Fourth Graders and the Prison Industrial Complex
Moreover, it looks at ways through which all these parties can be involved in improving this system that has led to more problems than good among the students. These parties need to be involved because they alone can bring a change in the school systems to ensure more children complete school and achieve better in their academics. Introduction Social stratification is the unequal distributions that exist in the world of three Ps that is prestige, power, and property. Stratification forms the ground for categorization of people and divisions that exist in the society. The current criminal justice systems get into learning institutions where they get children out of the conventional educational settings and direct them to one-way paths towards prison (Winn & Behizadeh, 2011).
Due to suspension, children are less likely to complete their education, their chances of arrest double, and will have increased contacts with the juvenile system in the year after they leave school. In implementation of the punitive zero tolerance policies, most schools have police in the school compounds daily and the teachers are required to report any ill behaviors by the students to the administration (Heitzeg, 2009). Notably, it means that from their tender ages, the students are in contact with law enforcement. It is routine for the police to take into captive and move youths to juvenile centers even for minor misbehaviors in classrooms. The armed police can stop, search, hold up, interrogate, and apprehend schoolchildren within and outside the school compounds.
Notably, the punishment will apply with no regard to the circumstance, the reason for the student misbehavior where some could be due to self-defense, or the history of the student when it comes to disciplinary issues at school (Heitzeg, 2009). The school children are punished in a similar manner for crimes including things like carrying a weapon to school and minor crimes like carrying a toy sword. Any behavior considered disruptive faces the consequences as set by the zero tolerance policies, including cutting a line during lunch or talking back to a teacher (Heitzeg, 2009). Increased expulsion and suspension rates among the fourth graders There has been increased expulsion and suspension in the secondary and elementary schools. Important to note, the problem of zero tolerance policies has gone down to affect the pre-school children.
Poor education achievements The zero tolerance policies rather than creating a safe environment, the consequences are negative effects among the youths academically, socially, behaviorally, and emotionally (Heitzeg, 2009). The commitment to education has gone down due to the unfair treatment in the schools. Mainly the zero tolerance policies are in the under-resourced and neglected public schools. If the children are given little attention and fewer resources, they will have poor outcomes in behavior and educational achievements. The public education systems are inadequate mainly in poor environment, and the schoolchildren fail. However, this is not true. The socioeconomic status and gender are highly linked to the risk of expulsion or suspension from the schools, where the children on free or reduced lunch programs and the males have greater chances of expulsion or suspension, in comparison to the middle class students and the females.
Notably, the ethnicity or race is the greatest predictor of the suspension or expulsion, where the students of color have higher chances of being expelled or suspended in comparison to their white counter-parts due to any disciplinary reasons. However, when it comes to disruptive behaviors in school, it is not correlated to ethnicity or race. The numbers of blacks’ students facing suspensions for expulsions are higher than expected when one looks at their proportion in schools (Davis, 2000). Additionally, the school officials and teachers tend to define the disruptive behaviors of the whites as those that require medical intervention rather than them facing the consequences of the zero tolerance policies as is the case with the blacks. The psychiatric labels are given on the students depending on their race, class and their ability to afford an insurance cover and it affects whoever receives the treatment.
There exist racial inequalities in the identification and management of these mental illness because the teachers mostly define it as a problem mainly among the white boys. The overdependence on expulsion and suspension in schools limits the future life of the vulnerable group that is the students with special needs, children of color and those of low socio-economic class. Increased dropouts rates The zero tolerance policies have greatly contributed to the already high drop-out rates among the minority group’s students. Some educators intend to help the children but the schools lack resources, intervention programs, and resources to help the children address their behavioral and educational needs. The only alternative left is to push them out though it may result to immediate or future incarceration due to the zero tolerance policies.
Solution to the prison industrial complex The school-to prison pipeline is initiated in the schoolroom and that’s where it can also be prevented from. The zero tolerance policies and the decisions by teachers to refer a student for punishment pushes them away from class to the criminal justice system and need to be changed. Elimination or change of policies There is need for policy changes, mainly the zero tolerance policies in learning institutions to ensure the school-to-prison pipeline is interrupted. Schools need to have alternative policies to the zero tolerance policies, ones that involve the families and communities like prevention of violence (Nance, 2016). They need to make use of experts in mental health, like having psychological counselors within schools. Lastly, the schools should have categories of punishments for various ill behaviors.
Improve the learning environment Teachers need increased support and training to ensure that they effectively manage the discipline in the schools, rather than punishing the children. The schools need to develop best practices that will ensure they effectively modify their behaviors to ensure they keep the kids in school where they belong rather than perpetrating their way into prisons. Additionally, the school needs to create a conducive learning environment for all the students despite their race or color. References Davis, A. Masked racism: reflections on the prison industrial complex. Indigenous Law Bulletin, 4(27), 4. Defense, N. Heitzeg, N. A. Education or Incarceration: Zero Tolerance Policies and the School to Prison Pipeline. In Forum on public policy online (Vol. 2009, No. Pane, D. M. , & Rocco, T.
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