Black Students Face More Arrests Than Whites: US

Arne Duncan: Minorities suffer 'harsher discipline'

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 6, 2012 5:40 PM CST

(Newser) – African-American students are arrested much more frequently than whites in America's large public schools, according to the government's largest-ever study of the subject. Among school systems with more than 50,000 students, 35% of arrests involved African-Americans, though they represent just 24% of the student body. White students represented 21% of arrests and 31% of the population, the Washington Post reports. Hispanic students accounted for 37% of arrests and 34% of enrollment.

There remains a racial gap in student suspensions and expulsions as well, the data shows. "The sad fact is that minority students across America face much harsher discipline than non-minorities—even within the same school," says Education Secretary Arne Duncan, though he notes that the US isn't "alleging overt discrimination in some or all of these cases." In total, the data covered some 76,000 schools, which saw 96,000 students arrested and 242,000 "referred" to police. Student arrests are a major concern, notes an NAACP rep: "A first-time arrest doubles the chances a student will drop out. A first-time court appearance quadruples them.”

There's a big racial disparity in school arrests, US data shows.
There's a big racial disparity in school arrests, US data shows.   (Shutterstock)
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