NEW: ACLU Reports RI Public Schools Handed Out 12,682 Suspensions Last Year
Friday, November 13, 2015
RI ACLU has issued a report that highlights what they say is the over-suspension of students and that students of color and those disabilities remain most affected. The report found that Rhode Island public schools handed out 12,682 suspensions in the last school year. The report also showed that students with disabilities and students of color served a disproportionate amount of the suspensions.
"Rhode Island’s children with disabilities and children of color have for too long borne the brunt of a system over-reliant on removing children from the classroom rather than correcting their behavior. The last school year was no exception. Our children deserve the opportunity to learn from their mistakes rather than potentially face a lifetime of severe consequences. Earlier this year, the General Assembly stood poised to make Rhode Island a leader in protecting children from the over-reliance on suspensions. We hope that swift action when the General Assembly reconvenes in January ensures that Rhode Island’s children will no longer find themselves cast out of school because of a bad day," said Hilary Davis, ACLU or RI policy associate and the author of the report.
The Report's Findings
The suspensions handed out last year resulted in over 25,000 lost school days and saw over 1,000 elementary school students suspended. Seventy five of them were in kindergarten.
Of the suspensions that were handed out, over 60% of them came as a result of low-risk behavioral offenses like "disorderly conduct" or "insubordination/Disrespect."
The report found that black elementary school students were six times more likely then their site classmates to be suspended, while Hispanic students were three and a half times more likely than white elementary school students to be suspended.
The report also found that students with disabilities who have individualized education plans were more than two-and-a-half time more likely to be suspended than a student without disabilities.
This ACLU report comes after the Rhode Island General Assembly nearly approved this year of legislation to limit the use of suspensions to only situations in which a child poses a serious physical risk. The ACLU has recommended that the General Assembly enact the legislation as soon as it convenes for its 2016 session.
The ACLU has also recommended the the Rhode Island Department of Education work with districts to determine solutions for high suspension rates.
The ACLU reminds parents of their right to appeal suspensions that they believe e were unfairly imposed.
Click here for previous ACLU of RI reports on suspensions.
- NEW: ACLU Sues Providence Police for Violation at Raimondo Fundraiser
- NEW: ACLU Files Suit Over Medical Marijuana Discrimination
- NEW: RI ACLU Announces Racial Disparities Increasing During Motor Vehicle Stops
- ACLU Questions Kennedy Plaza Security System
- Racial Disparities Report by RI ACLU Called “Extraordinary” by Community Leaders
- NEW: ACLU Calls for Investigation of Cranston Police Dept. Practices
- TONIGHT: Fund for Community Progress Honors GoLocalProv + ACLU
- NEW: RI ACLU Files New Motion Against Board of Education
- ACLU: Dept of Ed Admits NECAP Does Not Measure College Readiness
- NEW: ACLU, Advocacy Groups Battle RIDE Over RI NECAP Scores
- RI ACLU Finds Suspension Discrepancy for Black vs. White Students
- ACLU Report: RI Elementary Schools Promote Gender Stereotypes
- ACLU Blasts Motel 6 Agreement To Share Guest List With Warwick PD
- Homeland Security Test at T.F. Green Opposed by RI ACLU
- RI ACLU Asks Cranston City Council to Further Investigate Police Practices
- NEW: RI ACLU Defends Sex Offenders Against Law Forcing Them to Move
- NEW: RI ACLU “Deeply Troubled” by Pawtucket Protests and Arrests
- ACLU Files Lawsuit Challenging Residency Restriction of Sex Offenders
- RI ACLU Asks Fung for Full Report on Cranston Police Dept. Investigation
- NEW: Providence Sued by ACLU Over Musician’s Ability to Play in Public
- NEW: RI ACLU Questions “Superficial” Motel 6 Guest List Change
- New ACLU Report: Racial Disparities In RI School Suspensions Highest in Decade
- ACLU of RI Files Lawsuit That Challenges 106-Year-Old Statute
- ACLU of RI Supports Supreme Court Decision On Hotels Giving Police Guest Lists
- NEW: Harmony Fire District Charged With Sex Discrimination by RI ACLU