Research has shown thatÂ young black students in American schools are expelled and suspended three times as often as white students. Now a disturbing new study from Stanford University reveals one factor behind such disproportionate punishment.
The study showed that teachers tend to view black students more harshly than white students even when their disruptive behavior is exactly the same — possibly triggering a destructive cycle.
“We have shown experimentally, for the first time, that teachers responses can contribute to racial disparities in discipline,” the researchers wrote in a paper describing their research, which was published online April 8 in the journal Psychological Science. “In fact, teacher responses may even help to drive racial differences in student behavior — differential treatment by teachers, to some extent, may inspire repeated misbehavior by black students.”
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