“Sportsmanship” and our divided community

“Sportsmanship” and our divided community

March 6, 2017

By Tizzy Lockman & Adriana Bohm – The News Journal

Excessively disciplining the AI students and castigating them as aggressive, angry and dangerous leads us back to the question of implicit bias and the role it played in this case. The term “implicit bias” refers to the mental process which causes folks to have negative feelings and attitudes about “other” people based on characteristics such as race, gender, ethnicity, appearance, etc. Because implicit bias is a cognitive process that occurs deep in the recesses of our unconscious minds, we are typically not aware that negative biases impact our decision making and treatment of others.

According to research from across the country, implicit biases play a critical role when it comes to racial differences in school discipline. According to Thomas Rudd (2014), implicit racial bias often supports the centuries old stereotype of “Black youth, especially males, as irresponsible, dishonest, and dangerous.” Such a caricature of Black males guides subsequent treatment of our young men and results in them experiencing disproportionately high levels of school punishment in comparison to their white male counterparts.

Data from Red Clay reveal that, over the last seven years, students of color receive more excessive and frequent disciplinary charges than their white counterparts (who outnumber them in the district population more than 2 to 1.) One could say that in Red Clay it appears that some lives matter more than others.

2009-2010: 3605 Blacks and 2545 Whites were suspended.
2010-2011: 3167 Blacks and 2107 Whites were suspended.
2011-2012: 3069 Blacks and 1963 Whites were suspended.
2012-2013: 3129 Blacks and 1857 Whites were suspended.
2013-2014: 2968 Blacks and 1449 Whites were suspended.
2014-2015: 2167 Blacks and 1204 Whites were suspended.
2015-2016: 2314 Blacks and 1334 Whites were suspended.

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