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Schools Discriminate Against Minorities
Poor schools that have more black and minority students tend to punish students rather than seek medical or psychological interventions for them.
"There's been a real push toward school safety and there's been a real push for schools to show they are being accountable," said David Ramey, assistant professor of sociology and criminology. "But, any zero-tolerance policy or mandatory top-down solutions might be undermining what would be otherwise good efforts at discipline, and not establishing an environment based around all the options available."
Schools and school districts with a greater percentage of black student population had significantly higher rates of expulsions and suspensions, as well as higher rates of referrals to law enforcement and arrests.
"Schools in high disadvantaged districts tend to be centralized, so all the schools in that district tend to develop the same practices," Ramey said. "Schools that are in less disadvantaged districts tend to have more autonomy."
"The bulk of my earlier research looked at how, for the same minor levels of misbehaviors -- for example, classroom disruptions, talking back -- white kids tend to get viewed as having ADHD, or having some sort of behavioral problem, while black kids are viewed as being unruly and unwilling to learn," said Ramey.
Penn State. Sociology of Education
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