Monday, January 28, 2013

More Evidence that the State of Mississippi is Closer to a Fascist Country Than a Democratic One

Using Police State Tactics on School Children Who Misbehave

That the United States is divided in its political philosophy is not news.  That the state of Mississippi, which is one of the most conservative areas of the country engages in questionable governmental practices is not news.  That in Mississippi school children are repeatedly referred to the police for various misconduct in school is news.

The report, which is to be released Thursday, found that in one Mississippi school district, 33 of every 1,000 children were arrested or referred to juvenile detention centers; that in another, such referrals included second and third graders; and that in yet another, only 4 percent of the law enforcement referrals were for felony-level behavior, the most often cited offense being “disorderly conduct.”

“The school-to-prison pipeline is nothing new in Mississippi, and it is certainly not unique to Meridian,” the report says. “In fact, it is a problem that has plagued Mississippi schools statewide for years.”

Wow, what is it these children are doing that would merit involvement of the police?  Well there is this.

the report described episodes in which a child was taken home by the police for wearing shoes that violated the dress code, and a school where misbehaving students were handcuffed for infractions as minor as not wearing a belt.

And yes, this ugly, blatant, cruel misconduct is not confined to a few incidents.

“Police who were initially put in schools to handle matters of safety have become involved in ordinary day-to-day disciplinary infractions,” said Erika Maye, a spokeswoman for the Advancement Project, a Washington-based group that helped prepare the report. The Mississippi chapters of the A.C.L.U. and the N.A.A.C.P., and a group called the Mississippi Coalition for the Prevention of Schoolhouse to Jailhouse, were also involved.

In August, the Justice Department released a letter of findings charging that the police in Meridian routinely arrested children at schools without probable cause, merely on the referral of school personnel. The letter found that students had been incarcerated for “dress code violations, flatulence, profanity and disrespect.”

So now we know why conservatives really want the police in schools. 

The authors of the report looked at 115 school districts in the state and found that while black students made up half the student population of those districts, they were more than three times as likely as whites to receive out-of-school suspensions.

Yeah, those Mississippians sure need to keep ‘those people’  in ‘their place’.

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