From preschoolers to high school, schools discipline Black children at extremely high rates. Discipline means lost instruction time. Children are frustrated because they don’t understand. So instead of providing a nurturing environment, schools create children who do not like school. We know that children who do well in school often do well at life. For black kids this is especially true. Educational success can lift families out of poverty. But schools today are putting black kids out of school. In fact, schools use discipline to discourage black children.
Have an open discussion about race and achievement gaps and disparities in America. Invariably the discussion will consolidate around two key generally accepted factors – parental involvement and education. Most people say parents have to be parents and influence their children. And an emphasis on education can transform the life of children.
Despite the best efforts of parents, schools use discipline to discourage black kids. The Civil Rights division of the Department of Education released the latest results of its data collection of nearly every public school in the country. And the results were disturbing nationally and alarming in Louisiana.
See how schools use discipline to discourage blacks.
We expect schools to be vessels for success. So they must be nurturing supportive places that welcome children and educate them. Schools have always dealt with learning differences amongst students. Little Tyronne is better in math than little Johnny, but Johnny reads at a higher level. The best schools are adept at developing the strengths and weaknesses of each student.
Schools must see African American children as valuable and teachable. But teachers are humans with biases and preconceived notions. Teachers with different socioeconomic backgrounds from their students must be able to overcome their own limitations. One stereotype is that African Americans are less intelligent than other students. Another stereotype is that Black boys don’t care about education. Another is that black children are just bad. Inexperienced and culturally bereft teachers might see black children as unworthy. How else can you explain black preschool children being suspended from school? How else can you explain the widespread expulsion of black children. Let’s look at some facts. This is how schools use discipline to discourage blacks.
Some of the most glaring disparities are differences in discipline:
- Schools suspend Black preschoolers 6 times more than white preschoolers.
- 51 percent of high schools with high black and Latino enrollment also have assigned police officers.
- 6 million students attend a high school with a police officer but no guidance counselor.
- Black students are 3 times more likely than white students to be referred to law enforcement or arrested as a result of a school incident.
- For the first time, the Education Department asked about educational services for young people in justice facilities, including jails and prisons. 21 percent of these facilities offer less than a full school year of instruction.
- In kindergarten through the 12th grade, black students are nearly four times as likely to be suspended as are white students. Black students also are nearly twice as likely to be expelled—removed from school with no services—as are white students.
- In schools with high black and Latino enrollment, 10 percent of teachers were in their first year, compared with 5 percent in largely white schools.
In Louisiana the stats are even more disturbing.
- 70% of the boys who are expelled without receiving any educational instruction are African American
- 77% of the girls who are expelled without receiving any educational instruction are African American
In New Orleans, many point to the charter movement as progress. But most of the charter schools operators in New Orleans are run by out of state companies. And they operate the same across the country. Most have inexperienced, Teach for America teachers who have no cultural familiarity with the students they must teach. Hence we have high expulsions and constant teacher turnover. Our children are left in the lurch.
The children who drug the old white lady are teenage high school students. The boy was suspended from school.