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(AURN) -- An African American mother whose young sons, ages 3 & 4, have been suspended from pre-school a combined 8 times, is encouraging parents -- particularly Black parents -- to get involved with their children's schools.
Tunette Powell, a motivational speaker, author and co-founder of the non profit organization, The Truth Heals, did just that after learning that Black children, are disproportionately suspended from pre-school compared to their white counterparts.
In an op-ed for the Washington Post, Powell notes stats released in March 2014 by the Education Department's Office for Civil Rights that show black kids, who make up 18 percent of preschool enrollment but make up 48 percent of preschool children receiving more than one out-of-school suspension.
Tunette Powell (tunettepowell.com)
*Disproportionate suspensions of girls of color
*Suspension of students with disabilities and English learners
*Arrests and referrals to law enforcement, by race/ethnicity
*Restraint and seclusion, by disability status and race
While Powell was not happy with the behavior that caused her son's suspensions -- some of which included throwing a chair and spitting -- she was surprised to learn that her son's white pre-school classmates were not being suspended for some more egregious offenses.
She writes that she had taken one of her sons to a party for a classmate:
"At the party, the mothers congregated to talk about everyday parenting things, including preschool. As we talked, I admitted that JJ had been suspended three times. All of the mothers were shocked at the news.
“JJ?” one mother asked.
“My son threw something at a kid on purpose and the kid had to be rushed to the hospital,” another parent said. “All I got was a phone call.”
One after another, white mothers confessed the trouble their children had gotten into. Some of the behavior was similar to JJ’s; some was much worse."
Read more here.
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