Black public-school students in Colorado are nearly three times as likely to face serious discipline as their white peers, a disparity that is persistently growing despite efforts to curb it.
In the 2008-09 school year, about 70,000, or 8.5 percent, of the state's 818,000 students were suspended, expelled or disciplined for being disruptive, according to a Denver Post analysis of newly released data. Reasons ranged from drug, weapon and alcohol infractions to disobedient and detrimental behavior, the most common — and subjective — reasons.
But while black students make up just 5.9 percent of the student population, they were the subject of 12.7 percent of the discipline cases, up from 11.7 percent five years ago. White students, who were about 61 percent of the population, were the subject of 46.8 percent of discipline cases.
Latino students make up 28.4 percent of the population and were involved in 37 percent of discipline cases, another persistent gap.