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The Capitol of Suspensions: Examining the Racial Exclusion of Black Males in Sacramento County

by Frank Harris, III; J. Luke Wood; Tyrone C. Howard

Jun 18, 2018

The authors examine the suspension rates of young black males in Sacramento County's public schools.

  • The authors recommend school districts implement intensive, ongoing professional development for all educators on unconscious bias, racial microaggressions, culturally mediated behaviors, and teaching practices for boys and young men of color.
  • One-third of all Black male foster youth are suspended, and the rate for Black male foster youth in 7th and 8th grade increases to 59 percent.
  • Black males are 5.4 times more likely to be suspended in Sacramento County public schools than their peers.
  • The report recommends the establishment of a countywide exclusionary discipline task force that can investigate districts and schools in the county with high levels of suspensions for Black males.
  • Policy-makers and educators should recognize the role that cultural misunderstanding and differences have in producing disparities in suspension.
  • Schools should provide avenues for students to report educators who they feel are unduly 'targeting' them for discipline with follow-up with students afterwards.
  • The report also suggests school districts require that advocates be involved as independent representatives for any foster youth who is subject to suspension.