Skip to comments.Schools like East Side Union's that criminalize youth are a pipeline to prison
Posted on 06/11/2012 6:12:38 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
In the wake of the Trayvon Martin tragedy, I decided to show my solidarity with his family by wearing my black hoodie and a black beanie cap to the English class I teach at a high school on the East Side of San Jose. The day was cold and windy, appropriate for such attire. As I walked into class, a student wearing almost exactly what I was wearing (black hoodie, sagging pants) says, "Damn, Felipe, you look like you're going to rob somebody!"
If this young man pictured me as a criminal, despite the fact that I had been his teacher for several months, then how does society see me and others that look like me? How can we as a society change our preconceived views of the criminal black/brown man that have been so embedded in our psyche that on first sight we are criminalized?
These assumptions of the criminal in a hoodie have permeated society so deeply that schools in the East Side Unified High School District have adopted a strict dress code. Children are no longer allowed to wear "gang colors" (red, blue, gray, even pink!), and some schools have banned hoodies, too.
School officials maintain that dress codes are for the protection of the students and staff. I disagree; I say it is another form of the hypercriminalization of people of color, and another piece of the school-to-prison pipeline that has turned noncriminal behavior into the first step toward prison.
In prisons the guards watch the population from huge towers; at the school where I teach, we have more than 40 surveillance cameras watching students at all times. This school employs four police officers and two security guards, yet it laid off one of three college counselors this year...
(Excerpt) Read more at mercurynews.com ...
Felipe Ponce is a graduate student in the Mexican-American Studies Program at San Jose State and teaches in the YWCA Project Inspire After School Program in the East Side Union High School District. He wrote this for this newspaper.
Hoodies are for one reason only: to hide identity.
just as loose gang pants are used to hide weapons, the use of hoodies is a statement of probable criminality.
Uh, black and brown men could stop committing the majority of crimes
I see white boys wearing hoodies and I think the same thing as I do when I see a guy of any other skin color. Up to no good, stay away. Dress like a punk, live and die like a punk.
Ah, I dunno, I make and sell tie dye hoodies. I had a group of three “youts” do a grab and dash at a fair earlier this year. Yeah, they were all Amish. I got one back right away, caught the dude and just ripped out of his hands from behind him. The other two, we waited till later that night and sho-enuf, there they were, wearing the dang tie dye hoodies.
Got those back two and had them arrested for just simply making me chase them down. Not that they had any remorse... no siree.
But aside from those three nut cases, I sell tie dye hoodies pretty well.Mostly to the non-amish...They do well in the pacific northwest where gray and gloomy skies need to be brightened up with color.
As I like to say, tie dye improves mental clarity and makes food taste better.
Felipe, Shut Up and Go Away.
Schools are day prisons for children, especially public schools. Given public schools, there should be school uniforms. Shools should be single sex, also. Schools should teach Reading Writing and Arithmetic and other old time academic subjects like History, Geography, Civics and Science. The elementary schools should give kids a lot of playground time. This sort of describes schools 60 or 70 years ago but is not descriptive of modern institutions which teach no academic subjects or teach them only cursorily and use the rest of their time inculcating PC standards and socialism.
Gammar school for me was in the 50s. Through 4th grade was in Istanbul in a tiny Calvert System private school set up for American diplomats’ and business peoples’ kids. The rest was back in the States in Florida and Virginia. I learned more of all the basic subjects by the time we came back to the States than I encountered in school again before high school. And the public schools back then were vastly superior to the public schools in the 70s when my wife and I decided to keep our own kids out of them.
Must be rough having a graduate degree that didn’t teach him anything other than how to think of himself as a victim.
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