Argumentative Essays against Out of School Suspension Policies
Through the years, public and private schools alike find ways to innovate and improve their discipline policies. However, in some schools, the inflicting of suspension upon students is abused. Although the law permits schools to suspend a student due to possession of deadly weapons in school grounds (American Academy of Pediatrics), some schools suspend its students for minor violations. In California alone, more than 400,000 students were suspended in one year (Civil Rights Project). Even though out-of-school suspension may be beneficial, it shouldn’t be used for minor offenses because it will cause the student to miss in-class lessons and projects, blemish upon a student’s reputation, and may promote discrimination among different races/ethnicities in the school.
Prohibiting a child to attend school because of an offense causes them to miss in-class lessons and projects, therefore requiring them to render extra time to catch up. Often, in-class lectures cannot be learned elsewhere. Therefore, a suspend child absent from class during an important test or lecture will need to allot another time to catch up with the things he missed. This is while trying to cope with the current class activities. Although this is one of the consequences of his actions, this “extra” work might even more discourage the student from doing school work and studying, resulting to laziness and distraction.
Although out-of-school suspensions are meant to discipline students and make them better, it blemishes upon the reputation of the child as a student. In the adolescent years, self-worth is often based on what people think about them and reputation is very important. Suspension often brings a negative image unto a person and usually decreases the child’s self-esteem. It makes the student feel unwanted in the school and can demotivate a child from socially participating in the campus.
Lastly, studies and research show that suspension creates discrimination among different ethnicities. According to New York Times, Black boys are three times more likely to be suspended than White boys and Asians are less likely to be suspended. The stereotypes of the ethnicities- Blacks being rebels and Asians being geniuses- often dictate how students, even school authorities, treat them. In California, more than 40% of suspended students are African-Americans (Civil Rights Project). This shows that often, students are being suspended not majorly because of their actions, but because of how society thinks about their ethnicity.
Schools need to think twice about inflicting suspension upon their students. They must decide whether it will better the child or burden him. Also, they must think of alternative ways to discipline the child without blemishing his reputation or halting his education. Because in the end, it is not the school that will benefit from the suspension; it is the child.