Too many children do not receive the help to which they are legally entitled because of ingrained biases
There’s a saying in educational circles: white kids get diagnosed, black kids get disciplined. Poor and brown kids, too, disproportionately get suspended, expelled, transferred to “continuation” schools, or even arrested for behavioral problems as mild as swearing. White kids, especially if their parents have money, health insurance, and access to lawyers, are more likely to have even chronic discipline problems treated as symptoms needing investigation and assessment.
I know this because my white kid is in that second group. From first through sixth grade, he was a challenging kid to teach. He was extremely bright – known for arguing with adults when they mistook a declarative sentence for an interrogative one, or got the definition of a light year wrong – and he would interrupt, shout or even swear when frustrated, and refuse to do work he found boring or repetitive. In elementary school, this was chalked up to his being bright and impatient and maybe a little overindulged at home. In middle school, homework issues and social difficulties bloomed into a full-blown case of clinical anxiety and eventually depression that led me to learn a lot about how schools do and don’t deal with these problems.
Troubled kids get treated if they are white – but punished if they are black | Tedra Osell
Mon, 24 Aug 2015 11:30:08 GMT