mama racial profiling in schools parenting children of color

My Children & Racial Profiling – Any and Everywhere

Posted on Posted in Blog, Parenting's Not Easy, Raising Children of Color

My Children & Racial Profiling - Any and Everywhere

I don’t know about you but I carry around mama worry.  The root of my maternal worry pains usually surfaces when my three are not with family or anyone like family.  The logical, practical, common sense part of me tells me that I am getting myself worked up over things that I cannot control at which point my worry nerve tends to calm right on down.  But still, there are some worries or concerns that linger, that trump logic. 
With the first day of school impending, coupled with the events surrounding the killing of the young Black male, Mike Brown, I am on mama-edge.   Such events conjure up concerns that our own three will be racially profiled.  Not just when they are out and about at the mall or movies, I know that they are just as vulnerable to racial profiling when they are in school too.     
Racial profiling – decisions made based on stereotypes brought on by racial presumptions and not based on fact or true inquiry - happens in schools.  It’s very subtle, not like it was when my parents went to school.  Instead racial profiling in schools today occurs when schools unfairly dole out punishments and discriminately leave students of color out of gifted and talented programs.  Just as there are a disproportionate amount of people of color stopped for traffic violations there are also a disproportionate amount of students of color who are suspended, even as early as preschool.  The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) released earlier this year that Black students represent 18% of preschool enrollment but 42% of students suspended once, and 48% of the students suspended more than once.
Addressing racial profiling in schools or anywhere for that matter is not easy.  Many in America are on different pages about the extent to which discrimination based on race exists.  A 2013 PEW report found that views on discrimination vary:

racial profiling in schools parents

Wherever my children are without my husband and me or family we hope they will run into people who think about or consider what they are to other people, not how similar they may be to a television show they saw about gangs or aggressive, attitudinal women.  I hope that they consider, despite the locks, or afro atop their heads, that they may be a drummer for the church, volunteer with the nursing home or future valedictorian.
Logically I know that I cannot be there to protect my children all the time.   All I can do is pray that some miraculous force will come down in my place and intervene if need be.   This will probably still not trump my mama-worry, but hopefully at least calm it down.


Do you have concerns about racial profiling in schools?

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