A fascinating study that all involved in or interested in education should read. Required reading for educators, seriously. When observing a mix raced (black and white) classroom and told to look for mis-behavior, this study tracked which students teachers focused on.
A some of the article’s review of the findings are:
“What we found was exactly what we expected based on the rates at which children are expelled from preschool programs,” Gilliam says. “Teachers looked more at the black children than the white children, and they looked specifically more at the African-American boy.”
Indeed, according to recent data from the U.S. Department of Education, black children are 3.6 times more likely to be suspended from preschool than white children. Put another way, black children account for roughly 19 percent of all preschoolers, but nearly half of preschoolers who get suspended.
One reason that number is so high, Gilliam suggests, is that teachers spend more time focused on their black students, expecting bad behavior. “If you look for something in one place, that’s the only place you can typically find it.”
The Yale team also asked subjects to identify the child they felt required the most attention. Forty-two percent identified the black boy, 34 percent identified the white boy, while 13 percent and 10 percent identified the white and black girls respectively.
Not only does this confirm what we already know - that black children are view through this dangerous perception of inherent criminality - but it also expands on other important implications. Along with this nefarious over-focus on black children as sources of mis-behavior, the needs of girls, and especially black girls, are largely ignored.
In my last year in elementary school, 2 young black girls stick out because they tended to exhibit a lot of attention seeking behaviors. Seeing that they were upper elementary students, this article makes me now wonder if years of being ignored in an elementary setting caused them to internalize that the only way they can receive attention, care and the support they need is through extreme actions.
Rules over how female students wear their hair at a South African high school have been suspended after anti-racism protests from black pupils, a local minister says. “There will be no learner that will be victimized purely because of their hairstyle until the School Governing Body have finalized a new code of conduct that deals specifically with this issue,” said Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi in an article for Eye Witness News.
The victory in Pretoria is a victory for every Black person in the world ‘cause the policy of the Black hair is never about hair. This is a protest against whitewashing of blackness in any environment. Policing the hair styles of Black people is a type of racism that is lurking in company handbooks and school codes of conduct.
These young girls are our inspiration to continue to fight until we are fully and completely accepted.
“Meet 13-year-old Zulaikha Patel, one of the students who helped lead a protest against the discriminatory hair policy at Pretoria Girls High School (a formerly white-only institution in South Africa).
During the school’s weekend fair on Saturday, Zulaikha and her fellow classmates staged a silent protest against their school’s hair policy, which targets and restricts how Black girls wear their hair to school. On top of being disciplined for wearing her natural hair, Zulaikha has had to move schools three times because her hair did not comply with the code of conduct. Furthermore, Pretoria teachers also prohibit students from speaking their own local African languages in the classroom.
For Zulaikha this is about: “Fighting for every Black child in this country, because it’s time for our endless cries to be heard.”
To all of the girls at Pretoria High, we celebrate your authenticity and salute you all for having the courage to take a stand.”