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The increasing number of preschoolers being suspended and the frequency of their punishment across the nation has unearthed a “troubling racial skew.”

According to, a UCLA Civil Rights Project examined out-of-school suspension data for every school district in the nation and found that nearly 3.5 million children were suspended at least once during the 2011-12 school year.

Other key findings:

  • 4-year-olds were expelled at a higher rate than 3-year-olds.
  • Boys were over four times as likely to be ousted from prekindergarten as girls.
  • Black children were expelled about twice as often as Latino and White youngsters, and over five times as often as Asian-American children.

As a result of the spike in suspensions and expulsions, research has found, “out-of-school punishment feeds the school-to-prison pipeline.” According to The Atlantic, “repeated suspensions breed student disengagement, making youth more likely to dropout and more susceptible to entering the juvenile justice system.”

For more information on the school-to-prison pipeline, click here.


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