Report says discipline more likely for black students

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Black students and students with disabilities are far more likely than whites to face school discipline, including corporal punishment, suspension and expulsion, according to a report released Thursday by the ACLU of Missouri.

The report "From School to Prison: Missouri's Pipeline of Injustice," found students subjected to school discipline are less likely to succeed and more likely to face legal trouble as they grow up.

"Disproportionate and excessive discipline of children not only deprives them of their right to education, but can also put them on a path to prison," the report said.

The ACLU compiled information from studies by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights, and Missouri-specific data from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The Rev. Dietra Wise Baker, organizer of St. Louis' "Break the Pipeline" campaign, said at a news conference that current disciplinary methods are "infected with racism" and must change. She has worked for years with troubled youth and said undue school discipline feeds their feelings of inferiority.

"They really do believe they are disposable and unimportant," Baker said.

Black students are removed from classrooms at rates far higher than whites, "creating a new kind of separate and unequal education," the report said.

Don't Miss a Story

Sign up for our newsletter to receive daily news directly in your inbox.