Suspensions? You are probably wondering what does suspensions have to do with Raising Black Genius? A lot.
Black children are suspended at higher rates than their White counterparts in schools across America. The challenge with suspensions translates into Black students missing key learning instruction time. Research studies look at the amount of time children are spending outside of the learning environment and shows the impact even one suspension has on a child’s learning.
Black Children Are Not Treated Equal
Disproportionality refers to a group’s representation in a particular category that exceeds expectations for that group, or differs substantially from the representation of others in that category. In regards to school discipline, Black children are disproportionally represented in office referrals, school suspension and out of school discipline. This adds to the preschool to prison pipeline.
Disproportionality research is highlighting the need to focus on what is happening to Black children in school settings? Research studies have highlighted this concern but provide little understanding of how to stop this complex issue from occurring.
Suspensions Start Early
As a therapist, I work with many 3, 4 and 5 year olds who have been “kicked out” of preschool. Preschoolers are disciplined at higher rates than K-12 students for age appropriate preschool behaviors. Many teachers struggle with managing behaviors such as temper tantrums, not sharing, hitting and kicking. Preschool is where children begin their relationship with school and with learning.
Small children need help with gaining school appropriate skills.
Teaching manners, how to share, getting along when someone has what you want, are all great skills to learn when heading into preschool.
Make sure your child has the social skills necessary to succeed.
Teach your child to sit in a chair and to write for school. Practicing school can help your child get ready for school.
Help your child with frustration tolerance- teach them to calm down, walk away, ask for help and to use their words.
Black Students Are Not Behaving Differently
Many of you may be wondering are my children behaving differently than their counterparts? The research supports that there is not a difference in behavior for Black children but a difference in teacher experience with Black students. Teacher referrals to the office are increased for Black students which often result in a suspension or expulsion. Teacher experience in the classroom and teacher bias about behavior have also been explored in research.
How Can You Help Your Child?
Parents check out my Youtube Channel Raising Black Genius for tips to help prevent your child from getting suspended.
Parents can help by understanding the school code of conduct and making sure your child completely understands what is school appropriate behavior. What we do in the neighborhood or at the playground may not be acceptable at the school recess playground.
Parents can help by attending Back to School Night for your child, which is usually a time where teachers explain their classroom rules and expectations. Showing up shows the teacher that you are their partner in learning.
Parents can respond early to any notes or indication of concerns in the classroom. I like to use CPS model with families and schools to help problem solve and create solutions that work in the classroom.
Parents can help with reminders to use solutions created and to help your child by encouraging them each day to be their best. Parents do not give them the list of don’t dos before going to school- let them know all the good you expect to see. Praise them ahead of time for great behavior.
In order to reach their highest potential, Black children need to be in school – every day. We can do our part to prepare our children for the expectations of school and help them to succeed.
Check out my book on Amazon- Powerful, Peaceful Parenting: Guiding Children Changing Lives and subscribe to my Youtube channel for weekly tips.
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