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Something I truly never thought about or never experienced when I was growing up is a child being suspended from preschool.

It is surprising that it does happen.

But it’s sad that those who are suspended most often are black children- children who because the history of this country, are already starting out at a disadvantage. This puts them even further behind.

The report from the Education Department’s civil rights arm shows that black children make up only 18 percent of the 1 million children in public preschool programs in the United States. However, according to the report, those 18 percent of black kids, make up almost half of the preschool children who are suspended.

White children attend preschool more often than black and Hispanic children; make up 28 percent of the suspensions. Hispanics children also attend preschool at a higher rate than blacks yet account for 25 percent of preschool suspensions. The full story on what’s behind the suspension is difficult to tell because the report doesn’t explain why the students were suspended. I’m sure there are exceptions, but it is hard to believe that a 4 or 5-year old would pose any sort of physical threat that a teacher could not handle fairly easily.

Daniel Losen of UCLA’s Civil Rights Project told the Associated Press that, “Almost none of these kids are kids that wouldn’t be better off with some support from educators,” and “just kicking them out of school is denying them access to educational opportunity at such a young age.”

In other words, some who are hired to teach our children are doing the worst thing they can do to a young student, kicking them out- the opposite of education!

When President Obama announced his “My Brother’s Keeper” program aimed at young black and Hispanic men, he did it by saying we must acknowledge a simple fact  that some in our society are left behind more often and need help getting back on track. That realignment must start well before birth and surely by the time black children start the education process. There must be practices and strategies put in place to help children with behavioral issues so that those issues can be addressed before a child is kicked out of preschool.

Children want nothing more than to fit in, accepted, to be loved. The best way to love them is to make sure their futures are secure.

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6 thoughts on “Don Lemon: Why Are Black Preschoolers Suspended More Than Whites?

  1. Linda on said:

    This country does not wish to provide children of color with a decent education.

    Amerykah would rather imprison us than to prepare our kids for the advancing technology and basic education they will need in order to become
    productive members of society.

    More parents should consider home schooling as the public school systems will eventually be extinct!!!!

    To quote Malcolm X—“Education is our passport to the future.”–Our kids are being denied a FUTURE!!!!!!

    I have seen several photos where our kids were handcuffed like criminals.

    These teachers must be extremely
    ignorant when it comes to handling children. Whatever happened to giving
    the kid a “timeout”
    in the corner?

    So glad that it is not my child-because I would not STAND FOR IT!!!!!

  2. Yvonne on said:

    I believe They may be suspended more often but it should be noted as to why they are suspended . There are both black ,white and Hispanic that are suspended and believe it or not they probably have some real deep issues going on even with 4 year olds and their problem parent! I don think suspending is looked at lightly. So remember children that have issues usually have someone in there lives that have bigger issues!

  3. arlester p on said:

    well I think that little black children are suspended more than whites are because the white students are more prepared that most blacks. most black parents are working or its a single household where there is only one parent mostley the mother.

  4. Michelle on said:

    This is good information, but only a drop in the bucket in terms of the issues that black students have in school. There needs to be more collaboration between schools and parents/parents and support agencies, but most importantly, parents need to PARENT. When parents do their jobs, teachers can do theirs. That’s not to say that schools and teachers should not be held accountable. They should. Parents should also be supported in ways that help them raise healthy, happy kids. Pre-school (through middle school) should be a fun and interesting time of exploration for young kids, however, an out of control child can make that impossible. Those who have never worked in a school setting or a daycare, might find it hard to believe, but there are four year olds who are too much for a teacher to handle, even with an assistant. I’ve never met a teacher who didn’t try to manage difficult behaviors, but some things (throwing chairs, stabbing other students with pencils, trying to hurt classmates) are not classroom managed behaviors. A teacher cannot manage these behaviors and teach the class simultaneously. Racial bias is a real problem, so is the stagnating poverty that many of our Black children reside in. Parents who are struggling to get by often shift priorities so that their kids educations fall to the back burner. Also, many of our kids are living with mentally ill parents or those who are so weighed down by their issues (drugs, alcohol, domestic violence) that they can’t focus on raising their kids. Reading back over my comment, the a solution seems highly unlikely, but I think it can be accomplished if the Black community would show up for each other.

  5. Timekeeeper on said:

    Wow is right! Although no one should be surprised by any of this. It is long overdue that this is finally being looked at.

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