The purpose of releasing this data is to improve the life chances of Black boys and girls in San Diego public schools. As such, we will engage in ongoing analyses and reporting of these data over time to highlight schools that are able to reduce their suspension rates.

Executive Summary

This report is a publication of the Black Minds Project (an initiative of the Community College Equity Assessment Lab (CCEAL) at San Diego State University (SDSU). In this report, we present analyses of publicly available statewide data on the suspension of Black students in San Diego Unified School District.

Some of the key data points featured in this brief include:

Overall Findings

• Black students account for 8.2% of SDUSD enrollment but only 5.4% of statewide enrollment. Between 2014/2015 and 2018/2019, Black enrollment in SDUSD dropped by 16%. This rate of decline was 3.6 times faster than White enrollment decline.

• Only 4.3% of SDUSD’s teachers are Black or African American. In contrast, nearly 63% of all teachers in the district are White.

• Black student scores for English Language Arts and Math are the lowest for any racial group. Scores for these subjects are at least 99 points lower than those for their White and Asian peers.

Suspension Findings

• The suspension rate for Black girls is 5.1%, which is 46% higher than the district average. The suspension rate for Black males is 10.7%. This rate is 206% higher than the district average and represents the highest suspension rate for any racial or gender group.

• Compared to the district average, Black males were 3.1 times more likely to receive an out-of-school suspension and 2.8 times more likely to receive an in-school suspension.

• Black male foster youth is the subgroup most likely to be suspended at 26%. In contrast, the district average was 13.5%.

• The top schools suspending Black boys are Montgomery Middle School (at 52.4%), Fletcher Elementary School (at 40%), Innovation Middle School (at 38.9%), and Millennial Tech Middle School (at 36.2%).

• The top school suspending Black girls is Millennial Tech Middle School, (at 37%). This school is followed by Memorial Scholars and Athletes (at 27%), Challenger Middle School (at 20%), and Knox Middle School (at 20%).

Six Recommendations for Parents of Black Children

• Never leave your child in an unhealthy environment, even for the sake of a “good” school. – Andre Branch

• Never assume your child deserves the suspension, especially in early childhood education.

• Never assume your school is aware of their success data with Black children – show them*.

• Never allow a teacher or principal to refer to your child as a “problem” or “bad”.

• Never allow the school to reprimand your child without questioning what occurred and whether there were other children who did the same thing.

• Never assume the challenges your child faces are isolated – most likely, other parents of Black children are experiencing the same thing.

Read the Report Here

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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.


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

Outside Looking In: Suspension as a Form of Exclusion in San Diego County (February 27, 2018)

The Capitol of Suspensions
Examining the Racial Exclusion of Black Males in Sacramento County
(June 12, 2018)

When They Teach Us: The Education of Black Children in San Diego (November 4, 2019)

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.