Research shows that students of color, boys, and students with disabilities are more likely to experience disciplinary removals than their peers. Indeed, black students with disabilities are more than twice as likely as peers to be suspended out of school or expelled, and the rates in Texas are even higher. Exclusionary discipline means missed instructional time and is associated with an increased likelihood of dropping out of school and interaction with the criminal justice system. These disparities are troubling both for student outcomes and for district legal liability.
This summer, we posted about comprehensive guidance on discipline and students with disabilities from the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services (OSERS). We continue to anticipate guidance from the Department of Education and Department of Justice related to student discipline and race under Title VI. In the meantime, we want to talk about the intersection of disability and race: significant disproportionality.