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Just one suspension can increase a teen’s likelihood to drop out of high school by 16%.

Since the 1970’s, the America’s school system has grown in many ways. Technology, teaching techniques, and even popular culture have also undergone drastic changes during the last four decades. However, not all of these changes concerning the nation’s educational system have been positive.

Recent studies have shown that the moment a student enters middle school, their chance of receiving an out-of-school suspension increases from 2.4% to 11%.

According to dignityinschools.org, the suspension rate of students throughout America is more than double that of the rate in 1974. Between 2002 and 2006 alone, the amount of student suspensions increased by 250,000.

The only thing more disturbing than the rapidly rising number of nationwide suspensions is the details.

According to a study done by the University of California, Los Angeles, African American students today are facing a 24.3% chance of being suspended. In 1972, that risk was only a total of 11.8%. Since then, 36% of all African American middle school students have been suspended at least once. However, in the exact same time period, white students have only experienced a 1.1% increase in school suspension rates. This data seems to suggest that secondary school discipline may have become extremely flawed in recent years.

Most people agree that school discipline is needed to maintain a stable working environment for both students and teachers. However, many people don’t know that even just one suspension can increase a teen’s likelihood to drop out of high school by 16%. Students who have been suspended three or more times during their sophomore year are five times more likely to drop out than a student who has not been suspended. Schools with high suspension rates tend to display lower academic performances than those who use school suspension as a last resort for bad behavior.

At the end of the day, suspensions do a lot more than deprive a student of a day or two of important learning time. Schools across the United States would most likely benefit greatly from trying to keep even their most difficult students in school rather than suspending them.

Statistics provided by dignityinschools.org and a study done by the University of California, Los Angeles.