The Pre-Criminalization of Black Boys
In this article from Black Voices, Jeff Mays states that it’s tough to be a black boy in Nashville, Tennessee. I would argue that it’s tough for black boys all over. These problems aren’t exclusive to Nashville, and it doesn’t get better as those boys grow into men. If anything it gets worse.
According to Mays, “nationally, black kids are suspended three times more often than whites.”
The treatment some black males receive in school only conditions them to future stigmatization and negative behaviors. The practice of treating black male students more harshly for behavioral problems is the first step for the school-to-prison pipeline, the trend of dealing with our children as criminals as opposed to the still-developing, potential-filled young people that they are.
Behavioral problems among young boys are real. As hormones begin to explode, and whatever environmental concerns erupt, kids exhibit all kinds of strange behavior.
But how much of this suspension issue is based on teachers’ and administrators’ perception of black boys as problem children? Continue reading