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Study Looks At Massachusetts School Punishment

This article is more than 5 years old.

A new report has found that a disproportionate number of minorities and students with disabilities are being punished by Massachusetts public schools, and in many cases the punishments are for minor infractions.

The report released Tuesday by the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice was based on data supplied by the state for the 2012-13 school year.

The study found that charter schools are more likely to punish students than traditional public schools.

Non-violent, non-criminal and non-drug incidents accounted for two-thirds of all out-of-school suspensions. A study co-author said that was concerning because out-of-school suspensions can be an indicator of dropouts and legal problems.

The state's out-of-school suspension rate was 4.3 percent, but many urban districts had much higher rates, including 21.5 percent in Holyoke.

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