A recent article, Race debate should include school discipline: Column, claims that the exclusion of school discipline is one of the major elements missing in the race debate discussion. Due to the recent deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, the debate on race has excelled. While many scholars, politicians, civic leaders, and lay people continue to debate the source of America’s racial ills, it is school discipline demographic data according to ethnicity that should be at the forefront.

The discussion regarding school discipline is important due to the school-to-prison pipeline. The term “school-to-prison pipeline” is a phrase that is used by education reform activists and organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Justice Policy Center, Advancement Project, and the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) to describe what they view as a widespread pattern in the United States of pushing students, especially those who are already at a disadvantage, out of school and into the American criminal justice system. They argue that this “pipeline” is the result of public institutions being neglectful or derelict in properly addressing students as individuals who might need extra educational or social assistance, or being unable to do so because of staffing shortages or statutory mandates. The resulting miseducation and mass incarceration are said to create a vicious circle for individuals and communities. 

The school-to-prison pipeline begins in preschool. Even though Black children consist of 18% of the preschool population they comprise of 48% of the out of school suspensions. While White children consist of 43% of the preschool population, they comprise of 26% of the out of school suspensions. The imbalance of suspensions continues as children progress through school. Overall, White students make up 5% of the out of school suspensions while Black students make up 16% of the out of school suspensions.

Schools continue the school-to-prison pipeline due to the high rates of negative interactions between Blacks and law enforcement. Even though Blacks account for 16% of the school population, they represent 27% of the students who are recommended to law enforcement and 31% are subjected school arrest. White students represent 51% of the student enrollment but only 41% are recommended to law enforcement and 39% are subjected to school arrest.

The primary reason for the over discipline of Black children is the Raccelerate Phenomenon. The Raccelerate Phenomenon has roots in Newton’s Third Law of Motion. Newton’s Third Law of Motion states that when one body exerts a force on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction on the first body. In elementary terms, Newton’s Third Law of Motion states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

The Raccelerate Phenomenon follows the same principle as Newton’s Third Law of Motion in that whenever there is a perceived infringement by a Black male against a White female there is an negative overreaction portrayed in the media. Specifically, the Raccelerate Phenomenon states that for every action that a Black male takes against a White female there is an elevated negative reaction towards Black men. The Raccelerate Phenomenon is the cause for many of the racial tensions between Blacks and Whites.

The Raccelerate Phenomenon is the primary cause for the over discipline of Blacks. The ultimate result is the protection of the White female teacher. This is important because it also protects the White economical system.

Since public schools have a majority White female teaching staff, the income of the White female teacher enhances the income of the White family. It provides an opportunity for White female teachers to have an opportunity to raise their family. This is available because teachers get every evening off, every weekend off, and every summer off. This time can be used to help to raise children while other professions do not provide the same benefit.

The main reason why schools do not include school discipline in the discussion of race is because it will not only continue to expose the racism that exist in the classroom but it will also expose the economical advantage afforded to White female teachers and their White families.

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Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D.
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