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Discipline Disparity in Oregon Schools

5-9 jbo schoolsMEDFORD, Ore. – Minority students are more likely to be suspended than their White peers, according to a new study among Oregon schools.

A study from the Regional Education Laboratory shows American Indian, Black, Hispanic, and multiracial students were up to three times more likely than their White classmates to be suspended or expelled. The data from that study includes six Oregon school districts, none of which in Southern Oregon.

But Medford is no exception.

While there are very few Black or American Indian students in the district, Latinos at North and South Medford High are more than 1.6 times more likely to be referred for punishment.

Administrators say that ends up with them missing school.

“We actually want them in school,” said Todd Bloomquist, Director of Secondary Education for Medford Schools. “It’s when their student behaviors are so extreme that they can’t control themselves, that’s when we really have to jump in with a whole team and help these kids out.”

About a 20-25% of all Black and Latino students at North and South Medford High have been referred for disciplinary action.

About 10-15% of White students have been referred.