By: Krystle Crossman
When your child acts out at home they are usually punished for it. They will be given a time out or have a toy taken away. But when they act out at school, it can mean suspension. Tunette Powell has a story that shows just what extremes schools are going to in order to punish students who often times are just acting as a child their age would. She said that her three year-old son has been suspended from school five times already. Sadly this is a common occurrence in schools all across the country.
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The Department of Education showed that schools in the US suspended a total of 7,500 preschool students during the last school year. Mrs. Powell said that one of the times her son was suspended was when he hit a teacher on the arm and they said that his behavior was a danger to the staff. The data from the study by the Dept. of Education also showed that students who are black are suspended three times more than white students. This extreme amount of suspensions and expulsions has been dubbed the “preschool to prison pipeline”. They feel that children are told that they are bad from an early age and they actually believe it.
In previous years, one of the biggest reasons for suspensions in schools was “willful defiance”. This was classified as anything such as forgetting to bring a notebook to class or forgetting to turn in the homework. The nation’s second largest school district which is found in Los Angeles did away with “willful defiance” and the suspension numbers per year dropped from 19,000 down to 8,000. Some of the teachers in the union stated that a powerful disciplinary tool has been taken from them.
Mrs. Powell said that her son being suspended reminded her of her childhood. She was expelled when she was three and was told that she was a bad kid until she started to believe it. She makes sure that her children know that they are expected to act respectfully and to know that they are not bad kids.