Research shows that Black students are up to 43 times more likely to be suspended than other students in U.S. public schools.Shutterstock

This article is from the archive of our partner National Journal

It’s no secret that Black students often face harsher discipline in public schools. But where is this happening the most? In the South, according to researchers from the University of Pennsylvania. More than half of all Black student suspensions happened at public schools in 13 southern states during the 2011-2012 school year, according to a new study by the university’s Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education.

That’s not all. In 84 school districts across the south, all Black students were suspended during the school year. Most of the districts are in Texas, which also has the most schools.

University of Pennsylvania researchers urge schools to find alternatives to the traditional zero-tolerance disciplinary rules. “They do not make schools safer, but instead annually harm millions of children, a disproportionate number of whom are Black,” they stated, pointing to the success of alternative disciplinary policies in Baltimore and Austin.

1. South Side School District in Bee Branch, Arkansas

Blacks make up only 1.1 percent of the student body, but were 43.9 times more likely to be suspended.

2. Carroll Independent School District in Southlake, Texas (suburban Dallas/Fort Worth)

Blacks make up 1.5 percent of the student body, but were 33.6 times more likely to be suspended.

3. Riesel Independent School District in Riesel, Texas (outside Waco)

Blacks make up 1.9 percent of the student body, but were 26.5 times more likely to be suspended. Half of the district’s Black students were suspended during the 2011-2012 school year.

4. Roby Consolidated Independent School District in Roby, Texas 

Blacks make up 1.4 percent of the student body, but were 23.3 times more likely to be suspended.

5. Cameron Parish Schools in Cameron, Louisiana

Blacks make up 2.2 percent of the student body, but were 23 times more likely to be suspended. Half of the district’s Black students were suspended during the 2011-2012 school year.

6. Anton Independent School District in Anton, Texas (outside Lubbock)

Blacks make up 4.5 percent of the student body, but were 22.5 times more likely to be suspended. Every Black student in this district was suspended in the 2011-2012 school year.

7. Roscoe Independent School District in Roscoe, Texas

Blacks make up 1.2 percent of the student body, but were 21.6 times more likely to be suspended. A quarter of the district’s Black students were suspended during the 2011-2012 school year.

8. Muleshoe Independent School District in Muleshoe, Texas

Blacks make up 0.3 percent of the student body, but were 19.6 times more likely to be suspended.

9. Ingram Independent School District in Ingram, Texas (near San Antonio)

Blacks make up 0.2 percent of the student body, but were 18.9 times more likely to be suspended.

10. Chisum Independent School District in Paris, Texas, 18.7 TIED with Panhandle Independent School District in Panhandle, Texas (outside Amarillo)

Blacks make up 5.4 percent of the student body at Chisum and 1.8 percent of students at Panhandle, but were 18.7 times more likely to be suspended than other students. Every Black student in the Chisum school district was suspended during the 2011-2012 school year.

This article is from the archive of our partner National Journal.

This article is part of our Next America: Higher Education project, which is supported by grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Lumina Foundation.

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