings of the racists, what we already know is statistically true is that Black men are given 20% longer sentences than white men who commit the same crime and have the same criminal history.

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It is true that Black people are more likely to be stopped by police. It is statistically true that white Americans use and sell drugs more often than Black Americans, but Black people are arrested on drug charges at far higher rates. And it is true that the discrimination that drives those stats don’t begin in young adulthood or adulthood: the average non-white school district receives $2,226 less per student than a majority-white school district. And virtually every study done on Black children and schooling finds that Black school-aged children are disciplined more often and more harshly than their white counterparts.

This study underscores in particular that the racial discrimination that drives the disparities in disciplinary action against students begins with children as young as 5–preschoolers. Which means that before Black kids even have the cognitive ability to truly understand the concept of racism, they have already been subjected to it on a systemic level.

From Diverse Education:

The OCR’s CRDC gathers and publishes key information about student access to educational opportunities and school climate from public schools (pre-K through 12th grade) in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. In this 2022 snapshot of the 2017-18 school year, OCR found stark differences in suspensions between Black boys and all other student groups. Table 1 presents findings from the CRDC. Boys of all races were disproportionately disciplined, but Black boys were suspended and expelled at proportions that were three times their school enrollment. To this point, in each year of data Zimmermann (2024) analyzed, Black elementary students were more likely to be suspended than white secondary students. For more information, we refer readers to Figure 2 in the report, titled “Trends in Out-of-School Suspension Rates, by Race and Ethnicity and School Level, 1973, 2011–12 to 2017–18.”

Zimmermann (2024) found that “the suspension gap between Black students and their peers in other racial and ethnic groups, regardless of their disability status, also saw little progress over the 6 years of data we analyzed. For example, in 2011–12, Black students with disabilities were suspended at 2.5 times the rate of White students with disabilities (23% vs. 10%), a 13 percentage point difference. By 2017–18, this disparity had only decreased slightly to 11 percentage points (19% vs. 7%).”

While the findings of the study do show that boys, regardless of race, receive more and harsher discipline than girls, they also show that “Black girls were the only group across all races/ethnicities who disproportionately received suspensions and expulsions.”

You can read Zimmerman’s full study for yourself here.

See Also:

Racism In Schools: A Long-Standing Legacy Of Cultural Assimilation

How To Stop The Criminalization Of Black Girls In Our Schools


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