Expelled from school because of their skin color: the harsh reality of African American students in the United States

by Audrey-Anne J. on Octobre 27, 2014 - 9:53pm

 

The article “For Black Students the School to Prison Pipeline Is in Higher Gear Than Ever” published in the Huffington Post on October 24th by Earl Ofari Hutchinson denounces an issue that schools in the United States deal with. Many students are being expelled from public elementary and high school. The issue is that the majority of those students are African American. Sometimes they are also arrested. Teachers call quickly the police for problems that once only needed the help of the principal of the school or that could be solved by talking to the parent of the student. For a white student, teachers usually stay with this classic intervention. 70% of African American students have been reported to the police by a teacher. The author states two major reasons why. The first is because of the Federal Gun-Free Schools Act, which is an act that banishes students from being armed and results in an automatic expulsion of any students carrying a weapon in school. This act has changed since it was first established in 1994 and now it punishes students who commit violent acts too. The second reason is the racist thoughts of the staff of the school. Many of them are scared and they associate black students with gangs and violence. They believe that black students are more likely to be violent compared to white students.  However, many of those students are not arrested for violent crime like robbery or assault. They are often arrested because they make too much noise or because they loiter in public spaces.

 

 

The author does a great job at denouncing the problem and the article calls the injustices in the schooling system to mind. It is not fair for the students to be judged like that by their teacher; the person they should look up to and trust. In my opinion, a teacher should be there to promote the respect of the differences and to value acceptance of the peers. By misjudging the student and by calling the police every time an African American student makes troubles, the teacher does not act like a role model. Unfortunately, if the other students in the class are young, many of them will think that it is the right way to act and the unreasonable fears will continue to grow. This can be viewed as new racism. It happens on a day to day basis and it is more subtle. At first glance, people might not see it as racism, because most of them associate racism with the segregation, when African American were beaten down and physically intimidated. However, a little comment can hurt as much as a fist. On a total other order of idea, it reminds me of the unfair treatment Aboriginals people experience when they go to the hospital. We learned in class that they too are judged by people who should not be biased: doctors. Because of the racist thoughts of the doctors and nurses, many of them do not receive the correct treatment and sometimes it leads to complications. Many of them also do not feel the need to go to the hospital anymore, because they do not feel welcomed there. What if the African American students do the same thing and stop going to school because they do not feel accepted. Is there a link between the drop-out rates and racism?

Reference

         Hutchinson, E.O. ( 2014). For Black Students the School to Prison Pipeline Is in Higher Gear Than Ever. Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/earl-ofari-hutchinson/for-black-students-t...