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KBSI Perspective
Growing up in Ohio I seemed to have missed the racial problems that plagued this country. In the 1950’s the neighbors on each side of my family’s house were black. My high school was 65% African-American. The basketball team, except for me, was all black. After graduating from college I taught in an urban high school that was at least 50% African-American and probably another 10% Hispanic. Somehow the racial divide that this country faced during the 60’s missed me and many others I knew. Now there is a concern about suspension of black students nationally by middle schools and high schools. News reports last week state that black students are suspended three times more than white students and twice as often as Latinos. Here is the kicker; white students are suspended more than three times as Asians. The average high school student has about an 11% average of being suspended in a single school year but if the student is black it jumps to 24%. The United States Department of Education is looking into these statistics which date back to the 2010 school year. The reason for most suspensions comes from fights or physical aggression. Another contributing factor is the no tolerance rules that are now in place for infractions. An 11% chance that you will be suspended during a school year is a high number. Suspensions during my high school and teaching days were almost non-existent. I remember a couple of instances but for the most part the student had to meet with the counselors and maybe be isolated in a study hall for misbehaving. Actually, the teachers would become physical in some cases. Previous studies show that even one suspension of a student doubles the chance that the student will become a drop out. Maybe it is time for American schools to take a hard look at suspension practices that in my perspective are out of control. What do you think?School Suspensions


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