males experience racial-sexism at every age level in education. The disparity
in the school performance amongst African American males can be tied to school
and culture. This achievement gap has appeared in the results of grades, test
scores, graduation rates for both high school and college and the rates of
employment (Knight). This starts to develop for African American males as
toddlers to young adults to adults and it follows them all through their elder
life. From an early age, black male students are labeled as “problem children”
(Johnson). This problem is not usually thought of as a form of sexism when it really
is. This problem is seen among both black males and females but the numbers are
usually higher for the males. The people who are teaching these kids often
unconsciously treat the children differently only by the shade of their skin
color. In many cases, black and white male students show the same behavior in
the classroom but get disciplined differently. Teachers will claim to say that
their actions show criminalistic behavior at an early age, and while the white
male is praised by their same behavior (Johnson).

For African-American
boys, the presumption of misbehavior starts before they have entered a
kindergarten classroom. African American male students are suffering from a
severe educational achievement gap. This follows them from when they are
toddlers, all the way to elementary school, high school and college. In May 17,
1954, the case of Brown v. Board of Education removed all segregation from
schools. In 1954 schools were separated by race. There were separate schools for
both black children and white children. Linda Brown, a parent to one of those
black kids affected, believed that this separation violated the Fourteenth
Amendment and took the case to court. The Supreme Court, agreed. The Court
ruled that segregation itself was very harmful and a violation of the constitutional
right to equal protection (Landmark). Although we no longer have that kind of
segregation going on, we do still have racial discrimination happening inside
school campuses.

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A new
report concludes that nearly 63 years after the landmark Brown v. Board of
Education case, the majority of African Americans are still not graduating from
high school. The movement Yes We Can, The Schott 50 State Report on Public
Education and Black Males, illustrates that only about 47 percent of Black males
graduate from high school (Holzman). This study indicated that the school system
is divided evidently by race, social class, and zip code (Holzman). The rate at
which Black male students are being expelled from school and going into prison
far exceeds the rate at which they are graduating from high school or even
less, college. Most of them, not reaching high academic achievement like other
races would (Holzman). Black male students are punished more severely for
similar infractions than their white peers. Most of the time not given the same
opportunities to participate in classroom activities that would benefit them.

statistics describe black boys as more likely than peers to be placed in
special education classes, labeled mentally retarded, suspended from school, or
drop out altogether (Bishop). Black boys are three times more likely to be
suspended or expelled from school than their white peers (Bell). This often
leads to them deciding to drop out from an un-welcome space. The majority of
these high school drop outs face economic failure compared to their peers who
did receive a high school diploma. The health of those drop outs is also likely
to be poorer than their peers and also 6 times more likely to be incarcerated
(Rumberger). Factors that affect the drop-out rate are varied by different circumstances
and as complex as they may be, for almost every case, dropping out is not a
sudden act but it is often a process of the child being disengaged (Bell).

            Advanced programs in schools are
less likely to place black males and more than twice as likely to place white
males in their programs. This is happening as black males find themselves twice
as likely to be classified mentally retarded in spite of research showing that
the intelligence level of all students no matter their race is about the same
(Holzman). This is due to the lack of professional knowledge of their teachers
and staff because the statistics prove so. These professionals fail to educate
all students with the same equality. The way these students get disciplined
take in account for a significant number of the Black male students who drop
out of high school and don’t obtain a diploma. School suspensions are more than
likely to happen in the lives of Black students which lead for them to end
their school careers.

            Data from the U.S Department of
Education showed that from all K-12 African American students, 3.8 of them are
four times as likely to receive more school suspensions than their white peers.

The suspension percentage rate was 18 percent for Black young boys and 10
percent for Black young girls (Toppo). That same study showed that among white
students only 5 percent of boys and 2 percent girls were suspended only once (Toppo).

Suspension is very common amongst minority students and its often quick to
happen without teachers thinking of the consequences that can lead in the lives
of these students. Suspension equals to students missing valuable learning time
in the classrooms and leads them to stay behind in important subjects. The more
behind these children get, the less motivated they feel which leads to them
missing more class because they feel that it is now impossible to catch up and
understand the material. Another outcome that comes after suspension is ditching
school to be in the streets with their friends which can lead to the beginning of
gang affiliation and further acts that can lead to incarceration.

            Higher education today is not as unobtainable
as it was in previous decades, it is much more common now. Although a college
degree is significant amongst any ethnicity, in African American culture, a
college degree is significant because this race is still among the most
marginalized ethnic group in American society (Washington). This is due to the
lack of motivation students receive from teachers and often the lack of support
that they receive from their parents as well. This leads to Black male students
not continuing to further their higher education. The graduation gap continues
to widen over the years and influences many black male students to drop out of
institutions altogether. These students have taken a significant step backwards
due to the size of the graduation gap between African American and non-African American
students of higher education (Washington). Improving the number of graduation
rates is significant because in a lot of cases, black males who obtain college
degrees tend to have children who will follow their example which then in the
long term shortens the education gap.

            Overall, African American males
experience sexism at all ages and grade levels. They are often stereotyped as
violent, criminalistics, dangerous and signaled as a constant threat without
having evidence. I think that the problem begins when these kids are toddlers
and quickly signaled as “problem children”, and after their actions are exaggerated
when they are just acting like any other child their age would. Black male
students are compared often and this leads to the drop-out rates sky rocketing.

When it comes down to being realistic, the outcomes of what their lives turn
out to be sometimes reflect the childhood they had. The adults that surround
these kids have a huge impact in the choices individuals like these make and
these adults need to be more aware of it. Black teens are at an early age
treated like potential thugs and rapists (Johnson) which has to affect them in
some way. The education gap will never come closer together if we don’t start
seeing equality in all races.





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