Equity & Diversity

Wyoming’s Native Students More Likely to Face Suspension

By Jackie Mader — July 16, 2014 1 min read

Native American students in Wyoming are suspended at higher rates than their non-minority peers, according to a recent story by the Casper Star-Tribune.

Native American students account for 3 percent of the student population in Wyoming, yet received 10 percent of suspensions in the 2013-14 school year. Hispanic students, who account for 13 percent of students in the state, accounted for 15 percent of suspensions.

A report released earlier this year by the U.S. Department of Education found that although American Indian and Native Alaskan students represent less than 1 percent of the country’s student population, they account for 2 percent of out-of-school suspensions, and 3 percent of expulsions. A recent report by a nonprofit in Washington state found that Native American students in several Washington state school districts were also expelled or suspended at rates higher than their white and Hispanic peers.

Linda Burt, the director of ACLU in Wyoming, told the Star-Tribune that “Minority students don’t misbehave at any higher rates than any other students misbehave...What we do know is that they are treated differently and they are disciplined differently.”

UPDATE: This blog has been updated to provide the link to the original source of the data analysis and story.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Rural Education blog.