"When it comes to disparities in school suspension rates, most studies deal with the fact that Black students are suspended more frequently than their White counterparts for the same or similar offenses.
A new groundbreaking study done by a trio of sociology professors takes a more nuanced look at the matter by examining the differences in suspension rates among African-Americans of different complexions.
The study—titled ‘The Relationship Between Skin Tone and School Suspension for African Americans’—found that darker-skinned African-American students were more likely to be suspended than those with lighter skin tones.
Specifically, the researchers found that a young African-American female with the darkest skin tone was 3.4 times as likely to be suspended compared to the one with the lightest skin.
The darkest skin African-American males were only 2.5 times as likely to be suspended as those with the lightest skin tones, but the study notes that African-American males—for whom the ‘controlling image … is of a dangerous, criminal predator’—experience higher rates of suspensions than females overall, the study states.
The findings show that the broad categories of race that are often used are inadequate to capture the various forms of discrimination that impact African-Americans of different hues—from school discipline to more serious matters, such as capital punishment.”