Astana Bigard, parent activist in New Orleans, reports that poor children are regularly suspended and expelled from charter schools because they can’t afford to pay for a uniform.
“When a New Orleans charter school made headlines recently for kicking out two homeless students because they didn’t have the right uniforms, people were shocked. They shouldn’t have been. Suspending poor students for “non-compliance” when they can’t afford to buy the right shoes, pants or sweaters is standard operating procedure in our all-charter-school education system. More than a decade after Hurricane Katrina, poverty in the city is worse than ever, even as rents have doubled during the past decade. Yet students and their parents are routinely punished—even criminalized—just for being poor.”