- An analysis of federal data by the Education Week Research Center found the share of black students arrested at school to be 20 percentage points higher than their share of enrollment in 20 states with disproportionate arrest rates in 43 states and the District of Columbia overall.
- Education Week reports students from no other racial or ethnic groups faced such large disparities in so many states, but Latino students in Connecticut represent 35% of arrests and only 25% of enrollment and Native American students represent 23% of arrests and only 8% of enrollment in Arizona.
- While arrests represented just .1% of disciplinary actions during the 2013-14 school year (or nearly 70,000 cases), schools logged 223,000 referrals to law enforcement and black boys and girls are disproportionately represented in these numbers, too.
The Obama administration was particularly aggressive about protecting the civil rights of students. In 2014 the departments of Education and Justice warned schools that discipline policies resulting in disproportionately high arrest rates for students from certain racial groups could qualify as violating their civil rights. The administration’s actions brought additional attention to the fight against the phenomenon dubbed the school-to-prison pipeline.
The Trump administration is expected to take a softer stance on civil rights enforcement than its predecessor. Just as the Every Student Succeeds Act returns power to the states, this back away from civil rights enforcement at the federal level increases the responsibilities of states and individual districts to adequately monitor schools. Poor performance will almost certainly result in a return to strong federal power in a future administration.