A new report released by the American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island (ACLU) has revealed that Rhode Island elementary school students, including kindergarteners, have received an “alarming” rate of out-of-school suspensions for minor offenses such as “disrespect” and “insubordination.” The report found that there were more than 1,400 out-of-school suspensions of K-5 students throughout the 2018-19 school year, with 116 of those given to kindergarten and first-grade students. Furthermore, the report discovered that black and multi-racial students and those with disabilities, in all grades, experienced out-of-school suspensions at a significantly higher rate than their school’s population. The report calls for “significant curbing” of the ability of schools to issue out-of-school suspensions to K-5 students in order to address these disparities.

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