Skip to main content

People of color comprise one-third of Minnesota students, but two-thirds of suspensions

The disparity was revealed in a state report on Friday.
  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

What's happening?

A new report by the Minnesota Department of Human Rights highlights the racial disparities that exists within the state's schools system when it comes to suspending and expelling students.

The state says that students who miss classroom time are less likely to graduate and achieve success later in life.

It reviewed all suspensions and expulsions except for those in which there was a physical safety concern, violence or fighting, or possession of a weapon or drugs

It found that of the remaining suspensions and expulsions, 55 percent "were the result of a subjective judgment made by the school officials, leading to disparate results."

What did it find?

This subjective judgment has contributed to a significant disparity in the number of white students being severely punished compared to non-white students.

The study found students of color comprise around one-third of Minnesota student numbers, yet accounted for 66 percent of all suspensions or expulsions.

Here are some other findings:

  • American-Indian students were ten times more likely to be suspended or expelled than white peers.
  • African–American students were eight times more likely to be suspended or expelled than white peers.
  • Students of color were twice more likely to be suspended or expelled than white peers.
  • Students with disabilities were twice more likely to be suspended or expelled as their peers without a disability.

"Studies have proven that higher rates of school suspensions and expulsions among students of color and students with disabilities can have lasting negative impacts in their lives and education," said Human Rights Commissioner Kevin Lindsey in a press release.

"That is why the Minnesota Department of Human Rights takes seriously any allegation or evidence that indicate disciplinary measures are falling disproportionately upon children of color and students with disabilities in our schools. It is our responsibility to fully review such allegations, and work with local school officials to ensure equal treatment under the law for all kids."

The department is engaging school districts about ways to protect students' civil rights when it comes to disciplinary procedures.

In spite of this, progress is being made reducing the achievement gap between white students and students of color. The high school graduation rate for students of color has risen 11.1 percent since 2012.

Next Up

covid

COVID: More help coming to Minnesota hospitals, Walz says

More than 200 medical professionals are coming to help at short-staffed hospitals.

Screen Shot 2022-01-28 at 9.04.12 AM

Suspect arrested after falling asleep in vehicle at rest stop

The man was sleeping in a stolen vehicle in the parking lot of an I-94 rest area.

DOminos pizza flickr mr blue maumau

Charges: Edina man threatened to shoot up Domino's Pizza

He claimed a delivery driver had flipped him off, the charges say.

carvana vending machine

Carvana seeking to build vehicle vending machine in Twin Cities

The online car dealership submitted a letter of intent to buy land in the metro to build a fulfillment center.

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah

Coller: New Vikings GM Adofo-Mensah needs to be ruthless

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah needs to make some big, difficult decisions, writes Matthew Coller.

Patrick Graham

Report: Vikings to interview Giants' Patrick Graham for head coach

Graham coached with the Patriots under Bill Belichick for six years.

floor and decor screengrab

Home brand plans 'flagship' store in Maple Grove AMC Theater space

This will be the company's first Minnesota location.

covid

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Friday, January 28

The state is still in the process of catching up with 10,000 yet-to-be processed tests.

Bryan Acuna

Twins sign 16-year-old brother of Braves star Ronald Acuna Jr.

Bryan Acuna is one of the top international prospects, according to MLB.com.

Christopher Endicott

Authorities: Former principal who died in MN jail took his own life

He was found unresponsive in the jail last November.

Related

More students of color are graduating, and the achievement gap is closing

The overall graduation rate in Minnesota was 82.2 percent in 2016, the highest ever recorded in the state.

How was a Minnesota third grader able to fire a police officer's loaded gun?

The incident caused alarm at the Harmony Learning Center on Monday.

Racist message found hidden in yearbook leads to student's suspension

The first letter of each word in the student's senior note spelled out a racist phrase.

MN students get highest ACT scores in states where most take test

The national results were published on Wednesday.

graduation-2038864_1280

Minnesota's high school graduation rate hit record high in 2018

It was revealed as part of Minnesota's first 'State of our Students' report.