African American children represent 18 percent of all preschoolers but make up 42 percent of those suspended and nearly half of those suspended multiple times.
Washington, D.C. — With support for criminal justice reform growing nationwide, policymakers are increasingly focusing on ways to end the overcriminalization of youth, particularly youth of color. At the same time that the United States is expanding access to high-quality early learning opportunities, alarming statistics suggest that some classrooms can serve as a point of entry to the school-to-prison pipeline, which most acutely affects African American children. On Thursday, October 8, the Center for American Progress will host a conversation—keynoted by Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN)—with parents, organizers, and researchers to explore ways to end suspensions, expulsions, and other zero-tolerance policies in preschool classrooms and to create more supportive early learning environments.
Given the profound consequences that school removal can have on very young children, it is time to change the national approach to preschool discipline. Following keynote remarks, CAP will host a panel to discuss the need to prevent schools from serving as a point of entry to the criminal justice system. CAP and the National Black Child Development Institute will also release a new report with recommendations on how to bring an end to preschool suspensions and expulsions.
Members of the media can RSVP here.
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Winnie Stachelberg, Executive Vice President for External Affairs, Center for American Progress
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN)
Janine Bacquie, Director, Early Childhood Policy and Practice, and Key Liaison to the Black Community Crusade for Children, Children’s Defense Fund
Jonathan Stith, National Coordinator, Alliance for Educational Justice
Tunette Powell, Author, “My son has been suspended five times. He’s 3.”
Todd A. Cox, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress
Thursday, October 8, 2015
10:00 a.m. ET – 11:30 a.m. ET
Center for American Progress
1333 H St. NW, 10th Floor
Washington, D.C., 20005
For more information, contact Allison Preiss at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.478.6331.