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Assignment 4

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A journal called, The Colour of Discipline: Sources of Racial and Gender Disproportionality In School Punishment, by Russell J. Skiba, Robert S. Michael, Abra Carroll Nardo, and Reece L. Peterson, focuses on the level of stereotype and racial discrimination in schools. According to the journal the minority group in America is ever on the losing end of the schooling system. This is because they are usually viewed with a certain stereotype that white students are not viewed with. The male gender is also on the losing side because girls are perceived to be naturally calm people and when they are involved in some wrong activity they are given second and third chances but the boys are not.

The main reason for the punishment discrimination is because most of the students from the minority race are socio economically not well off. This means the schools offers them free lunch and even caters for part of their tuition fee, in a nutshell they are a liability to the school and when they commit a mistake they are easily suspended or expelled from schools (Costenbader, 1994). Children whose parents do not have a full time job are discriminated against as compared to children whose parents have full time jobs. Blacks and Latinos are viewed as very violent and when they are in a group of friends they are referred to as a gang, this means a small incidence they are the first suspects and if they were in the least involved they would face severe punishment that if it were a group of white boys the case would have been different.

According to the Children Defence Fund, 1995, an African-American male has sixteen times more likely to be accused of a crime he didn’t commit as opposed to a white female. The chances of girls being reported to the disciplinary committee of a school are five times lower than that of boys. Teachers find it easy to deal with girls than with boys. The entire issue of there being discrimination in terms of gender and race in school punishment is not a foreign concept as data on the same has existed ever since 1975, however the civil rights office and office of the secretary for education choose to turn a deaf ear to it. In doing so, they encourage the mistreatment of bys from minority groups in schools. This increases the level of school drop outs that end up in the streets involved in illegal dealings as they make the ends meet. This kind of discrimination encourages the stereotypes that education tries to work against. In real sense the education system is fighting against education itself.

Racial discrimination at school encourages the hatred between children based on their racial differences. When teachers show that it is right to punish someone more severe based on their race, it makes the person to hate school and this leads to poor performances in schools by the minority (Costenbader, 1994). A school should be a place where equality is the foundations of all actions. This is because it is where most children most things that they later on come to apply in life. One should not be discriminated based on their race, gender and socio-economic status. The law should be an equalizing tool to ensure that discrimination of any sort is not encouraged in schools. This can be implemented by the office of the secretary of education.


Russell J. Skiba, Robert S. Michael, Abra Carroll Nardo, and Reece L. Peterson, (2012), The Colour of Discipline: Sources of Racial and Gender Disproportionality In School Punishment, University of Illinois Print Press

Children’s Defence Fund. (1975). School Suspensions: Are They Helping Children? Cambridge, MA: Washington Research Project

Costenbader, V. K., and Markson, S. (1994). School suspension: A survey of current policies and practices. NASSP Bulletin 78: 103–107

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