Failing Black Boys

Posted by Philadelphia Citizen on April 17, 2017


Philadelphia Citizen BY HILDERBRAND PELZER III APR. 10, 2017

The true cost of failing to meet the needs of black male students hit me several years ago, when I was principal of a Philadelphia public school inside Curran Fromhold Correctional Facility. One day, I met a former student from a public high school I had led several years earlier. I remembered that I had repeatedly suspended the young man from school for repeatedly cutting class. I felt it was the right thing to do at the time, for the sake of the school. But he was now an inmate, and still had not graduated from high school. I felt I had contributed to his circumstance.

And, in a way, I had. The rate of school suspensions has doubled in the last decade or so, most dramatically for students of color. In fact, the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights says black students are three times more likely to be suspended or expelled—even as young as preschool. Meanwhile, a large-scale study out of Texas found that students who were suspended or expelled were three times more likely to encounter the juvenile justice system than those who stayed in school—a direct link in the schools-to-prison pipeline.

Texas study:

More in "New Resources"

Stay Current in Philly's Higher Education and Nonprofit Sector

We compile a weekly email with local events, resources, national conferences, calls for proposals, grant, volunteer and job opportunities in the higher education and nonprofit sectors.