Study: Corporal punishment used more often on black Georgia students

African-American students in Georgia are twice as likely as white students to be disciplined by corporal punishment, according to a report released Thursday.

The Brookings Institution report, citing federal education department data, found 1 out of 100 black students in Georgia were struck by a teacher or staffer during the 2011-12 school year, the most recent school year available. By comparison, 1 of 200 white Georgia students were were struck during the same school year. White students outnumber black students in Georgia’s public school students, according to state education department data.

Only three states — Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi — had a higher rate of black students who were disciplined by corporal punishment, the study found.

The report does not offer thorough explanations for the disparity, nor responses from Georgia education officials or those in other states about why corporal punishment is used more frequently on black students. The report suggests racial discrimination is part of the reason.

“So long as these failures fall disproportionately on black children, we are not yet living up to the dream that ‘children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character,’ ” the report said.

» INTERACTIVE: See the suspension rates for Metro Atlanta school systems

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