According to a recent study, black and Latino “hip-hop” students are disproportionately punished in urban schools.
The study’s lead researcher and Michigan State University Assistant Professor of Education Muhammad Khalifa found that students who identified with hip-hop culture were often removed from school because of their dress and cultural behaviors.
“School culture is very hostile toward hip-hop student identities,” said Khalifa, a former Detroit school teacher who identified with hip-hop culture as a young man. “Teachers possess an impulse to suspend or expel nontraditional students.”
While Khalifa’s study illustrated discrimination among minority hip-hop students, it also found a bright spot. One urban school principal allowed hip-hop students to exhibit their identities, while at the same modifying what he viewed as negative behaviors. Ultimately, the low-performing students improved their academic performance.
On Jan. 8, the Obama administration issued federal guidelines encouraging schools to drop their zero tolerance policies.
Critics have long argued that the policies discriminate against and unfairly target minority students.
Thoughts on the findings?
Will the day ever come that people of color are not judged by their appearance?
Sound off below!