ATLANTA — A newspaper’s investigation finds that Georgia’s public schools assign a vastly disproportionate number of black students to “psychoeducational” programs, segregating them not just by disability but also by race.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports ( that such psychoeducational schools are unique to Georgia.

Black children form the majority at the programs, where teachers restrained children with dog leashes; psychologists performed behavioral experiments on troubled students; and where chronically disruptive students spent time in solitary confinement, locked in rooms with bars over the windows.

The Atlanta newspaper found that 54 percent of students in Georgia’s psychoeducational programs are African-American, compared to 37 percent in all public schools statewide.

State education officials deny race plays a role in student assignment. Rather, they contend that individual needs determine where students receive services.