The U.S. public school education system just does not treat all students equally. Studies have shown that Black students are punished at higher rates. And Black boys, in particular, are disciplined at the country’s public schools more than whites.
Walker is the founder and editor of Context Media Group and a writer, journalist, and social media influencer. He is the producer and director of the documentary “Five Years: Mike Brown & Ferguson Now” and the creator and host of “Wednesday Wisdom,” a news and information website.
“We’re going to get into a really heavy conversation about Black boys. It’s about the demonization of Black boys and how early the demonization of Black boys begins,” said Walker.
Walker was joined by writer Martin X. Henson and University of Pittsburgh professor Dr. Tony Gaskew. Henson is the executive director of the BMEN Foundation, a nonprofit he started in 2018 that focuses on creating support for Black men. Gaskew is the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and professor of Criminal Justice at the University of Pittsburgh.
One study done by the federal government found that starting as early as prekindergarten, Black boys and girls were disciplined at school far more than their white peers in 2013-2014. A government data analysis said implicit racial bias was the likely cause of these continuing disparities.
The analysis, issued by the U.S. The Government Accountability Office said all boys also experienced disproportionate levels of discipline, but Black students were overrepresented, The Washington Post reported.
Here are five takeaways from Walker’s discussion on misandric miseducation of Black boys.
“In 2016, research conducted by Yale Child Study Center found that preschool teachers show a tendency to more closely observe Black students, especially Black boys when challenging behaviors are expected,” Walker noted.
White educators, according to the same study, may be acting on a “stereotype that Black preschoolers are more likely to misbehave in the first place,” he noted.
The problem of the misandric miseducation of Black boys isn’t limited to school. According to Walker, the biased treatment of Black boys in schools has far-reaching effects for the psychological educational and economic incomes.”
Generally, the” idea of a school-to-prison pipeline starts in high school, but this shows that it starts in pre-K in kindergarten,” noted Walker. The more disciplined a boy is, the more likely they will be suspended and miss school. This could lead to them dropping out or not graduating, giving them very few options in terms of employment. This lack of options tends to lead to illegal activity and incarceration.
“This can’t surprise anyone. If you look at the historiography of anti-Black violence directed at both men and boys, this goes back 150 years and what you’re seeing now is simply an effect of that, so it cannot surprise anyone,” said Walker.
Gaskew added, “We have to understand that Black boys live under the state rule of zero tolerance inside and outside of any classroom. We already know that nearly 40 percent of all school discipline all school suspensions are directed at Black boys, although they only make up about seven percent of public high school students and again the idea behind this is that the Black diaspora, as a whole, lives under the light of zero tolerance.”
According to Henson, there are ways to counteract the misandric miseducation of Black boys.
“Let’s talk about solutions and how can we fix some of this,” he said. For inspiration, one should look back to the cultural revolution of the 1960s. He said people have to be willing to speak out.
“I think it’s really important for the people to write,” he said, noting making public the problem is just as important as doing restorative justice and training in schools.