Racial disparity in Iowa City school suspensions

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Far more suspensions have been given to black students in the Iowa City Community School District than to other students.

According to the Iowa City Press-Citizen, the district’s safety and climate report says about 59 percent of the 929 suspensions in the 2010-2011 school year were of black students. Only 16 percent of the district’s 12,000 students are black.

About 30 percent of the suspensions went to white students, who comprise about 67 percent of the student population. Hispanic students received 9.5 percent of the suspensions and make up 8.6 percent of the enrollment.

The suspension numbers mirror state and national figures.

Assistant superintendent Ann Feldmann says there is no one definitive reason for the disparity.

District administrators deny any suggestions of racial profiling or other bias.