Saturday, April 5, 2014

Preschool Suspensions: Yes, They're Happening, and the Consequences Aren't Fun and Games - Yahoo News

Preschool Suspensions: Yes, They're Happening, and the Consequences Aren't Fun and Games - Yahoo News:



Preschool Suspensions: Yes, They're Happening, and the Consequences Aren't Fun and Games



Takepart.com
It may seem absurd, but each year thousands of preschool children are suspended from school. Kids as young as four years old are sent home for so-called misbehavior, such as kissing another student or wearing the wrong shoes. What’s even more alarming than a child that young being suspended for such minor things? Nearly half of all children suspended are black.
A recently released report from the Civil Rights Data Collection of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights examined all 97,000 public schools across America and found that more than 8,000 public preschoolers were suspended at least once in the 2011–12 school year. According to the report, although black students represent 18 percent of preschool enrollment, they represent 42 percent of students suspended once and 48 percent of students suspended more than once.
The report is the first time the Department of Education has collected data on preschool discipline. Although black parents don’t need an official study to know that these stats are true, the numbers have been eye-opening. “To see that young African American students—or babies, as I call them—are being suspended from pre-K programs at such horrendous rates is deeply troubling,” Leticia Smith-Evans, interim director of education practice at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, said in a statement.
Even more problematic? Suspensions often lead to the "school-to-prison pipeline," a national trend the ACLU has called disturbing. The organization also notes that the pipeline allows students to be "funneled out of public schools and into the juvenile and criminal justice systems."
“This critical report shows that racial disparities in school discipline policies are not only well documented among older students but actually begin during preschool,” U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said at a recent event in Washington, D.C. “Every data point represents a life impacted and a future potentially diverted or 

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