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African-American girls with darker skin complexions are almost twice as likely as their white peers to be suspended from school, but African-American teen girls with lighter skin tones are not more likely to be suspended than white peers, finds a study in School Psychology Quarterly. Researchers examined data from almost 7,000 teenage girls who participated in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health. The researchers found that the association between skin tone and suspension held after controlling for individual and school-level characteristics, including student-teacher relationships, discipline history, and school size and type. Previous research has shown that African-American children face harsher disciplinary sanctions than white children in school. The new study adds nuance by demonstrating that “colorism” plays a role in these disparities.

It crucial for teachers and administrators to keep accurate data on whom they discipline and why and what consequence is given for the offense. This data needs to be reviewed monthly by superiors in order to stop and/or decrease this type of blatant discrimination which is highly unfair to children.

Susie Bean Gives Team