The Rhode Island Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is again raising alarms bells about racial disparities in school suspensions. The group has released a new report citing little improvement in the 2013-2014 school year.
According to the study, one out of every six black male students got suspended from a Rhode Island public school during the 2013-2014 school year,
The reports finds that statewide, suspension rates declined for white students but hit their highest level in a decade for Black, Hispanic and Native American students.
The numbers vary depending on the district, but Newport, Cranston and Woonsocket are among those suspending a disproportionate number of both black and Hispanic students. The study finds black elementary school students are three times more likely to be suspended than they should, based on their overall numbers in the public school population.
As is often the case, boys are more likely to be suspended than girls, but the report finds racial disparities exist regardless of sex.
The report also finds that nearly 60 percent of all school suspensions were for nonviolent offenses characterized as disorderly conduct, and insubordination or disrespect.