July 25, 2014

Actually, I Want You To Freak Out About Racist Preschool Suspension Policies

Oh my gosh, how outrageous is this, the exact opposite of the buy-your-kid's-way-into-socialite-preschool story.

Tunette Powell writes in the Washington Post about discovering that her sons were getting suspended from preschool like crazy, for what amounts to age-appropriate behavior, behavior for which other [i.e., white] kids were not getting suspended for.

The problem is not that we have a bunch of racist teachers and administrators. I believe most educators want to help all children. But many aren't aware of the biases and prejudices that they, like all of us, harbor, and our current system offers very little diversity training to preschool staff.

A recent study published by the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that the subjects -- mostly white, female undergraduates -- viewed black boys as older and less innocent than their white peers.

Powell's solution: get more involved at school, and engage with teachers, administrators, and fellow parents to increase understanding and deepen relationships. Which, in the absence of broader awareness and institutional policy shifts, is about all you can do.

My son has been suspended five times. He's 3. [washpost]

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