April 14, 2014
A recent report posted on Educations Week’s blog On Special Education details disturbing discipline disparities between students with learning and other disabilities and their peers:
Students with disabilities represented about 12 percent of the public school population in the 2011-12 school year. However they also represented:
- 75 percent of students physically restrained at school;
- 58 percent of those placed in seclusion or involuntary confinement; and
- 25 percent of students who were referred to law-enforcement or subject to school-related arrest.
Also, 13 percent of students covered by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act were suspended from school, compared to 6 percent of students without disabilities.
This information, compiled by the U.S. Department of Education, reflects data from nearly all school districts in the country, including charter schools and those in the juvenile justice system. It is primarily used to enforce civil rights protections for all students regardless of race, gender, disability or skill-level.