Illustration: Colorlines
Fri, Mar 21, 2014 12:19 PM EDT

The school-to-prison pipeline may begin sooner than previously thought. According to the Associated Press, new numbers will reveal that preschools disproportionately suspend black children: 

Data to be released Friday by the Education Department's civil rights arm finds that black children represent about 18 percent of children enrolled in preschool programs in schools, but almost half of the students suspended more than once. Six percent of the nation's districts with preschools reported suspending at least one preschool child.

During the 2011 to 2012 schoolyear, some 5,000 preschoolers were suspended once, and some 2,500 were suspended more than once. Schools are getting tough on children, and on black children especially--even at age four.