Monday, September 01, 2014

Appleton suspends more black students than whites

Appleton suspends more black students than whites: African-American students are suspended at a much higher rate than their white counterparts in Fox Cities schools, state and federal data shows.

The most striking disparity is in the Appleton Area School District, where the latest federal data shows that 3.3 percent of black students in Appleton received multiple out-of-school suspensions — compared to 0.3 percent of white students.

That means black students are nearly 12 times more likely to serve multiple out-of-school suspensions than their white peers. The most recent federal data is from 2011. 

Last year, 10.7 percent of the district's black students were suspended, compared with 2.1 percent of white students, according to the state Department of Public Instruction. The figures don't distinguish between in-school and out-of-school suspensions.

About 5 percent of Appleton's 16,000 students are black. School officials say they recognize the inequity and are taking steps to improve the situation.

"The bottom line is it shouldn't be about what race or ethnicity a student is — it should be about behavior and providing a safe environment for every one of our students," said Ben Vogel, an assistant superintendent in Appleton.