This story originally appeared in UCLA Today, a discontinued publication.

California school suspensions an 'absolute crisis,' UCLA researchers say

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A new report by the Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles at UCLA estimates that more than 400,000 California public school students were suspended at least once during the 2009–10 school year, with many being suspended two, three or more times.
 
The report, which provides a snapshot of school suspensions on a district-by-district basis, shows that African American and Latino male students — particularly those with disabilities — were suspended at a disproportionately high rate. It also indicates that these students of color are often suspended for defiant behavior, disrespect and disobedeince, rather than more serious offenses, such as threats, intimidation and harassment.
 
"This is clearly an unsound educational policy," said Daniel Losen, a researcher with the Civil Rights Project and a co-author of the report. "The numbers in our report indicate an absolute crisis in many California districts, since suspending students out of school — with no guarantee of adult supervision — greatly increases the risk for dropping out and involvement in the juvenile justice system."
 
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