WMFE is Central Florida's primary provider of NPR programming on 90.7 FM and Classical Music on 90.7 HD2. Part of the community since 1965, WMFE focuses on providing quality national and local news and programming. We inspire and empower all Central Floridians to discover, grow and engage within and beyond their world.
Support for 90.7 WMFE is provided by

University of Central Florida Study Identifies Risk Factors African American Students Face from Institutional Racism

Play Audio

African American students face more alienation, racial discrimination, and violence than their peers. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

A study co-authored by a University of Central Florida professor has laid out a framework for teachers and administrators to improve the health and academic outcomes of black youth. The study found that the alienation, racial discrimination, and violence black youth face at school can have adverse effects on their well-being. 

UCF’s Larry J. Walker says African American students who are expelled, suspended, or verbally reprimanded more frequently than their peers are also at a higher risk of truancy and mental health problems.

Walker says to mitigate this racial trauma, administrators should hire teachers from diverse backgrounds and involve parents in decisions around school governance policies. 

“We need to be thinking long-term. We can’t traumatize students and we know these students have more difficulty down the line and then expect them to be productive citizens.”

Walker says teachers and students should also be trained in deescalation strategies like mindfulness that can be used to resolve conflicts.

“We need to do a better job supporting the mental health needs of students. That means also making them feel welcomed and valued. Because those students are the economic engine of this country. Not today but ten, fifteen, twenty, and thirty years down the line.”

He says students who are labeled “problem students” and frequently disciplined also have higher rates of depression, anxiety, and risk-taking behaviors like alcohol and drug use.

The literature review study was published in the Journal of School Health

If you’d like to listen to the story, please click on the clip above.

Get The 90.7 WMFE Newsletter

Your trusted news source for the latest Central Florida news, updates on special programs and more.

Stay tuned in to our local news coverage: Listen to 90.7 WMFE on your FM or HD radio, the WMFE mobile app or your smart speaker — say “Alexa, play NPR” and you’ll be connected.

WMFE Journalistic Ethics Code | Public Media Code of Integrity

Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur


Danielle Prieur is a general reporter for 90.7 News. She studied journalism at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and interned at 101.9 WDET. She is originally from the metro Detroit area.