Girls of color are suspended at far higher rates than white girls in Missouri, Kansas and throughout the country, a study has found.
In Missouri, girls of color are 4.1 times as likely to be suspended than white girls, the report found. That puts the state among the 14 worst in the country in terms of the widest disparities in suspensions by race.
In Kansas, girls of color are 3.2 times as likely to be suspended than white girls, a rate close to the median for the country.
In every state, black girls were more than twice as likely to be suspended than white girls. In every state but Alabama, Latinas were more likely to be suspended than white girls.
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The study by the National Women’s Law Center was released last month. The nonprofit, which aims to affect policy to improve women’s lives, cites the Office of Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Education as the source for its data. The data are from 2013 and 2014 and were compiled into an interactive map.
“Black girls face high and disproportionate suspension rates across the country,” said Neena Chaudhry, the director of education for the nonprofit, “and it’s not because they are misbehaving more frequently than other girls. This uneven discipline is often the result of deeply ingrained racist and sexist stereotypes that push Black girls out of school.”
Kansas is the ninth-worst state in the nation in terms of the disparity in suspensions between black and white girls. In Kansas, 8.1 percent of black girls were suspended compared with 1.2 percent of white girls.
Washington, D.C., had by far the worst disparity, where 8.5 percent of girls of color are suspended compared with 0.6 percent of white girls. The state also has the highest disparity between black and white girls (9.9 percent vs. 0.6 percent).
The NWLC stated girls of color in the study includes those who are black, Latina, Native American, Asian and Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander.
“The startling numbers should be a wake-up call for educators to address this urgent issue and protect these students’ right to an education,” Chaudhry said. “Black girls’ futures are depending on it.”