Sunday, June 22, 2008

Student Safety Act

FROM the NYCLU

The School to Prison Pipeline is a nationwide system of local, state and federal education and public safety policies that pushes students out of school and into the criminal justice system. This system disproportionately targets youth of color and youth with disabilities. Inequities in areas such as school discipline, policing practices, high-stakes testing and the prison industry contribute to the pipeline. The School to Prison Pipeline operates directly and indirectly. Schools directly send students into the pipeline through zero tolerance policies that involve the police in minor incidents and often lead to arrests, juvenile detention referrals, and even criminal charges and incarceration. Schools indirectly push students towards the criminal justice system by excluding them from school through suspension, expulsion, discouragement and high stakes testing requirements.

Support the Student Safety Act.

For more information go to http://www.nyclu.org/schooltoprison/ssa#what

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

So what do you suggest we do for kids who get into fights in schools if suspension is not an option? Send them back to the same classrooms with the same kids and let them fight again the next day?

no_slappz said...

It has always been the goal of public education to identify promising candidates for extended stays in jails, prisons and penitentiaries.

Through rigorous programs and training, the public schools have shown enviable skill at finding those least likely to succeed. The Prison Pipeline is filled with kids who display their readiness for long-term confinement by a distinct inability to perform basic arithmetic; an inability to write a coherent sentence; and an inability to read the Daily News.

High-stakes testing has a place too. Students scoring in the bottom quartile of all those who take the SATs are among the group least likely to succeed and face incarceration.

The system may not be perfect, but it's the best we've got today.

Iron Nick said...

My girlfriend is a teacher in a school on Flatbush. From what I hear, some of these kids are on the fast track to the slammer because of their own pinheaded decisions, not the educational system. Each week, I regularly hear stories of her students strangling each other, throwing chairs at teachers, general fistfighting, stealing, and other acts worthy of juvi hall or eventually prison. These kids are 10 now. I wonder what they'll be like when they're 16 and can make real decisions for themselves. It's not the school system, it's the kids and the environment in which the kids are raised.

The relationship between standardized testing and prison is correlative, not causal.

Anonymous said...

One problem is that being in school is mandatory up to a certain age. If some of the failing students could leave school and get a full-time job, they might over time see the benefits of getting an education and eventually return to school more focused than before. Some would realize this early on, others would take until adulthood. At the very least, if they acted out, they'd face immediate and real consequences - loss of a job and income, rather than being pushed around by various bureaucracies only to return to the classroom where their troubles started.

Anonymous said...

So, is it the teachers, the principals or the administrators who communicate regularly with prison and jail officials to decide which children should be inducted into the FPOA (Future Prisoners of America) club? Once the children are identified and inducted, is it the guidance counselors who advise their parents to not be involved in their children's education by not checking homework, not attending school meetings and not reading to their children. Should I then expect my child to come home with a list of music videos to watch during this summer instead of a booklist the summer vacation?

No doubt that children who do not do well in school are definitely at higher risk for incarceration but to say that the schools and prisons are working together to fill up jails is ludicrous. Schools must be fixed. Jails must be closed. Jails will close when schools are fixed. It starts with in the home with the parents.

Anonymous said...

I think the whole point is that the system is geared towards the criminalization of ordinary adolescent behavior. Now instead of getting suspended or going to the dean's office, they send you to jail. That is unconscionable. I can't imagine that they do the same type of thing in white schools. white kids get into fights, they use drugs and yet they are never criminalize as much as the black kids.

Anonymous said...

Who was the genius that came up with the idea of having the goons at the NYPD in charge of public schools?

Anonymous said...

In the old days we use to get a phone call home or stay at the principals' office. Now if you get into a little scuffle in school you will get booked. Unbelievable. Sad sad sad

carl said...

It looks like a great piece of legislation. Somebody needs to police the police. There needs to be more accountability.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes parents who went through school with unchecked learning disabilities find their children facing the same problems. They don't have time between jobs to go over homework with their kids, even if they understood the homework. These are good, hard-working families who need the support and understanding of the educational system. It takes an entire community to keep kids out of harms way.