The purpose of releasing this data is to improve the life chances of Native boys and girls in California. We will engage in ongoing analyses and reporting of these data over time to highlight districts and schools that are able to reduce their suspension rates and to document those that continue to fail Native children.
This report is a joint publication of the Sacramento Native American Higher Education Collaborative (SNAHEC) and the Community College Equity Assessment Lab (CCEAL) at San Diego State University (SDSU). This report exposes the dramatic inequities in the treatment of and outcomes for Native American youth in California. We present data from the California Department of Education on school suspensions and expulsions as reported by the institutions in their documentation to the state. We also present narratives contributed by the parents of Native American students. All these data points highlight the ways in which Native American youth in California are criminalized and held back from achievement in our state’s educational system.
- The statewide suspension rate for Native American children and youth is 7.2%, much higher than the statewide suspension average of 3.5%. Analyses indicated that Native American girls were suspended at a rate of 4.6%. Native American boys were suspended at a rate of 9.6%.
- Native American boys are expelled at a rate that is 4.2 times higher than the state average, representing the highest expulsion rate for any racial/ethnic or gender group. The rate has also been steadily rising over the past four years.
- Early childhood (kindergarten through third grade) is the area with the greatest suspension disparity. Native American boys are 2.5 times more likely to be suspended in early childhood education than boys in the same grade-range, while the rate is 3.7 times greater for Native American girls in comparison to the average for girls.
- The highest percentage of suspensions occurs in middle school (Grades 7 and 8). In middle school, Native American boys are suspended at a rate of 16.5%, while Native American girls are suspended at 9.1%.
- The top counties for suspending Native American boys were Modoc County, Mono County, and Lassen County. Modoc County was the top county suspending both Native American boys at 38% and Native girls at 26.1%.
- Kings County was the top expulsion county for both Native American boys and girls. Native American boys are more than 40 times more likely to be expelled in this county than the statewide average. For Native American girls, the rate is 20 times higher than the statewide average – these rates are egregiously high.
- The number one suspension district for Native American boys in California are Fortuna Union High in Humboldt County. This district suspends more than 71% of their Native American males. This is followed by Modoc Joint Unified in Modoc County at 42.5%.
- The top suspension district for Native American girls is Loleta Union Elementary in Humboldt County. In this district, 32.3% of Native American girls were suspended. This district has long struggled with its service to Native American students, having been the focus of a 2013 Office of Civil Rights investigation for its treatment of Native students.
- Lemoore Union High in Kings County was the number one expulsion district for Native American boys and the number one expulsion district for girls.
From boarding schools to suspension boards: suspensions and expulsions of Native American students in California public schools
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