New federal data released Tuesday shows minorities are more likely to get harsher punishments than non-minority students, and the problem is greater in Chicago.
The study found that while black students make up just a slightly higher percentage of total Chicago Public Schools enrollment than Latino students, they are more than three times as likely to get suspended.
The data comes from the U.S. Department of Education, whose office of civil rights polled 72,000 public schools around the country and found the discipline rates formed a trend.
In Chicago on Monday students protested the CPS discipline policiies. One freshman said her punishments this school year have not fit the crime. She said she was suspended for 10 days for wearing "inappropriate clothes" and another 10 days for not wearing her ID.
"I think that the discipline code in Chicago Public Schools needs to be re-examined," said Cook County Commissioner Jesus Garcia.
The study found in school year 2009-2010, Chicago African American students made up 45 percent of total enrollment but 76 percent of school suspensions. Latino students made up 4 percent of enrollment and 20 percent of suspensions, and white students accounted for 10 percent of enrollment and 3 percent of suspensions.
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who used to be the head of CPS, is expected to address his concerns about this study later Monday in Washington.