Texas school suspensions disproportionately affect black boys, foster kids and special needs children

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HOUSTON — New research suggests not all kids in Texas are suspended equally.

Black boys, foster and special needs children in Pre-K through second grade are being suspended more than any other group of kids in the state, according to a new report released by non-profit Texans Care For Children.

"Suspension does nothing positive for them to change their behavior over time," CEO Stephanie Rubin of Texans Care For Children said.

Advocates say suspending these kids doesn't change behavior that comes from trauma, developmental delays and other reasons.

"Kids who are four or five years old are coming to school for the first time and we want them in class learning, closing achievement gaps and being excited about school," said  Rubin.

She also said suspension sends the message to kids that they don't belong during a time where they're trying to figure out how they fit in to school.

"It's demoralizing," President Bob Sanborn of Children at Risk said.

"You're out of school so you're off the track, you're starting to get behind and it becomes this vicious circle where you acted out, you're sent home and now you're falling farther behind so you act out some more," said Sanborn.

He said the suspension causes a no win situation for the child, parents and school.

In 2016, HISD banned out of school suspension for young kids.

The district told Newsfix they committed approximately $1 million to create a social and emotional learning department to understand the root cause of the behavior issues.

The district says they've seen significant behavior improvements.

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