[collapses onto sofa] it’s doooooooone.
so this is the episode of television i’ve been working on for the past six months; it’s part of the new york civil liberties union’s ongoing tv show, called project liberty.” this particular episode is about the school-to-prison pipeline.
in new york state, there’s a law on the books called disciplinary code b21. this gives teachers and administrators the power to give students suspensions for “defying or disobeying lawful authority.” in theory, this is supposed to create a more disciplined learning environment.
in practice? it means that students of color, immigrant students, lgbt students, and disabled students are slapped with suspensions for things like getting up to go to the bathroom when the teacher hasn’t given them permission. for “talking back” to teachers. for doodling on desks.
add this to the fact that there are more police officers in new york city schools than there are in the entire city of washington dc. add this to the fact that police officers mace students, arrest students, and more or less have a free license to harass students however they like. (three guesses as to what sorts of students police offers like to harass, first two don’t count.) add this to the fact that schools have holding cells for students. a five-year-old was literally handcuffed.
it’s called the school-to-prison pipeline because it’s designed to shunt students out of school and into the criminal justice system. but there isn’t a fucking lot of difference between these schools and prison even before the students are pushed into prison proper.
anyway: watch the video, it has a lot of lovely people in it, i get a production credit, it’ll make you mad and it’ll make you sad and hopefully it’ll make you want to do something about it.