The school-to-prison pipeline concept refers to issues that take youths from schools into prison cells. It refers to how school displinary and law enforcement policies “connive” to push kids from schools into prisons.
But this has gone beyond being a coined term, it is now a trend that is consuming youths and costing the government huge money. What this means is that the government spends more money keeping youths in prison than educating them in schools, Teen Vogue writes.
And what’s more, black girls and colored youths tend to be the victims. A 6-year-old Salecia Johnson was handcuffed and moved to a police station in 2012 for throwing tantrums in school. This was at the Creekside Elementary School in Milledgeville, Georgia.
If a black 6-year-old would be handcuffed and transported by the police for crying in school, what would happen to black students at high schools and colleges? And then, the overwhelming presence of police officers in high schools and colleges indicate what would happen to any students that step out of turn.
Black Girls Are Punished For the Same Offenses White Girls Are Scolded For
Although the incident with Salecia Johnson generated a lot of coverage in the media, related incidents have not subsided.
Teenage students are now bundled from schools into police vans and into county jails for the slightest disrespect or misdemeanor. In fact, black students suffer more disproportionate punishments for offenses similarly committed by white students.
Black students get suspended and expelled from school for routine offenses that would earn while students a slap on the wrist. The rate of school dropouts among black students now equal those that manage to graduate from high school.
Worse of all, almost every misdemeanor from black students are now criminalized. The “tough-on-crime” policy appears to be put in place for only black students. Black students of both gender and all levels are now targets of brutal disciplinary policies that get them out of school into county prisons.
In fact, a report titled “Black Girls Matter: Pushed Out, Overpoliced and Underprotected” and published in 2015 by the Department of Education found black girls suffer more from terrible punitive policies than black boys.
Black Girls Are Targeted More For Punishments for These Reasons among Others
Educational facilities now have law enforcement officers on campus to ensure students are funneled into the criminal justice system. As at the late 1990s, public schools in New York City have about 5,200 police officers waiting for the slightest opportunities to prove to their superiors that mishandling students in campuses is more enjoyable than arresting an adult offender on the streets.
These law enforcement on campuses are often referred to as “school resource officers” and many of them patrol schools in mufti. This actually means NYC has more school cops on its payroll than school counselors.
Black girls are mostly at risk of clashing with the authorities because they are perceived as being less innocent than their white peers. A report from Georgetown Law’s Center on Poverty and Inequality reveals that black girls are also considered to be heady, unruly and aggressive.
Another report says poverty makes more black girls to attend schools with fewer resources where any misdemeanor would be criminalized. The zero-tolerance policies in schools have not only fueled the school-to-prison malady, it has criminalized most things black youths do and sent them off on undeserved incarcerations.