Thursday, June 18, 2015

Report: Too Many Indian Students Shoved Into Utah’s School-to-Prison Pipeline

A recent report out of the University of Utah has cast a spotlight on the disproportionate rates at which American Indian students are thrust into Utah’s school-to-prison pipeline.
Disparities in Discipline, released in May and based on 2011 data from the U.S. Department of Education’s Civil Rights Data Collection, revealed American Indian students in Utah’s K-12 public schools are almost four times more likely to receive disciplinary actions compared to white students.

The disparity becomes wider with the more severe forms of discipline. When compared to white students, American Indians are 7.5 times more likely to be expelled, eight times more likely to be referred to law enforcement, and six times more likely to be arrested. Even when compared to non-white race groups, American Indian students get the harsher disciplines more. They are three times more likely to be referred to law enforcement and four times more likely to be arrested.

More alarming still are the 293 (7.3 percent) American Indian K-6 kids who received disciplinary actions, making them four times more likely to be disciplined than white students. Of those, 55 were referred to law enforcement, as opposed to zero whites in the same grade range, and four were arrested. Just as shocking, 30 percent of American Indian students with disabilities received disciplinary actions.


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