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African-American Students Receive Disproportionate Number of Suspensions in Alameda Schools

The latest data from the California Department of Education shows that African-Americans receive a disproportionate number of suspensions in Alameda schools. (File Photo)

The latest data from the California Department of Education shows that African-Americans receive a disproportionate number of suspensions in Alameda schools. (File Photo)

The latest California Department of Education data, released to local media today by the Alameda Unified school District (AUSD), shows that African-American students in Alameda receive a disproportionate number of suspensions.

The disconnect in Alameda Unified School District schools is even worse than the state average.

In Alameda, African-American students represent 12 percent of the student population but receive 39 percent of the suspensions. That gap is worse than the statewide figures that show African-American students comprising 6.3 percent of total enrollment, but incurring a more proportional 16.2 percent of total suspensions.

Statewide, African-American students are 2.5 times as likely to be suspended; in Alameda, they are 3.25 times as likely to be suspended.

African-American Students
CaliforniaAUSD
Suspensions %16.239
Enrollment %6.312
Disproportion Multiple2.53.25

Likewise, Hispanic students in Alameda receive a disproportionate number of suspensions. Hispanic or Latino students make up 15 percent of the population but receive 20 percent of the suspensions. Statewide, Hispanic students make up 52.7 percent of the enrollment but receive a more proportional 54.6 percent of suspensions.

“The data show that Hispanic/Latino and African-American students receive more suspensions than other ethnic groups,” said Kelly Lara, director of student services for AUSD. “We are aware that this is a problem and we are working to address this, through our district-wide program, our anti-bullying work, the restorative justice programs at our high schools, and the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) program that we’re implementing at several schools.”

“Clearly, we must continue to work with our staff to learn from this data and reflect on our disciplinary practices,” commented Kirsten Vital, superintendent of the Alameda Unified School District.

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