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How Black Children Are Being Kicked Out of Preschool... and into the U.S. Prison System

Young black pre-school student

Behind every successful child is a parent or teacher who has a positive influence on the child. Sadly, this is not always the case. According to the Huffington Post, Black children are targeted in school for disruptive behavior, and suspended and expelled at a rate three times greater than white students.

Teachers who are responsible for this are actually contributing to sending black children into the juvenile justice system, and eventually prison. And it can all start as early as preschool.

The statistics don't lie

If you think this is an exaggeration, just look at the statistics:
  • Black students in kindergarten through 12th grade are suspended and expelled at a rate three times greater than white students - 2014 statistics from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights.
  • White teachers were 30 percent less likely than black teachers to say a black student would someday earn a college degree - survey from The UpJohn Institute.
  • Black children are being kicked out of school more than white children on a regular basis and in large numbers - the National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI).
  • “The startling data on disproportionate suspension and expulsion that begins in preschool is that it extends through high school…,” - CemerĂ© James, the NBCDI Vice President of Policy.

The solution

Both parents and teachers need to be aware of the statistics and take action to eliminate the disparity in black children being expelled from school. Parents, even with children in preschool, need to get involved and make themselves aware of preschool disciplinary procedures. Teachers need to be aware that "racial bias that begins with suspension in preschool follows black children throughout their education catapulting many of our children into juvenile justice systems later in life and possibly the criminal justice system as adults,” according to CemerĂ© James.

Education, followed by positive action, is needed in order to prevent bias in disciplinary actions toward black students. Both parents and teachers must understand how their actions can either be a positive or negative influence on black children that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.

To read the full report co-authored by the National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI), visit https://cdn.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/08000111/PointOfEntry-reportUPDATE.pdf

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