Get Out! New study details high rate of suspensions of Black Males from California Public Schools.


With a suspension rate of 12.8 %, black males were more than three and one-half times more likely than other students to be suspended in California public schools in 2016-17, according to a new analysis published by researchers at the Community College Equity Assessment Lab (CCEAL) at San Diego State and the UCLA Black Male Institute. The highest rate of suspensions by grade level was for black boys in grades K-3 who were 5.6 times more likely to be suspended than other students. More than one –quarter (27.4%) of black male students in foster care were suspended. Forty-one percent of black boys in foster care in 7th and 8th grade were suspended, the highest rates of suspensions for black males.

“From a very young age, far too many black boys and young men are being told, in effect, to get out, and are excluded from the school and classroom, says Professor Tyrone Howard, the director of the Black Male Institute at UCLA. It’s an unfair practice with serious consequences for learning and achievement and future success, and it needs to stop.”

Key findings from the study include:

  • The statewide suspension rate for Black males is 3.6 times greater than that of the statewide rate for all students. Specifically, while 3.6% of all students were suspended in 2016-2017, the suspension rate for Black boys and young men was 12.8%.
  • Since 2011-2012, the suspension rates of Black males in California has declined from 17.8% to 12.8%.
  • The highest suspension disparity by grade level occurs in early childhood education (Grades K through 3) where Black boys are 5.6 times more likely to be suspended than the state average.
  • Black male students who are classi ed as “foster youth” are suspended at noticeably high rates, at 27.4%. Across all analyses, Black males who were foster youth in seventh and eighth grade represented the subgroup that had the highest percentage of Black male suspensions, at 41.0%.
  • The highest total suspensions occurred in large urban counties, such as Los Angeles County, Sacramento County, San Bernardino County, Riverside County, and Contra Costa County. In fact, these five counties alone account for 61% of Black male suspensions.
  • The highest suspension rates for Black males occur in rural counties that have smaller Black male enrollments. In 2016-2017, Glenn County led the state in Black male suspensions at 42.9%.
  • Other Counties with high suspension rates included Amador County, Colusa County, Del Norte County, and Tehama County. San Joaquin county has especially high suspension patterns. In the past 5 years, they have reported suspension rates at 20% or above. Four counties have reported similarly high suspension patterns across the past 4 of 5 years, they include: Modoc County, Butte County, Merced County, and Yuba County.
  • A number of districts have large numbers of Black boysand young men who were suspended at least once. Some of these districts included Sacramento City Unified (n = 887),Los Angeles Uni ed (n = 849), Elk Grove Uni ed (n = 745), Fresno Uni ed (n = 729) and Oakland Unifed (n = 711).
  • There are 10 school districts in the state with suspension rates above 30%. Of these, the highest suspension rates are reported at Bayshore Elementary (San Mateo County, at 50%), Oroville Union High (Butte County, at 45.2%), and the California School for the Deaf-Fremont (Alameda County, at 43.8%).
  • There are 88 school districts in the state of California that have suspension rates for Black males that are below the state average. These schools vary in size, urbanicity and region.

A complete version of the study Get Out! Black Male Suspensions in California Public Schools is available on the SDSU CCEAL and UCLA Black Males Institute websites.