Understanding the black–white school discipline gap
At state and national levels, black students are more likely to be suspended from school, and conditional on misbehavior, receive stiffer penalties when compared with white students. Racial bias is often cited as a primary contributor to these gaps. Using infraction data from North Carolina, I investigate gaps in punishment within and across schools, and explore how student–teacher and student–principal race interactions affect discipline. I find a significant statewide gap in discipline that is largely generated by cross-school variation in punishment. In addition, there is little evidence that black students are treated differentially according to teacher or principal race.
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