Supporters of curbing school discipline say it is necessary to prevent racially “disparate impact,” which they define in a racial quota-like way, to mean anytime a higher percentage of black students is disciplined than of students of other races. But as I and others have explained in the past, that wrongly defines “disparate impact,” legally speaking. It also pressures school districts to have racial quotas in discipline.
“Disparate impact” only matters in the eyes of the Supreme Court when it takes into account the racial composition of the “qualified population,” meaning those students who actually misbehaved. Students who didn’t misbehave can’t be suspended to meet a racial quota, and they shouldn’t be included in any “disparate impact” comparison, either, because they aren’t part of the qualified population.