Room4Debate: Are Public Schools Safe for Black Children?

By: Lynette Holloway of theroot.com

On Tuesday the U.S. Department of Education released the Civil Rights Data Collection sample, which found that public school educators unfairly punish minority students. The Associated Press had previously reported on a preliminary release of the report.

The survey of 7,000 school districts and 72,000 schools was conducted during the 2009-2010 school year. It also found that African-American children were less likely to be exposed to high-level curriculums and experienced teachers.

 African-American children represent 18 percent of the sample in the study, they represent 35 percent of the number of students suspended once, 46 percent of those suspended more than once and 39 percent of all students expelled, the report shows.

Findings also show that more than 70 percent of students involved in school-related arrests or referred to law enforcement were Latino or African American.

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Room4Debate: Should a 6-year-old be handcuffed?

Salecia Johnson

Salecia Johnson

A New Mexico teacher asked a 13-year-old girl to stop talking with her friend and move to another seat. The girl refused. The teacher called the police.

The case is among thousands across the United States fueling a long-simmering debate over when educators should bring in the police to deal with disruptive students. A 6-year-old Georgia kindergartner became the latest test case last week when she was hauled off in steel handcuffs after throwing books and toys in a school tantrum.

“Kids are being arrested for being kids,” said Shannon Kennedy, a civil rights attorney who has filed a class-action lawsuit against Albuquerque’s public school district and its police department on behalf of hundreds of kids arrested for minor offenses over the past few years, including having cellphones in class, destroying a history book and inflating a condom.

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