They say no news is good news, but sadly in the instance of the school-to-prison pipeline, that is not recently the case. To be sure, in the past weeks we have seen the release of a number of studies and reports regarding the disparate treatment between white and non-white students in public schools, and these have been followed by some media coverage.
The problem is, none of it has changed from when the same thing happened last year, or the year before. Every report, study or expose comes to the same thing: Students of color are too often treated more like young criminals than young scholars, and if there has been any movement on that front in the past year, it is in in the wrong direction. From New York City to Chicago, in districts large and small, the only thing that seems to be different from the past is that the problem has worsened.
Perhaps the only spot of good news came, interestingly, from Mississippi, though it was no triumph of reform. In the Meridian School District, a U.S. District Court judge issued a ruling that forces school administrators and local cops to stop arresting and incarcerating students for minor disciplinary infractions.
Positive though this development may be for black students in Meridian, MS, we as a society should not have to wait for cases to come before federal judges before acting. Find out how we can end the school-to-prison pipeline from the ground up – the only way seal it permanently.