Tag Archives: school

Superintendent Requests School Turned Into Prison


Amplify’d from bigthink.com

A school superintendent in Michigan has written a public letter to the editor asking Governor Rick Snyder if his school can become a prison instead. The full text is below. What do you think?

In these tough economic times, schools are hurting. And yes, everyone in Michigan is hurting right now financially, but why aren’t we protecting schools? Schools are the one place on Earth that people look to to “fix” what is wrong with society by educating our youth and preparing them to take on the issues that society has created.

One solution I believe we must do is take a look at our corrections system in Michigan. We rank nationally at the top in the number of people we incarcerate. We also spend the most money per prisoner annually than any other state in the union. Now, I like to be at the top of lists, but this is one ranking that I don’t believe Michigan wants to be on top of.

Consider the life of a Michigan prisoner. They get three square meals a day. Access to free health care. Internet. Cable television. Access to a library. A weight room. Computer lab. They can earn a degree. A roof over their heads. Clothing. Everything we just listed we DO NOT provide to our school children.

This is why I’m proposing to make my school a prison. The State of Michigan spends annually somewhere between $30,000 and $40,000 per prisoner, yet we are struggling to provide schools with $7,000 per student. I guess we need to treat our students like they are prisoners, with equal funding. Please give my students three meals a day. Please give my children access to free health care. Please provide my school district Internet access and computers. Please put books in my library. Please give my students a weight room so we can be big and strong. We provide all of these things to prisoners because they have constitutional rights. What about the rights of youth, our future?!

Please provide for my students in my school district the same way we provide for a prisoner. It’s the least we can do to prepare our students for the future…by giving our schools the resources necessary to keep our students OUT of prison.

Read more at bigthink.com



LAPD Stops Arresting Kids on Their Way to School

Are you {expletive deleted} kidding me? For real? Why do we continue to think the best way to deal with kids (of color) is through the justice system? This is un-freaking-believable even if they did stop it.

Grr. Sputter. Mumble. Mumblesputter. Seriously.

Amplify’d from www.huffingtonpost.com

Imagine that you’re running late to school — maybe you forgot your lunch, maybe you had to help your younger siblings get ready for school, or maybe you just overslept.

You hear the late bell ring just as you’re approaching campus, but you’re met right outside the school gate by a squad of police officers, who detain you for 45 minutes and give you a daytime curfew ticket that carries a $250 fine before letting you go to class. And then you have to miss a full school day several weeks later to go to court to deal with the ticket.

That has been the reality for thousands of students in Los Angeles, which has a daytime curfew that makes it illegal for basically any youth under the age of 18 to be in public while school is in session. Until recently, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) routinely conducted enforcement sweeps around schools first thing in the morning, so that students who were trying to get to school were the ones most likely to be ticketed.

Surprise, surprise — students of color were also cited at rates far outpacing their representation in the population. According to LA school police data, none of the more than 13,000 tickets they issued from 2005 to 2009 went to a white student. Apparently white students are never late for school.

Figuring out effective strategies to keep students in school is no simple task. Many factors contribute to low attendance rates, ranging from emotional and mental health problems to hostile school environment and lack of appropriate academic supports, from economic pressures and lack of adequate transportation to family issues. But, as Gara LaMarche recently argued on HuffPost, the lack of a simple solution is no excuse for defaulting to punitive law enforcement tactics, especially when so much data and research confirm that they are not just ineffective, but actually harmful to students.

Instead, the real solution is for law enforcement and school officials to put in hard work to collaborate with the community to figure out the best path forward. To LAPD’s credit, that is what happened here, and it should serve as an example as we all continue working to improve student attendance in LA and around the country.

Read more at www.huffingtonpost.com