New Department of Education Data Shows School-to-Prison Pipeline Starts at Preschool

New Department of Education Data Shows School-to-Prison Pipeline Starts at Preschool

The Office of Civil Rights within the Department of Education released a disturbing study a few days ago which shows a continuing trend of young Black boys and girls being targeted with harsher punishments in preschool than their White counterparts who outnumber them.

According to the study, Black preschoolers are 3.6 times more likely to receive one or more out-of-school suspensions than White preschoolers. Black children represent 19% of preschool enrollment, but 47% of the preschool children getting the out-of-school suspensions. White children on the other hand represent 41% of preschool enrollment, but 28% of preschool children receiving one or more out-of-school suspensions.

Not only are the targets of these harsher penalties often Black, they are mostly males. Young male boys represent a whooping 78% of preschool children receiving one or more out-of-school suspensions. Nationwide, 2.8 million K-12 students received one or more out-of-school suspensions during this time period and nearly half at 1.1 million were Black, another 600,000 were Latino, 660,000 had a disability and 210,000 were English-learners! Collectively that represents an astonishing 2.5 million out of the 2.8 million K-12 students who received one or more out-of-school suspensions!!

These numbers of disturbing first and foremost because it's showing that nothing has changed since the last report came out in 2014 of the 2011-2012 years. In that study, it showed that 48% of those given out-of-school suspensions were Blacks...just one point higher than the 2013-2014 study!

The fact that preschoolers are suspended this much at all should be highly disturbing to all readers. We often time wonder why some students develop problems in school and how some schools don't provide the proper environments for child learning development. Might it be the fact that their first interaction with school at a preschool level is often bad if you're a young Black boy or girl?

This type of over-penalization is part of a larger culture in America that seeks to penalize people for the slightest of offenses. At a very young age, Black children are indirectly taught to prepare themselves for what life in general may be like when they get older.


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