A recent study shows that black students in the Washington, D.C. area are two to five times more likely than their white classmates to be suspended or expelled from school. The Washington Post has analyzed districts in both suburban areas and cities, and found that a major discrepancy exists when it comes to the ethnicity of students being harshly punished in public schools.

Take St. Mary’s County for example: One in seven black students were suspended last year, compared with one in 20 white students. In fact, it seems that black students across the nation are getting suspended at much higher rates than their white, Hispanic, or Asian counterparts:

The most recent national figures, from 2006, show that 5 percent of white students are suspended, compared with 15 percent of their black classmates, 7 percent of Hispanics and 3 percent of Asians.

What’s going on here? Should we be working harder to keep black students from getting into trouble?

No! That’s a terribly racist idea, once you think about it. To say that black students need extra special attention in order to stay on the straight and narrow is to say that they aren’t as capable of doing so as students of other races.

It might even be counter intuitive to administer policies that cater to helping black students get with the program. People, for the most part, rise to the expectations that others have for them. If black kids are told they need more help than other kids simply because they’re black, they will believe themselves to be inferior to other ethnicities, and some won’t even bother trying.

All students, regardless of their skin color, should be expected to behave appropriately in school, and should be given equal educational opportunities to succeed. Let’s stop segregating students and start teaching them. Nobody deserves special treatment based upon his or her skin color.

Racial discrimination is illegal in America. If a black student is unfairly suspended or expelled while a white student is let off the hook for a comparable offense, then the adults responsible for that decision should be fired. There’s absolutely no excuse for such abominable treatment of children, and it should not be tolerated.

Now if only teachers could be fired … or parents could pick the best school for their kid instead of being assigned to one based on their zip code … we might actually see some real improvement in the overall education of our youth. It’s not going to come from condescending programs that will do nothing but teach a particular ethnic group that they aren’t as good as everyone else and therefore need some extra help. Some kids could really benefit from a mentor or a little extra attention; but it should never ever be race-based.

Sources : Need of Special Education


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Filed under: DC Education Issues

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