East coast schools are experiencing the mass incarceration and expulsion of student populations.
Using armed police instead of counselors has lead to a giant leap in overcrowded courts, incarcerated youth, & privatized juvenile justice facilities.
Its a growing trend in this nation. New Jersey eliminated all mental health services from schools and uses the justice system to deal with adolescent problems.
New York students with disabilities are 4 times more likely to be suspended than the non-disabled (New York Times/Molly Knefel) with 69,000 expulsions and 2,500 arrests last year, mostly for infractions that would have dealt with by counselors in years past.
Pennsylvania recently sent 2 judges to prison for 40 years for receiving kickbacks for sending thousands of mostly innocent youth into the privatized youth prison system.
The data is clear that children of color and poverty are grossly over-represented in this newly criminalized society that is sweeping the nation.
In a nation that pays day care workers less than food service workers (the least paid profession in the nation) and has refused to adequately fund crisis nurseries, or subsidized day care, we should not be surprised that our youth are unprepared to learn in school and a source of non-criminal behaviors that trouble school officials. We should think twice about ignoring mental health issues, punishing the disabled, and privatizing a system that is criminalizing an entire generation of American youth.
This goes a long way in explaining high crime statistics, overcrowded prisons, and low graduation rates.
“What we do to our children, they will do to society” Pliny the Elder, Greek Philosopher, 2500 years ago Read the rest of this entry →