MSU Denver early childhood education professor Rosemarie Allen.

(Hart Van Denburg/CPR News)

This story first aired April 6, 2016.

A suspension in kindergarten was the first of many for Rosemarie Allen. She went to public school in Los Angeles and says she struggled to understand why things like going into the boys' restroom or taking dolls apart got her into trouble.

These experiences had a profound effect on her, Allen says, and inspired her to become an educator.

Allen directed Colorado’s Division of Child Care for five years. She's now a professor of early childhood education at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Her research focuses on racial and gender disparities in preschool discipline. Chalkbeat Colorado recently interviewed her on the topic.

She also spoke with Colorado Matters host Andrea Dukakis.

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