Thea Bowman Leadership Academy in Gary has a 10-year-old policy that allows a child to be suspended if they are tardy four times. This seems excessive. The policy should be revisited and changed.
The latest incident involved a straight-A student, much beloved of her instructors and a model of excellent behavior.
In May 2013, USA Today reported, “Black students are suspended more than three times as often as their white classmates, twice as often as their Latino classmates and more than 10 times as often as their Asian classmates in middle and high schools nationwide” (Kelman, 2013).
This statistic highlights the reality that suspension has become the first line of defense for schools that serve African-American children. Sadly, schools in under-performing (Thea Bowman only received a grade of C, which is status quo) communities are doing more to punish than to educate.
- Patrick Barry, Gary