Disproportionate Impact of K-12 School Suspension and Expulsion on Black Students in Southern States

– Download Full Report –

Author(s): University of PennsylvaniaGraduate School of Education

  • Edward J. Smith
  • Shaun R. Harper

Published: Aug. 25, 2015

Report Intro/Brief:
“Nationally, 1.2 million Black students were suspended from K-12 public schools in a single academic year – 55% of those suspensions occurred in 13 Southern states. Districts in the South also were responsible for 50% of Black student expulsions from public schools in the United States.

This report aims to make transparent the rates at which school discipline practices and policies impact Black students in every K-12 public school district in 13 Southern states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. Despite comprising only 20.9% of students in the 3,022 districts analyzed, Blacks were suspended and expelled at disproportionately high rates.

The authors use data from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights to present school discipline trends related to Black students district-by-district within each state. Districts in which school discipline policies and practices most disproportionately impact Black students are also highlighted. The report concludes with resources and recommendations for parents and families, educators and school leaders, policymakers, journalists, community stakeholders (NAACP chapters, religious congregations, activists, etc.), and others concerned about the school-to-prison pipeline and the educational mistreatment of Black youth in K-12 schools. The authors also offer implications for faculty in schools of education, as well as other sites in which teachers are prepared (e.g., Teach for America) and administrators are certified.”


Youth Today is the only independent, internationally distributed digital media publication that is read by thousands of professionals in the youth service field.

Youth Today adheres to high-quality journalistic standards, providing readers with professional news coverage dedicated to examining a wide spectrum of complex issues in the youth services industry from legislation to community-based youth work.


Our organization retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. We maintain a firewall between news coverage decisions and sources of all revenue.


We are committed to transparency in every aspect of funding our organization. Donors may be quoted, mentioned or featured in our stories. Our news judgments are made independently – not based on or influenced by donors. Accepting financial support does not mean we endorse donors or their products, services or opinions…(read more)



Recent Comments

Kennesaw State University Mountain Logo & Ceneter for Sustainable Journalism Logo
LOGO Institute for Nonprofit News 3 turquoise boxes stacked in "J" shape

Copyright © 2018 Youth Today and MVP Themes --- Published by Center for Sustainable Journalism,
Kennesaw State University, 1200 Chastain Blvd. Suite 310, Kennesaw GA 30144

To Top