7 Ways That Black Students are Discriminated Against in U.S K-12 Schools
African Africans have a long history of being mistreated in the United States, starting with slavery. It should come as no surprise that their children face the same treatment in U.S. K-12 public and private schools. How? Keep reading. In this piece, I will briefly list 7 ways that black students are discriminated against in U.S. schools.
- Black students are less likely to be identified as gifted. Because current gifted assessments were created for the prototypical white student, they discriminate against black children by giving them inequitable representation in the program. This increases the achievement gap, as gifted programs allow students an opportunity to increase their aptitude and intelligence, which gives them a greater chance of being successful later on in life.
- Black students are more likely to receive a substandard education. Blacks students are more likely than any other student group to attend schools that are made up of unqualified teachers, administrators and have limited resources. As a consequence, black students are more likely to experience academic failure and drop out of school.
- Black students are less likely to have access to technology and Wi-Fi. Even with the proliferation of technology, many black families below the poverty line cannot afford to purchase it. This puts their child at a disadvantage because even if they are issued tech devices by their schools, the absence of Wi-Fi at home prevents them from completing homework and other assignments. Thankfully forward-thinking school districts are counteracting this by parking buses with Wi-Fi in areas where they know student lack access to the internet.
- Bias against black students starts in early childhood. Although Black preschoolers represent only 18% of the early childhood population, they comprise 42% of pupils who have been suspended and about half of the preschoolers who were suspended multiple times.
- Black girls are disciplined more severely. Black female students are a whopping 5.5 times more likely to be suspended from school, and an unbelievable 6.1 times more likely to be expelled, than their white gender counterparts. They are also 2.5 times more likely to be expelled and denied access to educational services for the duration of their expulsion.
- Black students are more likely to be suspended from school. Black students in K-12 schools are overrepresented when it comes to school discipline rates, specifically, expulsions and suspensions. This is particularly troubling, as black students make up only about 15.5% of all public-school students, but they represent about 39% of pupils who are suspended from U.S. schools.
- Black students are overrepresented in the school to prison pipeline. When schools don’t provide students with the support and resources that they need to succeed academically, they become disenchanted with the public school system and more often than not, drop out of school. No surprise that most of these students are black. Without a high school diploma and with the omnipresence of racism, many of these students have a hard time finding gainful employment. If they do, they quickly find out that the money that they make is not enough to sustain them. Disenchanted, many of them will turn to the criminal lifestyle, hoping to make enough money to support themselves. More often then not, they end up going to prison, get out, and end up going back.
Sad commentary. How can we as educators end the rampant discrimination that black students in U.S. schools face?