NORTH CAROLINA -- According to the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, public school suspensions in North Carolina are on the rise.
The report states over 100,000 students were suspended during the 2015-2016 school year -- that equates to a total of over 1 million school days missed.
The study also finds minority students -- especially black students -- are disproportionately suspended from school, across the state.
Both Durham and Wake County public school officials say they have taken steps to change these statistics, for the better.
That includes changes to student codes of conduct, implementation of restorative justice, as an alternative to suspension and implicit bias training.
"We started with community conversations. We transitioned to revise our student code of conduct. And I think with it constantly being on people's radars, leaders, administrators became more mindful of when and where they use suspension,” said dr. Kelvin Bullock with DPS.
Despite the report -- both Durham and Wake County school officials say their suspension numbers are trending down.
Missed days and suspensions
223,729 full-day in-school suspensions (ISS) x 1.59 school days/ISS on avg. = 355,729 school days
216,895 short-term suspensions (STS) x 2.97 school days/STS on avg. = 644,178 school days
1,036 long-term suspensions (LTS) x 76.6 school days/LTS on avg. = 79,358 school days
During 2015-16, North Carolina’s public elementary schools also issued 67 long-term suspensions to students in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade.
Male students, African American students, and students with disabilities are disproportionately suspended and expelled from North Carolina public schools Male students, African American students, and students with disabilities are also disproportionately reassigned to Alternative Learning Programs.