In a blog entry at The Root DC, editor Robert E. Pierre examines startling statistics that show expulsion rates of black boys at state-funded prekindergartens to be three times the rate of white children. He concludes that it is time to close the gap in how discipline is meted out.
The statistics, the first time I read them, were startling: Black students in state-funded pre-kindergartens were twice as likely to be expelled than Latino and white children. Focus only on black boys and the expulsion rates were three times the rate of white children.
I came across this study by the Yale University Child Study Center as part of of a story I wrote for the Post’s Being A Black Man series about how one family — earning $200,000 a year — agonized over how to protect their then 9-year-old young son from being viewed as someone to be feared.
As the Post’s report about racial disparities shows, there remains a huge gap in how discipline is metted out. There is much handwringing from educators about socio-economics and other factors, all of which play some role. But the more disturbing reason is one that many well-meaning people are loathe to admit: We see them differently. Adults attach to children their views of black men, even when those children are too young to understand that they are anything other than children.
Read Robert E. Pierre's entire blog entry at The Root DC.