According to the 2011-2012 District and School reports by the Federal Office of Civil Rights, Black and American Indian students are far more likely to receive out-of-school suspensions than students of other races. As students get older, the gap gets bigger. Though there are racial disparities in St. Paul public elementary schools, far fewer students of all races are suspended. However, by middle school more than 15 percent of black students and almost 20 percent of American Indian students are suspended, while less than three percent of Asian and White students receive suspensions. The graph above shows the racial disparities of students receiving one or more out-of-school suspensions in different stages of education.
Not included in this data: 1,045 students in alternative schools. The St. Paul Public School District has a wide variety of alternative schools, most of which rarely suspend students. Out of the 12 alternative schools and programs, only four students were suspended in 2011-2012. These schools are often for students with medical problems, or a last stop for students who could not succeed in traditional school environments.
The data used for this story come from the Office of Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Education. A spreadsheet with the collected SPPS data can be found here:
This is one of a number of articles produced by students at Macalester as part of a New Media class.