Meanwhile, in the Sociology of Education study, Ramey found that schools with larger populations of Black students also had higher rates of suspensions, while schools with more white students had a greater number of kids in programs designed for students with special needs.

Ramey said to qualify for special services students must be given an official diagnosis from a medical or mental health professional detailing why they need extra help. Schools are given with funds to provide these extra, costly services from the government.

“Some scholars have suggested that both the suspension and medicalization may be responses to standardized testing,” Ramey said. “If you suspend kids while they’re supposed to take the test, they no longer count against the school’s score.”

“Same thing with kids with borderline learning disabilities and putting them on medication,” he added. “If a kid is borderline and you give them stimulant medication, that’s going to improve his or her test score and improve the school’s scores.”

Ramey’s study raises serious questions about how America’s public school system addresses concerns about how black students can effectively learn and succeed in such a biased educational environment. Sadly, these findings will come as no surprise to many Black parents who say their children are often marginalized in public – and even private – schools.

Ramey should be commended for exposing racially discriminatory practices in school districts across the country, but now it’s time to find a solution to this problem instead of just talking about it.

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Suspensions Disproportionately Applied To Black Children Mean Racism Begins Early  was originally published on

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