Betsy DeVos and company are at it again. The DeVos-led Department of Education is currently cooking up ways to get rid of the 2014 Obama-era guidelines for K-12 public school discipline, which was aimed at ameliorating discrepancies based on race, class and disability when it comes to how students are punished in school.
Black Men Are Welcoming Students Back to Schools with No Black Teachers. What's Wrong With This Picture?
A new tradition has started at schools in cities like Atlanta, Hartford and Boston. Black men from the community, dressed in suits and other professional attire, stand outside the school doors to welcome students to the start of another year. Just like the starting lineup line at a game, where teammates receive players with high-fives, the men form an aisle for students to walk down as they approach the school doors. Students are greeted with words of encouragement, slaps on the back and head, or some dap, to signal to kids that school matters. So what could possibly be wrong with this “it takes a village” display? When those same kids enter into their schools, they see a teaching force that is predominantly female and white. The doors of the school shut with the Black men outside of the village. What kind of message does that send to kids?
In the last 20 years, there has been a shocking rise in the number of schools that embrace zero tolerance policies that regularly leave students suspended, expelled or arrested for the kinds of infractions that once would have meant a trip to the principal’s office. Over the same period of time, police presence in schools has increased dramatically, making it more probable that these same kids will be sucked out of the classroom and into the criminal justice system.
Destiny was in eighth grade when, in the middle of an altercation with another student, she grabbed a teacher’s jacket and threw it out of a classroom window.