A recent commentary in the Washington Post by motivational speaker and author Tunette Powell relayed her experience as a parent of two preschoolers who have been suspended a combined 8 times this year. After swapping stories with white parents at the same school, she realized her kids were being suspended while their kids were merely being corrected with a phone call to their parents. It's a pretty polarizing first person account that you'll need to read in its entirely before chiming in below.
Here's a snippet...
I received a call from my sons’ school in March telling me that my oldest needed to be picked up early. He had been given a one-day suspension because he had thrown a chair. He did not hit anyone, but he could have, the school officials told me.Again, you'll need to read the entire story to get the full context, so please do that before commenting below.
JJ was 4 at the time.
I agreed his behavior was inappropriate, but I was shocked that it resulted in a suspension.
For weeks, it seemed as if JJ was on the chopping block. He was suspended two more times, once for throwing another chair and then for spitting on a student who was bothering him at breakfast. Again, these are behaviors I found inappropriate, but I did not agree with suspension.
So I punished JJ at home and ignored my concerns. Then, two months later, I was called to pick up my 3-year-old son, Joah. Joah had hit a staff member on the arm. After that incident, they deemed him a “danger to the staff.” Joah was suspended a total of five times. In 2014, my children have received eight suspensions.
Question: Do black kids really get suspended at higher rates and if so, what's the reason? Does this woman have a legitimate beef or should she (and her husband, who is curiously only mentioned in passing) do a better job? What has your experience as a parent been like?