Study finds preschool suspensions soaring among black students

Posted at 10:35 PM, Jan 15, 2018

A Civil Rights Data Collection survey is showing how serious preschool suspensions are. 

Across the board preschool suspensions are up. According to the study black preschool students were 3.6 times as likely to receive one or more out-of-schools suspensions as white preschool students.

Lana Sabir is the owner of Tomorrow's Star Educational Center in Southfield, Michigan.

"We're constantly getting people coming here over and over again it's nonstop. Our facility is full and it's because a lot of preschoolers and even toddlers are getting kicked out of child cares and it's hard for these parents to go to work and try to survive without having someone watching their children and actually having that feeling of my child's okay, my child is being taken care of. That's the problem especially in this area," Sabir said.

Out of the students enrolled in preschool, 20 percent are black girls and more than half have been suspended.

"It's not necessarily the other child care's fault, it's just the child is maybe bored or the caregivers are not trained," Sabir said.

Kaitlin Ferrick with the Michigan Department of Education says they know it's a concern in Michigan and they're working on a system that would show how it affects the state.

"We know that in some of our communities like Detroit, Flint other places they tend to experience a lot of trauma and other issues around not having enough to eat, housing and security and that manifests in the classrooms," Ferrick explained. 

Last year the department put out a guidance to help reduce preschool suspensions. However, it is not state law.

"It's not a law or regulation it really is out there to a make people aware of this issue," she said.

Privately-run schools and day cares are not required to report suspension numbers.