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Abstract

This study investigates the disproportionate number of Black students who are suspended at a higher rate than their white counterparts in a rural county in North Carolina. This research is framed with factors such as lack of cultural understanding, an absence of parental involvement, community influence, and classroom policies. This study gathers an understanding from key experts on why Black students are suspended at a higher rate in public schools than White students. The overarching research question for this study was why are Black students are suspended or expelled for minor offenses at a greater rate than White students for the same infractions? This study examined responses from administrators, teachers, and students in a small rural school district in North Carolina. The name of the school district and high school are protected with pseudonyms. This research concludes with the implementation of various alternatives to suspension programs for school leaders to consider as it moves to reduce the pipeline to prison phenomenon.

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