Monday’s viral video of a young student being flipped and flung from her desk by Deputy Ben Fields at South Carolina’s Spring Valley High School, is certainly not the first to expose the growing concern for the overreaction and over policing of children, and in particular children of color.
While questions remain for some, America can no longer bare the cost of these continuing acts of assault upon those to whom we as adults are obligated to protect.
How young is too young for a child to be suspended from school? According to the state of Louisiana, which suspended over 1,000 Kindergarteners last year, there is no age cut off. However, thanks to a bill proposed by State Senator Weston-Broome that might soon change.
All children have the right to an education. However, harsh disciplinary practices regularly deprive students of that right through the use of out-of-school suspensions and expulsions—which often serve to feed students into the school-to-prison pipeline.
On April 24th, parents, students, and community advocates from across Louisiana rallied at the State Capitol in opposition to Senate Bill 652. The draconian bill would further criminalize our children in a number of alarming ways that are more about expanding the “school to prison pipeline" than promoting safety.
One of my favorite television shows today are reruns of the hit series from the 60's called "The Untouchables". The word "Untouchable" referred to the good guys or FBI. Federal Agent Elliot Ness and his crew were given the task of bringing down the Mob led by Al Capone and Frank Nittie. Whenever the Mob wanted to move their operation to another city the first thing they would do is call in their tough guys and give them cases of money to buy out the locals and change any law that could hinder their operation. That way they would be operating within the confines of the "new law".
Sometime around 5:30 a.m., on March 1, 2012, an off-duty policeman working for a private neighborhood security force stopped two young black men driving in a predominantly white neighborhood in New Orleans. The officer called for back up.
(Oct. 25) -- "With Katrina, we knew what we had to do," Marla Cooper, of Venice, La., says a few minutes into "Crude Justice," a new 17-minute film about the BP oil spill. "We rebuilt. But for this, how do we rebuild?"