According to Addicting Info, a Mississippi school has arranged for suspensions to be served in prison–a real prison, where children serve alongside hardened criminals who are in for armed robbery, drug distribution, etc. It’s not exactly a surprise to find that a breakdown of who gets sent to prison for school infractions seems to depend heavily on skin hue and national origin. You might ask what kinds of nefarious behavior can get a school kid sent to prison instead of detention – well, passing gas is one.
Students in Meridian, especially African-American and disabled children, face the prospect of prison time for even the silliest infraction. As it turns out, the Department of Justice has been investigating the school system in the city for allegedly having students arrested and placed in juvenile detention. School principals and teachers punish students for infractions such as passing gas, dressing in an unacceptable manner, general disrespect, and swearing.
Obviously, these young people are incorrigible and well deserve being sentenced to jail cells instead of home rooms.
Mike Davis is a local community organizer for groups such as the Coffee Party and Moveon.org and works with Veterans for Peace on a regular basis.