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NYC School Suspensions Down, but Disparities Persist

11.01.2016 | Public News Service | According to Dawn Yuster, school justice project director at Advocates for Children of New York, black students still are being suspended at a rate more than three-and-a-half-times greater than white students...Just as striking is the disproportionate number of students with disabilities being suspended. Yuster pointed out that students with disabilities are less than 20 percent of the student body, but were more than 38 percent of the total number of suspensions. "What we're seeing is that students who need the most help: behavioral supports, mental health supports, are not getting the kind of help that they need," she added.

Disparities in suspensions are a nationwide problem. Yuster noted that the federal Department of Education has released guidelines for devising alternatives to suspension. And Advocates for Children of New York is calling on the city and other advocates to strategically invest in finding ways to keep students in the classroom and learning. "We strongly believe implementing restorative practices on a large-scale basis, collaborative problem-solving, will promote positive school climates and also reduce the racial disparities," she said. Read article