Black Minds Project

While this report identifies districts with low and high rates of suspension, the goal is to seek the improvement of educators around these issues. As such, we will engage in ongoing analyses and reporting of these data over time to highlight districts that improve suspension rates for Black males. We look forward to highlighting this improvement in subsequent reports.

Executive Summary

This brief is a joint publication of the Black Minds Project (an initiative of the Community College Equity Assessment Lab (CCEAL) at San Diego State University (SDSU) and the Black Male Institute at the University of California, Los-Angeles (UCLA). In this report, we present analyses of publicly available countywide data on the suspension of Black males in San Diego's public schools.

Some of the key results highlighted in this report include the following:

  • Black males are more likely to be suspended in San Diego County than any other racial or gender group. In fact, their suspension rate is 3.4 times higher than the countywide average.
  • Black children in early childhood education (Kindergarten through third grade) have the greatest disparity. They are suspended at 4.7 times the rate of their peers.
  • Middle school is the “eye of the storm”, with the annual black male suspension rate at 17.4% in the county.
  • Special populations have higher suspension rates, with homeless black males and black male foster youth being suspended at 14.3% and 27.4%, respectively.
  • The most egregious suspension rate is for black male foster youth in middle school, with an annual suspension rate of 53.3%.
  • Charter schools have lower suspension rates for black males overall, but have much greater disparities between black males than their peers.
  • The five “best” school districts that avoid suspensions as a form of discipline include: Dehesa Elementary, Spencer Valley Elementary, Encinitas Union Elementary, Warner Unified, and Jamul-Dulzura Union Elementary.

suspension report authors

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Black Minds Project

Welcome to the Black Minds Project, our Center's initiative to raise the national consciousness about issues facing Black boys and men in education. Below are some of our efforts to improve the educational outcomes for this population.  


Outside Looking In: Suspension as a Form of Exclusion in San Diego County (March 19, 2018)

Get Out! Black Male Suspensions in California Public Schools (February 20, 2018)

Banning the Babies: Suspension Rates for Black Males in Early Learning (Forthcoming)  

Public Course

Black Minds Matter: A Focus on Black Boys and Men in Education


Supporting Men of Color in the Community College - Wood & Harris III (2017)

Teaching Boys and Young Men of Color (K-12) - Wood & Harris III (2016)

Advancing Black male Student Success from Preschool through PhD - Harper & Wood (2016)

Teaching Men of Color in the Community College - Wood, Harris III & White (2015)

Black Men in Higher Education: A Guide to Ensuring Success - Wood & Palmer (2015)


CCEAL's Black Minds Project reports are sponsored by the San Diego State University College of Education Dean's Distinguished Professorship Fund and by RISE for Boys and Men of Color. RISE is a field advancement effort funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Annie E. Casey Foundation, Marguerite Casey Foundation, and members of the Executives’ Alliance to Expand Opportunities for Boys and Men of Color.