The Conversation: Relaxing zero tolerance in schools could be Obama’s boldest civil rights reform

Relaxing zero tolerance in schools could be Obama’s boldest civil rights reform 


4 thoughts on “The Conversation: Relaxing zero tolerance in schools could be Obama’s boldest civil rights reform

  1. While I hope your bold claim is right, I think its a bit premature to com to such a conclusion. The school-to-prison pipeline has only gotten fatter under the Obama/Holder DOJ. It is a bit naive to think a lame duck POTUS is going to effect such a sea change in the latter part of his reign.

    On a more practical note, while the DOJ issues this guidance to schools, at the same time the Obama/Duncan DOE continue to tighten the clamps on schools through junk tests and scores, punitive teacher evals, mass school closings and stigmatic grading of the schools. So schools are supposed to find ways to accommodate the behavioral challenges of their students while also improving test scores. With no additional funding unless it comes with strings attached ala Race to the Top.

    All I’m saying is to give Obama and the DOE/DOJ the benefit of the doubt is unwholly undeserving in light of the untold numbers of careers ruined. My children have growing up knowing that if you are labeled a Level 1 or 2 student that school is an entirely different experience for those children.

    Finally, factor in the corporate interests involved with vested interests in playing both ends of the pipeline and it looks to be business as usual. These are the only voices Obama heeds.

  2. Thanks for writing this article…Zero tolerance has resulted in criminalizing our youth before they have a chance to mature. It is clear there is a double-standard when handling black teenage misbehavior and white teenage misbehavior. For blacks it is called “wilding”, but for white teens (who recently posted several photos of very intoxicated and boozed up teenages in Long Island) are only “immature” and reasoned that their brains have not fully matured until 25 and that teenages tends to act on impulse without thinking. I listened to this “reasoning” on a recent local newscast. Why isn’t that same reasoning applied to black youth??!!! Instead, they suffer through a disproportionate amount of suspensions and public humiliation with “stop and frisk” just because of racist and one-sided perceptions.

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