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Mother Fights Prejudice To Keep Her Sons In School

By: Krystle Crossman

Tunette Powell has two wonderful little boys. JJ is 4 and Joah is 3. They are normal kids who love to play and sometimes get a little too rough. When they do this at home they are punished accordingly and then life moves on. When they act out in school however, Powell gets a call from the school that she needs to come pick them up because they have been suspended.

The first time that JJ was suspended it was for throwing a chair. It didn’t hit anyone but they still felt that suspension was necessary. Powell agreed that the behavior was inappropriate but she thought that punishment was a little extreme. After this incident it seemed like the teachers had it out for JJ. He threw a chair again and was again suspended. Then there was an incident where he spit on a child that was bothering him during breakfast and yet again he was given a suspension. Powell felt that these punishments were not right but she herself had been a bad kid and had been expelled from preschool so she kept quiet. She said that it was hard because she remembered that everyone told her that she was a bad kid and she believed it. It took her a long time to realize that she wasn’t that bad of a kid.

Two months after these incidents with JJ she received a call about her son Joah. She needed to come pick him up because he was suspended. The three-year-old had hit a teacher on the arm and they now said that he was a danger to the staff. He ended up being suspended five times that year. Powell began to blame herself thinking that it was something that she was doing until she was speaking with other mothers. They were all shocked to hear that JJ had been suspended. Their children had done things that were similar to JJ’s incidents but all they received from the school was a phone call letting them know about the behavior and no suspension.

This unfortunately is a common occurrence in schools all over the country. Black children make up a total of 18% of the preschool population and yet make up 48% of children who are suspended. Powell says it is not because the teachers are racist but they have prejudices that they don’t think about, just like so many people do. Powell makes sure that she lets her children know that they are not bad children. She doesn’t want them to grow up thinking that they are and thinking that they can’t do any better.

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16 thoughts on “Mother Fights Prejudice To Keep Her Sons In School

  1. Ash

    1) Where is the rest of the article?… Lazy journalism much?
    2) These kids are bad. Get them some counseling and modify the discipline techniques being used now, before it is too late.

    • Renee

      Whatever, my child was treated unfairly and sometimes poorly because she was very smart gifted and most importantly, BLACK!!! She was NEVER a BEHAVIORAL PROBLEM!!

    • sharon

      I don’t get why a 3-4 yr old should be in school in the first place. I don’t think a 3 yr old is ready to be in a classroom setting without a parent. They are just too young to behave for hours and not get antsy. Maybe, a few brief lessons on color, numbers, letters, manners. Think of a child that age, not every one of them is ready for that. Too bad both parents have to work now and one cannot be home with the children so they don’t all have to be exposed to this. Damn, when I was a kid, school started at 6 yrs old, and we had to be taught to sit in our chairs and behave!

  2. Renee

    Let’s stop sending our babies to these hell holes, plain and simple! I NOW REGRET sending mine to be harassed everyday by ignorant women from the trailer park.

  3. ritt stevens

    What happened before the child threw a chair? Did someone say or do something to him?
    Where is his father? Is there family other than mom alone who is helping and can help find out what’s going on at school?
    What do the staff do when a child misbehaves? How do they speak to a child, and how do they help children learn to get along with each other?
    There are so many unanswered questions in this story, it seems more like an example of “Gotcha” games, where you set up a conflict, but refuse to flesh the story out enough for readers to get a sense of any of the adults, be it parent or teachers, doing their job for the children.
    This isn’t really journalism, but a gossip column, tossing stuff out to see what kind of sharking will go on about any of the characters playing roles in the drama.
    Please, if you intend to keep up this blog or website, show more care to flesh out the details of what the grownups are actually doing with and for the kids.
    Otherrwise, it feels like nobody knows what they’re doing and the poor kids can’t be blamed for throwing something at somebody.
    I’m a parent and a preschool teacher, and I highly recommend Unconditional Parenting, and any books by bell hooks and by Alison Gopnik.

  4. Tee Williams

    This lady is crazy. Those kids needed to be suspended. And the craziest part is that she thinks it’s prejudice that the other kids weren’t suspended but it’s not that her kid shouldntve been suspended but that the other kids should’ve been suspended also. If some little kid threw a chair and it hit my son, EW! , the lioness within me would soar!!! So the school did the right thing. Teach you kids some manners and how to behave lady!!!!!

  5. j doe

    when children are the young young they need to need to be taught not suspended explain to the child what they did wrong. I don’t think race have anything to do with this.These kids are 3&4 yrs old. In today society we can’t even look at our children with a punishing looks before some calls children services.

  6. SMH

    You all can give excuses for these bad ass kids all day long….that’s what these “microwave parents” do nowadays…..I wish one of my children would go out in public….especially school and show out….old school parents would never give excuses….but I guess you all will make excuses for bad ass kids…even when they become prison inmates…then you’ll blame the system, instead of controlling your damn hoodlums

  7. Carolyn M.

    This behavior was learned from an adult. Perhaps the parent(s) need “parenting” classes, in my opinion.

  8. E Zee

    Carolyn M, yes parenting classes!! On going classes!! Spitting? Throwing chairs at 3,4? What! Ok…**crickets

  9. Tiamette

    I never went to school until the first grade in 1966 and did not know children could be so disruptive and disrespectful until I started school. I respected adults and would never have done some of the things the “bad” kids would do. We had two boys who would harass the girls by pulling up their dresses and throwing books and other articles around the room as soon as the teacher stepped out or whenever they felt like it. We had corporal punishment in those days but those boys didn’t seem to care at all.

    I never understood why they behaved that way and when their parents came to the office, they would get punished then and there. The behavior would stop for a while but they would start up again.

  10. Sinie

    I just had this discussion with another mom that lives in my neighborhood. why is it that people want to take children to therapist and put them on medication? I believe that you are your child’s first behavioral therapist. They emulate what they see and what is taught. If adults learn to control themselves, then they ultimately teach their children how to control themselves. I don’t believe in medicating children to control their behavior, it does have adverse effects, not just on their physical health, but also on their self-esteem. Learn how to take control of your children and teach them the correct behavior at home, and watch what happens.

  11. Shawn Mc

    why is her kids so damn disruptive? who taught them how to spit? why do they hit people?

    lets be honest something is wrong at home, no one takes these kids out to play, their diet is garbage and the TV is left on to satisfy their attention.

  12. tewdrowos

    This lady doesn’t understand RACISM ,which is not prejudice and that is the reflection of racist idealogy as an institution practice ,but when you’re parent is ignorant of social and human history in America this is what you get dumb foundedness..

  13. keith

    I wish the pre-school boy in my daughter who pushes kids and throws stuff would have gotten suspended.


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