January 1, 2011
The New York Civil Liberties Union analyzed 10 years of discipline data from New York City schools, and found that:*The total number of suspensions in New York City grew at an alarming rate over the last decade: One out of every 14 students was suspended in 2008-2009; in 1999-2000 it was one in 25. In 2008-2009, this added up to more than 73,000 suspensions.*Students with disabilities are four times more likely to be suspended than students without disabilities.*Black students, who comprise 33 percent of the student body, served 53 percent of suspensions over the past 10 years. *Black students with disabilities represent more than 50 percent of suspended students with disabilities.*Black students also served longer suspensions on average and were more likely to be suspended for subjective misconduct, like profanity and insubordination.*Suspensions are becoming longer: More than 20 percent of suspensions lasted more than one week in 2008-2009, compared to 14 percent in 1999-2000. The average length of a long-term suspension is five weeks (25 school days).*Between 2001 and 2010, the number of infractions listed in the schools' Discipline Code increased by 49 percent. During that same period, the number of zero tolerance infractions, which mandate a suspension regardless of the individual facts of the incident, increased by 200 percent.*Thirty percent of suspensions occur during March and June of each school year.