Decriminalizing the Behavior of Boys of Color Part 2

On the one criminalizing behavior finds adults over punishing Black and Latino males. The other side of criminalizing behavior  is when adults do not do enough because they keep low expectations for these males.  At times all teachers need to check the standards they hold for students. But there are some teachers who let black males (and many kinds of students for that matter) conduct themselves in a way that will not lead to success.

Unfortunately, we all have known these teachers. Teachers will not correct behaviors because they believe, “That is who he is.” These teachers let children be disruptive, never inquire why a student does not turn in homework. The teacher will never  contact parents because the expectation is that nothing will occur from the intervention. In high school it looks like teachers who are detached. “He is not a cause not worth fighting for.” That is criminal, but I want to be clear. These teachers are not the ones with substandard behavior management; whose students can be found running amuck. They are the ones who unconsciously don’t push males who are not academically inclined. This goes for both all males, regardless of ethnicity. Research tells us that males make up 90% of all school referrals, though males are roughly 50% of the school population. If we want to truly decriminalize the behavior of Black males, we must hold them to high academic and behavioral standards. When students are not meeting the highest expectations, they must be corrected and taught what the expectations are.

When we do this, we are communicating that you are importance to us. We are working to keep you on track. When we do not hold our boys to high enough standards, we are saying, “This system is not for you, you have to find success elsewhere.” The question becomes, where do Latino and Black Males find success if the primary path for success has jettisoned them?

As always, thank you for reading.

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