“Speak Out” is an expression of opinion from the Editorial Board of WBTV, and is presented by General Manager, Scott Dempsey.
12,461…That’s the number of black boys kicked out of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school district last year by way of a short-term suspension.
By comparison, fewer than 12 hundred white boys were suspended.
It makes you wonder: “Are black boys that bad and white boys relatively that good?”
True, there are more black students in CMS than white students.
And some schools where suspensions occured are mostly black.
But still, when we see disproportionate numbers like that – 12 thousand to 12 hundred – we’re concerned.
CMS…the North Carolina Public School Forum…and the Council for Children's Rights are also worried,
They’ve joined the movement to see that all students are treated equally when punished.
Training is now provided for principals to ensure any bias is removed when enforcing punishments.
We’re not saying “don't suspend.” We do say “think before you suspend.”
And we question punishments that are left solely to an administrator’s discretion.
For example, when a student gets in trouble for “aggressive behavior.”
What's aggressive to one may not be aggressive to another.
Studies show punishing students unfairly could lead them to drop out of school and end up in the prison system.
We don’t want our kids to lose hope.
All students deserve a fair shake in life.
But before that can happen, they first have to get a fair shake in school.
Tell us what YOU think. SpeakOut@wbtv.com.