Speed Reads

Really?

Report claims that school discipline varies based on race

The New York Times has published a troubling story about a 12-year-old African-American student in Georgia who was punished for writing graffiti in her school's bathroom.

Mikia Hutchings and a friend were both accused of writing the graffiti at Dutchtown Middle School. Hutchings spent a summer under probation and completed 16 hours of community service after her family said it couldn't pay $100 in restitution. Her white friend, however, was "let go" when her parents paid the restitution, according to the Times.

According to Hutchings' story, she only wrote "Hi" on the bathroom stall, and her friend committed the rest of the graffiti. Michael J. Tafelski, who represented her at a school disciplinary hearing, said the incident represented "racial disparities in school discipline," the Times notes.

An investigation by the Times, using data from the Office for Civil Rights at the United States Department of Education, found that black girls in public elementary and secondary schools were suspended at an average rate of 12 percent, while white girls only had a two percent suspension rate. And separate research has found that dark skin colors increase girls' likelihood of being suspended from school.

Read the full story on racial disparity over at The New York Times.