By Maurice Green
Though a trivial YouTube superstar, for the purpose of this discussion, Antoine Dodson provided some insightful advice when he said, “HIDE YO KIDS!”
The police have invaded our schools.
The relationship between blacks and the police force has typically been one characterized by much animosity. Considering the extensive narrative of police violence, abuse, and targeted policies this should come as no surprise. Unfortunately this dysfunctional relationship will now follow our black youth into school walls. According to a recent New York Times article, “With Police in School, More Children in Court,” both the National Rifle Association and the White House have recommended an increase presence of police in school. Especially after the Hadiya and Newtown tragedies, several schools have taken these recommendations to heart without considering the negative consequences.
The negative consequence of this increased police presence in school is two fold. On a general level, there has been an increase criminalization of petty misbehavior. More children are being arrested and tried for nonviolent transgressions. On a more specific level, this criminalization is especially concerning for students of color. According to another New York Time article, “Criminalizing Children at School”, “federal data suggest a pattern of discrimination in the arrests, with black and Hispanic more likely to be affected.” The fact of the matter is that young students of color are still being held to the negative definitions and myths that associate them with a propensity to violence. The police that subscribe to these unfounded and ridiculous ideas now have the ability to target black youth at even earlier ages within our schools.
While parents should be concerned about gun violence within their children’s school, the police in schools and the criminalization and racial bias that seems to inevitably follow them represents another equally important concern. The notion of schools being a safe-haven from violence and other dangers of the outside world has since deceased. The notion of schools being an avenue for adequate development and assimilation into society as an adult is gone. Forget detention or suspension, your child may end up in Cook County District Court for acting out. Although this issue highlights the needs for the black community and police force to develop a functional relationship on the severity of police discrimination and bias, for the time being I will submit to the advice of Antoine Dodson.
So I repeat, “HIDE YO KIDS.”