The zero-tolerance double standard

May 23, 2011

The Sun's recent coverage of zero-tolerance school suspensions has exposed a shameful double standard in our community. I have taught in Baltimore City Public Schools for nine years, and our students face similar suspensions when they bring dangerous things to school. But neither Liz Bowie nor The Sun's editors have come to their defense.

So what's the difference between the children The Sun defends and the ones it ignores? Race and wealth. Middle-class white students are portrayed as innocent victims and receive sympathy and public support. Low-income African-American students are left on their own.

I'm not sure whether or not students should be suspended under such policies. But I do know that when you defend some students and not others, you help to build a system of discipline for our children that is segregated. And judging by the comments posted online to these stories, you have succeeded in galvanizing your readership to do the same.

Please stop treating my children unfairly.

Campbell McLean, Baltimore

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