A study released today by the US Department of Education shows that racism is alive and well in public schools across the country. This study included data from every school district in the country which showed:
- Black students were expelled or suspended at triple the rate of whites
- Black girls were expelled more often than most other students and at more than double the rate of white students
- Black students had less access to qualified and trained teachers than white students
- 25% of school districts pay teachers in less diverse schools up to $5000 more than teachers in predominantly black or Latino schools
- This disparity in treatment begins early with black preschool students representing 43 percent of preschoolers suspended more than once when they are only 18 percent of the preschool population.
This early pattern of school mistreatment shapes black children to fit into the school to prison pipeline, with 16 percent (black students’ population) comprising 27 per cent of students referred to law enforcement and making up 31 per cent of students arrested in school. Recall the case of the five year old Florida girl who was handcuffed with her ankles bound for throwing a temper tantrum in 2005 or the six year old Georgia kindergartner who was handcuffed and taken to the police station for having a meltdown over candy.