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      REPORT: More than 5,000 D.C. students suspended last year

      (WJLA) - Tariq Cunningham, 10, attends D.C. Prep Public Charter School, and says that after pretending to shoot a gun, he was suspended for two days - and his mother thinks it's an excessive punishmnt.

      A new report found that more than 5,000 D.C. students were suspended last year - with the highest rates being among sixth through ninth grade African-American boys.

      Hundreds of children in Pre-K, Kindergarten, first, second, and third grades were also sent home at least one day during the year.

      Now, the critics are asking why, as the report says suspension increases the likelihood that students will misbehave in the future, become truant, and fail to graduate.