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Pre-School Is Where the Hatred Is

The School to Prison pipeline begins early…

Black preschool kids still get suspended much more frequently than white preschool kids

Schools suspend minority students at much higher rates than their peers, sometimes starting from the beginning — preschool.

The Civil Rights Data Collection, a national survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Education, surveyed over 50 million students at more than 95,000 schools and found that while suspensions decreased by almost 20 percentage points between the 2011-2012 and 2013-2014 school years, gaps between the suspension rates of different groups of students remained, according to results released late Monday.

The survey included 1,439,188 preschool students enrolled in 28,783 schools. Of those,6,743 preschool students or .47% were suspended out of school once or more than once. While black girls represent 20 percent of preschool enrollment, 54 percent of preschool girls suspended once or more were black. And black preschool children overall were 3.6 times as likely to be suspended as young white children.

The results don’t “paint a very good picture,” said Liz King, senior policy analyst and director of education policy at the Leadership for Civil and Human Rights. She called parts of it “startling.”

Across all grades, 2.8 million students were suspended once or more than once. Black students were nearly four times as likely to be suspended and almost twice as likely to be expelled as white students. Students with disabilities were also twice as likely to be suspended as general education students.

The disparity “tears at the moral fabric of the nation,” said U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King, Jr. “We will not compromise away the civil right of all students to an excellent education.”

The findings come amid a major nationwide debate over school discipline, and just what statistics like these mean.

School districts across the country have reexamined the way they chastise students for misbehaving, in part because of previous civil rights survey results.

In 2013, the Los Angeles Unified School District banned suspensions for “willful defiance.” As a result, the district’s suspension rate dropped to .55 percent last school year from eight percent in 2007-2008. Instead, teachers were supposed to use “restorative justice,” tactics that include conflict resolution, to keep their classrooms orderly. But teachers have saidthat they haven’t been trained in these techniques sufficiently.

Under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, a new law, states are required to review schools disciplinary statistics to reduce an “overuse of suspension.”

The disparities invite further investigation, said Catherine Lhamon, the assistant secretary of education responsible of the Office for Civil Rights. “Data by itself is not a reason to think there’s intentional discrimination, but they are a reason to ask further questions,” she said.

So why are there major disparities in school discipline?

Jason Okonofua, a social psychologist at Stanford University, began trying to answer this question in his research after reflecting on his own experiences. As a kid growing up in Memphis, Tenn., he attended seven different public schools and noticed that in some schools, teachers were more rigid; in others, they were more supportive. After tenth grade, though, came a bigger difference: he won a scholarship to an East coast prep school, where he was one of just several black kids, compared to the majority black schools he attended in Memphis.

At the prep school, he said, teachers treated students like adults. “Seeing how different school atmospheres can bring about different outcomes got me interested in this particular topic,” he said.

Okonofua found in his studies that the disparities stem from problems in the relationships between teachers and students. Minority students, he found, expect to be the victim of bias — which leads them to be less cooperative. On the other hand, he said, if a teacher feels disrespected, and as if the student is a troublemaker, the student will get punished more severely, causing the cycle to continue….More…

 

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The New Jim Crow – The Paper Bag Test and School Suspensions

Not really surprised about the stats on how minority children are expelled at rates from 3-15 times greater than white kids. That seems par for the course depending on educational district and mindset. And with School “Resource” Officers arresting black and Hispanic kids at double digit rates higher than white kids – that follows pretty much with the police criminalization of minority youth.

What is interesting is within the minority groups – Who is expelled. It hearkens back to the Jim Crow days.

Guess who gets expelled…

Lessons in Brutality

It’s shocking to watch a black student violently arrested in school. What is more shocking is how common it is.

…Since 1995, juvenile incarceration has dropped by more than 40 percent. In the same time frame, however, out-of-school suspensions have increased 10 percent, doubling the total from 1970. As reporters Dara Lind and Libby Nelson explain for Vox, this stems from several trends.

The crime waves of the 1980s and early 1990s sparked deep concern in schools across the country. In 1994, President Bill Clinton signed the Gun-Free Schools Act, which mandated specific penalties for carrying weapons in schools. Zero tolerance was national policy, and school districts devised their own codes meant to stop minor incidents before they blossomed into major ones, a public school analogue to the “broken windows” policies in places like New York City. What’s more, crime fears—as well as the mass shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado—led to more police officers in schools as well: The number of “school resource officers” increased 38 percent to more than 13,000 in 2007, up from 9,446 in 1997…

In public school districts around the country, arrests have increased with the presence of school resource officers, even as juvenile crime rates have decreased. Even adjusting for poverty—which tends to correlate with safety—the total arrest rate in schools with officers was almost three times the rate for schools without them. “About 92,000 students were arrested in school during the 2011–2012 school year,” notes Vox. “And most of those were low-level violations.”

As is often true, from the war on drugs to mass incarceration, the brunt of this punitive policy falls hardest on black and Latino Americans. From 1972 to 2010, the school suspension rate for whites in middle and high school climbed from 6 percent to 7.1 percent. For Latinos it climbed from 6.1 to 12 percent. For blacks it more than doubled from 11.8 percent to 24.3 percent…

In 2007, 70 percent of in-school arrests were of black and Latino students. Overall,according to the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, black students are suspended and expelled at a rate three times greater than white students, 16 percent versus 5 percent. This is true for all ages: “Black children,” notes the DOE, “represent 18 percent of preschool enrollment, but 48 percent of preschool children receiving more than one out-of-school suspension.” White students, by contrast, “represent 43 percent of preschool enrollment but 26 percent of preschool children receiving more than one out-of-school suspension.” Students of color with disabilities are also more likely to be restrained or suspended: Black students constitute 21 percent of all students with disabilities, but 44 percent of those subject to mechanical restraints.

In some states, suspension rates are almost unbelievable. In the 2011–2012 school year, Missouri suspended 14.4 percent of its black elementary students, compared with just 1.8 percent of its white students. Florida suspended 5.1 percent of its elementary students and 19 percent of its middle and high school students. And Wisconsin suspended a mind-blowing 34 percent of all enrolled black students in a single year.

It should be said that, echoing the incident at Spring Valley High School, black girls—and dark-skinned black girls in particular—are disproportionately punished in schools. “Black girls in public elementary and secondary schools nationwide were suspended at a rate of 12 percent, compared with a rate of just 2 percent for white girls, and more than girls of any other race or ethnicity,” writes the New York Times, adding that “black girls with the darkest skin tones were three times more likely to be suspended than black girls with the lightest skin.”

You might look at this and wonder if it’s behavior. Do black and Latino students act worse than white ones? Do black girls behave worse than white ones? The answer is no. “Despite higher rates of school suspensions for black, latino, and Native American students, there appear to be few racial differences in the offenses most likely to lead to zero tolerance policy violations,” write researchers at Indiana University. Instead, these students are referred for less serious and more subjective offenses.

In general, notes the Kirwan Institute at Ohio State University, “Research suggests that when given an opportunity to choose among several disciplinary options for a relatively minor offense, teachers and school administrators often choose more severe punishment for black students than for white students for the same offense.” In fact, according to one study of Texas schools, 97 percent of suspensions were the choice of administrators, as only 3 percent of students had broken rules that required such punishment. But the weight of those discretionary suspensions fell on black students—they were 31 percent more likely to be suspended, even controlling for a host of other variables.

At all ages, black students are perceived as more dangerous and unruly. And to that point, at least one analysis shows that teachers hold lower expectations of black and Latino children compared with their white peers. When mixed with zero-tolerance discipline and school police officers, you have a recipe for wide disparities in treatment. A 2011 study of North Carolina schools from the National Education Policy Center found that 32 percent of black students were suspended for first-time offense of cellphone use at school, compared with just 15 percent of white students. For a first-time offense of public display of affection, almost 43 percent of accused black students were suspended, compared with about 15 percent of white students…Read the whole article here

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2015 in The New Jim Crow

 

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Problems In McKinney Texas More Insidious Than Just a Pool Party

In case you forgot –

Like Ferguson, Mo. there are many underlying problems in the town.

Racial Disparities In McKinney, Texas, Extend Well Beyond Pool Parties

A troubling new report on youth and policing in McKinney, Texas — the Dallas suburb where an officer was filmed shoving an African-American girl to the ground at a June pool party — found that police officers in the McKinney Independent School District ticket and arrest black students at much higher rates than other students.

The report, released Wednesday, reveals a startling racial disparity in the way local authorities handle school discipline. Though black students only comprise 13 percent of the district’s student population, they received about 36 percent of all tickets issued by school resource officers — who are chosen from the ranks of the McKinney police force — and accounted for 39 percent of all arrests.

The nonprofit group Texas Appleseed compiled the school discipline data by using open records requests, tracking disciplinary actions taken between January 2012 and June 2015.

African-Americans were also suspended at a much higher rate than white students during the 2013-2014 school year. Black students received 30 percent of in-school suspensions and 38 percent of out-of-school suspensions in the district that year, the report revealed. Research has long shown that being suspended from school, even just once, greatly increases the chances that a student will drop out of high school.

“McKinney’s extreme and inequitable school discipline measures mirror the larger problems sweeping communities throughout the nation where inadequate training and racial bias have led to inappropriate and even deadly responses by police in response to minor incidents,” wrote Deborah Fowler, executive director of Texas Appleseed, in a statement on Wednesday after the report’s release…

 

 
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Posted by on August 13, 2015 in The New Jim Crow

 

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