Racial disparities in school discipline?

Poor students are disciplined more frequently. Studies have found that low-income students are consistently over-represented in the use of out-of-school suspension. A variety of variables typically associated with poverty, including presence of mother or father in the home, number of siblings, and quality of home resources, are significantly associated with the likelihood of suspension.

It is not entirely clear however, that this relationship is due to students from poverty backgrounds engaging in more disruption: Reviews of the literature have shown that, while poverty does correlate with increases in disruption or behavioural disorders, those relationships tend to be small.

Even if poverty did have an impact on rates of suspension and expulsion, that does not necessarily mean it would have an impact on racial and ethnic disparities in discipline. Whether racial disparities in school disciplineacial disparities in school discipline are due entirely to poverty status can be tested statistically through multivariate statistical analyses.

These analyses have consistently found that race remains a significant predictor of Black over-representation in suspension even after holding poverty constant; that is, while African American students in poverty are more likely to be suspended than poor White students, middle and upper class Black students are also more likely to be suspended than their peers at the same demographic level. Finding that urban schools consistently suspended a higher proportion of Black students out-of-school even after controlling for poverty.

In the UK: Black Caribbean boys are around six times more likely to be permanently excluded from UK schools than white boys, according to Department for Education and Employment Statistics. While there has been a lot of media interest in soaring school exclusion rates in England and Wales, the statistic no longer appears to shock. Yet for black Caribbean families it amounts to a crisis in the education of their children. With an estimated 10,000 – 14,000 permanent exclusions during 1995-96, schools are dumping the population of a small town each year. This suggests bad practice and possible unlawful discrimination in managing behaviour in schools. Exclusion from school often means the denial of the child’s right to education; once excluded a pupil has only a 15% chance of returning to mainstream schooling.

The cross-cultural validity of child disorders may vary drastically depending on the disorder, but empirical evidence that attests for the cross-cultural validity of diagnostic criteria for each child disorder is lacking. There is a need for studies that investigate the extent to which gene–environment interactions are related to specific disorders across cultures. Clinicians are urged to consider culture and context in determining the way in which children’s psychopathology may be manifested independent of their views.





Audrey Osler. 'School exclusions: a denial of the right to education', Human Rights Education Newsletter, No 18, Autumn 1997.Brantlinger, E. (1991). Social class distinctions in adolescents’ reports of problems and punishment in school. Behavioral Disorders, 17, 36-46; Noltemeyer, A., & Mcloughlin, C. S. (2010). Patterns of exclusionary discipline by school typology, ethnicity, and their interactions. Perspectives on Urban Education, 7, 27-40; Skiba, R. J., Peterson, R. L., & Williams, T. (1997). Office referrals and suspension: Disciplinary intervention in middle schools. Education and Treatment of Children, 20, 295-316; Wu, S. C., Pink, W. T., Crain, R. L., & Moles, O. (1982). Student suspension: A critical reappraisal. The Urban Review, 14, 245-303. 6 Hinojosa, M. S. (2008). Black-white differences in school suspensions: Effect on student beliefs about teachers. Sociological Spectrum, 28, 175-193.Letourneau, N. L., Duffett-Leger, L., Levac, L., Watson, B., & Young-Morris, C. (2013). Socioeconomic status and child development: A meta-analysis. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 21, 211-224.http://www.indiana.edu/~atlantic/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/African-American-Differential-Behavior_031214.pdfaccessed24/08/16(Picture)quotesgram accessed 24/08/16- Dimitrina Petrova, Denial of Racism

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