Senior Josh Crayton was “encouraged” last month to withdraw from his Ohio high school because he dared to raise his voice to a Caucasian teacher. Crayton, a senior at Saint Ignatius High School in Cleveland reportedly was discussing a late assignment with his English teacher Alexandria Miranda when she became dismissive.
“She began to get very frustrated and loud about the whole thing and told me that she wasn’t discussing this anymore,” said Crayton.
The veteran educator then proceeded to file a complaint stating that Crayton raised his voice at her. The teacher, like most police interactions with Black people, was in such fear for her life and was adamant about crying “Wolf!” the school was compelled to side with her and “for the sake of safety of faculty, staff, and students” issue a notice to Crayton’s family telling them to withdraw him from school. The Crayton family appealed the request but was denied their appeal on January 29.
Crayton’s sister, Mia took to Twitter to gather support for her brother. She started the hashtag #letCraytonstay. Some of Crayton’s classmates and even some alumni of the school chimed in on his behalf.
Considering the climate of frequent school shootings around the country, at first glance it would be considered better safe than sorry to go ahead and remove Crayton from the classroom. The evidence however is undeniable that non-Black students are more prone to such acts. Crayton displayed none of the “red flags” or warnings that would precede violent retribution but the ongoing stigma of Black people being the more violent of the bunch persists.
Co-founder of the Cleveland Black Lives Matter movement even chimed in on the matter saying,
“Black students are forced out of school at an alarming rate versus their white counterparts.”
This statement has been proven as fact. The Dept. of Education reported that Black students are three times as likely as their white counterparts to be expelled.
Crayton’s mother is not accepting this matter at face value and has pulled the race card based upon past actions and behaviors by school administration.
“I have my concerns about this being a racial matter. Several white students have done much more horrendous things and have been able to not only remain at Saint Ignatius but have graduated with their class. All of these incidents are well documented and so many people are reaching out and coming out with examples of these kinds of stories. It appears that there is some disparity,” she told Blavity in an interview.
The school’s code of conduct does not state that raising your voice or yelling at a teacher or school staff is grounds for suspension or expulsion. Crayton pointed out the disparity in the punishment saying, “It bothers me that other students have gotten away with yelling at the same teacher, selling drugs at school, smoking in the school and I got asked to withdraw because I yelled at a teacher. I’m sorry she took it the way she did but that wasn’t my intention. My intentions were to discuss some assignments that she graded, not to come off as loud or rude.”
The school has remained steadfast in their support of the unidentified teacher. They released a statement which the family alleges amounts to nothing more than a hill of beans. It read:
“Saint Ignatius High School cannot comment on student disciplinary issues. Regarding infractions, we have a series of potential disciplinary actions including suspension, withdrawal or expulsion, depending on the circumstances and recommendations of the Disciplinary Review Board. Each case is carefully considered and evaluated.”
According to reports, Crayton does not have a record of disciplinary issues with the school. He runs track and plays football for the school and is expected to graduate on time with the rest of his classmates. After high school, Crayton plans to join the United States Air Force.