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7 Things To Know About School Discipline And Civil Rights In Indiana

Eric Castro

Every two years the U.S. Department of Education collects civil rights data on all public schools and school districts in the United States. This week the department released those numbers from the 2013-14 school year.

The Department of Education break down access and opportunities for students at every public school in country by gender, race and disability. Things like suspension, expulsion, absenteeism, juvenile justice facilities, officers in schools, restraint, seclusion, college readiness and more.

Much, much more.

That means it’s A LOT of data. So much, that downloading the spreadsheet would, for instance, use up this whole month’s cellular data plan.

So you don’t have to use up your data — and maybe crash your computer, like we did — we’re going through those numbers for you.

There’s a lot to be taken in on a deep dive of the data, and we’ll have more in the coming weeks, but here’s what it reveals surrounding discipline in Indiana.


  • There are a lot of suspensions:

    Indiana schools suspended more than 75,000 students, in 2013-14.

  • Indiana schools suspend more than most U.S. schools:

    On average, U.S. schools suspend about one in 16 students.

    Indiana schools suspend one in 14 students.

  • Students with disabilities more likely to get harsh punishment:

    Schools suspend about one in seven students with disabilities.

    Schools suspend about one in 17 students without disabilities.

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  • Black students are suspended at disproportionately high rates:

    Schools suspend one in 20 white students and one in five black students.

    While black students make up 12 percent of enrollment, they make up 34 percentof total suspensions.

    Black boys are 6 percent of enrolled students, but 27 percent of suspensions.

    Black girls are 6 percent of enrolled students, but 12 percent of suspensions. Girls of other races did not receive disproportionate suspensions.

  • Corporal punishment is still in use:

    There’s nothing in Indiana state law that prohibits it.

    And 30 schools in 17 public school districts recorded a total of 239 instances of corporal punishment.

    Indiana is one of 19 states that allow corporal punishment in schools, according to the Center for Effective Discipline.

    In fact, state law lets school staff “take any disciplinary action necessary to promote student conduct” in the same manner a parent may.

  • More than 3,000 students were expelled:

    Indiana schools expelled 3,552 students, in 2013-14.

  • Black students get expelled at disproportionately high rates:

    Black students make up 12 percent of enrollment, yet 24 percent of expulsions.