(Huffington Post) — Black and Latino students are disproportionately more likely to experience harsher punishments by schools for infractions and misbehaviors, according to a new report by the National Education Policy Center. At times, the punishments are unrelated to student safety. While past research has suggested that zero-tolerance discipline that removes troublemakers can improve the learning environment for and safety of well behaved students, the NEPC reports that it’s not necessarily the case. A 2004 study in Indiana showed that most suspensions — 95 percent – were issued for violations like disruptive behavior, while just 5 percent of suspensions were for dangerous behavior like weapons possession. The report was issued today as part of the Dignity in Schools Campaign’s National Week of Action. It’s authored by Daniel Losen, senior education law and policy associate for the Civil Rights Project at the University of California, Los Angeles. “Although our society is more diverse than ever before, schools today are more segregated than they were 30 years ago,” NEPC Director Kevin Welner said in a statement Wednesday. “It’s important to understand the link between diversity, discipline and academic achievement…. being kicked-out leads to becoming a dropout.”
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