Many children beginning the school year for the first time may not be allowed to finish out the year because of unacceptable behavior that leads to suspensions or even expulsions from preschool. More than 8,000 preschool children are suspended at least once.
Who are these children?
Most of these children come from low income families or disabled children.
How do you explain a suspension to a preschool child?
Children are unlikely to see the connection between a tantrum and not being able to see their friends again for a week because they’re suspended. Suspensions may negatively shape their attitudes toward school at a young age, causing problems with school for the rest of their lives.
How do these suspensions affect their future?
These children are labelled as “problem children” at early ages. They are less likely to succeed in school and are usually bullies.
Won’t the suspended child miss some classes?
Preschool lays the foundation for later years. Suspended students miss valuable lessons to gain vital skills and great experiences with their friends.
Can the teachers suspending these kids not be taught how to better deal with the children’s needs?
Teachers have adequate training to work with children with diverse needs and abilities.
How do you support the families of these children?
Low income families do not have extra money to hire a sitter during the days that the child will be home instead of at school. If you are paid by the hour, you can’t afford to lose precious hours to supervise your child.
These suspensions not only have a financial impact but an emotional one as well. This is because parents usually blame themselves for their children’s shortcomings. Young children should be taught to deal with the problem behavior. Positive social behavior leads to emotional development.
First published at huffingtonpost.com