Zero tolerance has arrived in the pre-K set, and it's just as ugly in miniature.
Data to be released Friday by the Education Department's civil rights arm finds that black children represent about 18 percent of children enrolled in preschool programs in schools, but almost half of the students suspended more than once. Six percent of the nation's districts with preschools reported suspending at least one preschool child.
Those trends set kids up nicely to funnel straight into the school-to-prison pipeline awaiting them in middle and high school. As Scott Shackford noted in a blog post about new "guiding principles" on discipline from the Obama administration, "One study found that 95 percent of out-of-school suspensions were for nonviolent, minor disruptions such as tardiness or disrespect." In other words, administrators are using discretionary, catch-all charges to boot kids out of school, especially black girls and boys:
Overall, the data shows that black students of all ages are suspended and expelled at a rate that's three times higher than that of white children. Even as boys receive more than two-thirds of suspensions, black girls are suspended at higher rates than girls of any other race or most boys.
Stay tuned for the inevitable suspension of a preschooler for parroting parental profanity that they don't understand in 4, 3, 2, 1…