Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Mom Defends Son, 6 Yrs. Old, Suspended for Repeating Rap Phrase in School.

There is a pervasive tendency of white American society to toward criminalizing, literally or metaphorically, the behavior and aesthetics of Black people, including even Black children who are little more than toddlers.

In Connecticut grade schools, exemplifying the menace of the criminalizing of Black and brown childhood color and ethnicity are powerful indicators of which children will be arrested in the first place. In fact, when students are arrested on school property, one of every two will be black or Hispanic.
juvenile arrestsOne-third of children in Connecticut are black or Hispanic, but they make up nearly two-thirds -- about 3,000 -- of all children charged with a crime, according to information provided by the state's Judicial Branch, contributing to the state's poor record in disproportionately locking up children of color, national data from 2010 show.
"We are talking about the existence of a schoolhouse to jailhouse pipeline," said Scot X. Esdaile, the leader of the state chapter of the NAACP. "This has been a huge concern of ours for years."
This gross disparity has spurred the creation of state and local initiatives to try to approach the problem at the front end by sensitizing police officers. Also, a bill before the legislature would clearly define when officers in schools should, and should not, be making arrests. 
"It's not that black kids are necessarily committing more crimes. It's about how they're treated when [police] do come in contact," said Waterford police Sgt. Andre Parker. "The only way for kids to get into the system is through us. We are the gatekeepers... If we can fix this disparity at our end then that would help a lot of children."
In Baltimore, police arrested and jailed four children under ten for fighting outside school.  “We’re living in a city where we’re routinely criminalizing young children,” Sonia Kumar, an attorney with the ACLU, said.

No comments: