How US schools punish Black kids | 2020 Election

  • 🎬 Video
  • ℹ️ Description

For the 50 million kids who attend public schools in the US, the 2020 election is personal.

When it comes to who gets punished and removed from American classrooms, the US doesn’t treat all students equally. Black students get suspended and expelled far more frequently than their white classmates, and often for the same or similar offenses. And the weeks of school that Black kids miss each year can kick off a chain reaction that changes a child’s future.

But the US education system gives the American president a tremendous amount of power over public schools. Whoever holds the Presidency decides how schools handle things like testing, class size, and discipline.

During the Obama administration, the US Department of Education started to take the country’s school discipline problem seriously. They investigated the schools with significant racial gaps in punishment rates, and issued guidance on how to replace outdated policies with more effective ones.

Then Betsy DeVos, President Trump’s education secretary, abandoned those efforts. Trump's administration stopped releasing discipline data, changed the standard of what constitutes racist outcomes, and scaled back efforts to fix or even acknowledge racial disparities in how we punish kids. In this video we explain the origins of this crisis, and how the 2020 election could change things.

This was the fourth in our series of 2020 election explainers, all based on viewer suggestions. Watch the others, which cover the stakes of the election on:

💬 Comments

If you can't handle a 5 year old, I'm sorry you shouldn't be working at a school.

Author — Sreekar Pradyumna


"What you in for?"

"For throwing a tantrum as a 6 year old"

Author — Shino


schools dont do anything about bullying but they find the need to arrest a 6 year old? yikes.

Author — sparsh


A full-grown man assaulting an elementary student.

Author — piggy porks


Me: a black kid that got suspended for bending a paper clip aka "Destroying school property" this was middle school.

Author — gladiator_geek


racism isn't getting worse, its getting filmed

Author — Curb


imagine needing a car seat for your arrested criminal in the back of your police vehicle

Author — Product Reviews


Ah yes, arrest the five year old for being a five year old.

Author — snessi


Let's get this straight. The school called the police to arrest a 6 year old because she had a tantrum. If you can't handle a kid having a tantrum well then maybe working in a primary school isn't the best job for you.

Author — Butt Naked Thanos


I feel bad for the 6 year old kid imagine that trauma I hope she's okay

Author — A Guy


Schools when a kid is getting bullied: -_-

Schools when the kid fights back: O_O

Author — Pørshé


She’s six, she can’t pull out a gun and shoot you in the head, get it together teachers across the US.

Author — Furry Animations


A white kid on tantrum who kicks his own mom : time out
A black kid on a tantrum : haha police go brrr

Author — Kei From Insta


I got suspended for being 15 minutes late to school and not having on the uniform shirt.

What actually happened was I missed my school bus and had to run to metro bus (public transportation) stop in order to even make it there. If I had not I would have been more than an hour late by time the next bus came. It was hot that day so I took off the thick school polo until I got to campus and stop being sweaty. As soon as I walked into building they rounded up everyone that was late that day because a lot of people were still in halls after first period bell. They decided to make an example out of everyone to warn the other students.

I never had been in any trouble ever at school and had good grades. I was in the biotech special classes called (IB) and wanted to attend an Ivy League. I cried and beg them not to suspend me because a suspension would look bad for colleges. They turned my original 1 day into a week for “theatrics”/“causing a scene”.

After that I stop caring as much about school. I felt like my chances of getting into a top school were ruined. I did end up going to college finally though but at 23 after years of being talked down to by people not smarter than me while working minimal wage jobs. I graduated with a 3.73 gpa in biological engineering. But I always wonder what would have happened had I just made that bus that day. How much further along in life I could have been. I’m definitely not blameless in how I handled the situation after but at 15 my thought processes weren’t perfect, one bad moment felt like my life was over at the time.

Author — Frenchie Woo


I had several tantrums as a kid and probably kicked my parents when my tantrums were really bad (sorry mom and dad). 2 parents. TWO people were able to get my tantrums to stop. But several teaches felt the need to call a *POLICE OFFICER* on a child. Disgusting

Author — yuh yuh


Bullying exists*
Schools: Eh... 🤷‍♂️
5-year old with a tantrum*
Schools: Now that's an Avenger's level threat.


Author — dead.stylles


the fact that grown men and women are scared of six year olds is just embarising

Author — person 2.0


White kid vapes
School: 3 day suspension

Black kid: Make a paper airplane
School: Now this is an avengers level threat

Author — Ronit Chepuri


"Talking back"

Oh sorry teacher, did I hurt your feeling for saying something that's clearly right?

Author — neko. puppet


If I was called to do this as a police officer, I'd arrest the principal instead

Author — Jason Bailey