A coalition of Chicago Public School students protested outside of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office on Tuesday, demanding that the city implement disciplinary policies that don’t send black and Latino students down a path to prison.
As we reported to you a few months ago, CPS’s dependence on the Chicago Police Department to control students is pushing a disturbingly high number of juveniles into the criminal justice system. An organization called Voices of Youth in Chicago Education (VOYCE) points to recent data showing that 2,500 people have been arrested on CPS property this school year alone; the vast majority of them have been black youth.
While CPS claims in-school arrests are down 27 percent this year, that still does not address the need for the drafting of new disciplinary policies that do not prematurely and unnecessarily expose our youth to the criminal justice system.
“‘We need a discipline code that works for all students, not one that sends black and Latino students a path to prison,’ said Victor Alquicera, a Roosevelt High School student, according to a Huffington Post blog by Rev. Jesse Jackson Jr. on the topic.
Police presence at schools in Chicago and nationwide has increased in the last 20 years, according to ‘Policing Chicago Public Schools: A Gateway to the School-to-Prison Pipeline,’ a report released earlier this year by Project NIA. The report found that the vast majority of those affected by the criminalization of in-school behavior in Chicago are black students, who accounted for 74 percent of school-based juvenile arrests in 2010.
Only 45 percent of the system’s students are African-American.”
Do CPS’s disciplinary policies contribute to the school-to-prison pipeline?
Why do 74 percent of school-based juvenile arrests in Chicago involve black youth?
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