By: Krystle Crossman
As an associate professor and a director for Temple University, Ama Mazama has seen the amount of racism that black youth have to suffer through in school. She states that this is one of the biggest reasons that more black children are being home-schooled as opposed to going to public schools. She says that while there are a large number of white students who are home-schooled, it is for very different reasons. Mazama conducted a survey of 74 different African-Americans to see why they were home-schooling. These were the biggest topics that she found:
1. Punishments – There has been research that has shown that black children are punished more often and are given much harsher punishments than their white counterparts in public schools. One good example is an 11 year old boy who now has a felony charge because a police officer decided to grab him and pull him out of line at school and he tried to fight back. It has been coined as the preschool-to-prison-pipeline because it seems that many schools are setting these kids up to fail. They hand out the punishments for minor infractions and then label them as bad kids which follows them around for life. They begin to think that they really are bad kids and end up giving up on trying to be good.
2. Lessons – The curriculum is school is very Eurocentric. Most of the history that kids learn about in school is about wars that have been fought and the white people that changed the landscape of our country. It is very rare that African-American history is brought up.
3. Stereotypes – Teachers seem to bring stereotypes to class with them all too often and they judge the black students in their class based on these stereotypes. Of course not all white teachers are like this, but with 85% of teachers in the U.S. being white there is a good majority that do this. They label them as bad kids the second they walk through the door or they feel that they will be poor students anyway so they are reluctant to help and come off as crass.
These reasons are the main reasons why more black parents are choosing to home-school their children than ever before. They are able to teach their kids about black history and about where they came from. They are able to let their child reach their full potential without having to deal with racism or doubt.