More than 70 percent of students involved in school-related arrests or cases referred to law enforcement were Hispanic or African-American, according to a report to be released March 6 by the Education Department that raises questions about whether students of all races are disciplined evenhandedly in America’s schools. Black students are more than three times as likely as their white peers to be suspended or expelled, the Associated Press reported on the findings. “The sad fact is that minority students across America face much harsher discipline than non-minorities, even within the same school,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan told reporters. Duncan said some school officials might not have been aware of inconsistencies in how they handle discipline, and he hoped the report would be an eye-opener. Black students made up 18 percent of the students in the sample, but they were 35 percent of students suspended and 39 percent of students expelled, the report said.

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staff and wire services reports