Students with disabilities are suspended about twice as often as their peers, a new analysis from the Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles at the University of California, Los Angeles, has found.
Analyzing data that districts submitted to the federal Education Department’s office of civil rights, researchers found that the rate of suspension for students with disabilities was about one in 13, compared with 7 percent for students without disabilities.
Most alarming, they said, was that one in four black students with disabilities was suspended at least once during the 2009-10 school year. That figure is 16 percentage points higher than for white students with disabilities. (Nearly one in six African-American students without disabilities was suspended from school during the 2009-10 academic year.)
Some of these students may have an explicit need for help with their behavior outlined in their education plans, which should warrant counseling or appropriate therapy, noted Daniel J. Losen, the director of the Civil Rights Project’s Center for Civil Rights Remedies.