Josh Crayton, a senior at Saint Ignatius High School in Cleveland, OH has been asked to withdraw from school for “raising his voice” at a white teacher. The family believes race is a factor.
The incident occurred in December of last year. In an interview with Blavity, Crayton said he 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. Miranda filed a complaint with the school alleging that Crayton raised his voice to her.
The Crayton family received a notice requesting that they immediately withdraw their son from school. Crayton filed an appeal which was denied 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 have chimed in on his behalf.
A Change.org petitionwas created to get Crayton back into school and has garnered nearly 2,500 signatures. LaTonya Goldsby, co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Cleveland chapter expressed her support with a note on the petition.
Goldsby’s statement is backed up by research. According the U.S. Department of Education, Black students are three times as likely as their white counterparts to be expelled.
Crayton’s mother told Blavity she believes her son’s situation has to do with race. “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.”
Crayton himself doesn’t think raising your voice is a violation large enough to justify being kicked out of school. “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 sent Blavity a statement that essentially amounts to “no comment”:
“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.”
Crayton, who runs track and plays football for his school, hopes to graduate with his class and attend the United States Air Force Academy.