When School Feels Like Prison
A new study shows that campuses with larger populations of students of color are more likely to use harsh surveillance techniques.
By MELINDA D. ANDERSON SEP 12, 2016
In December 2012, a Senate subcommittee was convened to examine the school-to-prison pipeline, a national trend in which overly punitive school discipline policies push students out of school and into the criminal-justice system. Among the witnesses at the first-ever congressional hearing on this issue was Edward Ward, at the time an honor-roll student in his sophomore year at DePaul University and a recent graduate of Orr Academy on the West Side of Chicago. He offered an eye-opening first-hand account of his high-school experience. “From the moment we stepped through the doors in the morning, we were faced with metal detectors, X-ray machines, and uniformed security,” said Ward, describing a high-poverty, majority-black campus “where many young people … feel unwelcome and under siege.”
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