Four ways to stop undermining education and educators
During horseplay with friends, a young man — a high school student — had shoved an elderly woman.
Now, he risked suspension. I was working in the student’s school as a staff developer at the time, helping to implement restorative practices as part of my work with Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility. I drew the young man into a “restorative conference” with the principal and others.
Research shows that students of color are punished far more often and more harshly than white students for the same infractions — and sometimes for no infractions at all. That’s because often suspension isn’t about a child’s harmful behavior. It’s about adult assumptions and lack of awareness, especially related to race, class, gender and sexual orientation.