nonprofits,local leaders & Grt.New Haven business sharing information
In a Policy Research Report done by Russell J. Skiba, Robert S. Michael and Abra Carroll Nardo and issued by Indiana Education Policy Center in June 2000, titled The Color of Discipline, the researchers pointed out things we knew to be true, but needed it to be in writing and backed up by prestigious researchers to be taken seriously by the power establishment. The salient points are that: Black and brown children are disciplined more harshly and frequently for the same offenses as white children. In an example of a subset of structural racism, experts have identified the school-yard to prison-yard pipeline, documenting how zero tolerance policies in schools are pushing minority students out of the classroom, the school house and into jails and prisons.
In a recent television program done by OneWorld Progressive Institute, Inc titled: Profiling Connecticut’s Juvenile Justice System with Abby Anderson (Executive Director, CT Juvenile Justice Alliance), John Gill (Dir., Juvenile Justice Services), and Kyisha Velazquez (Mgr, NH Juvenile Review Board), they all agree that in America African-Americans and Latinos teens are the ones populating the Juvenile Justice System because when there is a behavioral problem “society clinicalizes the white child (mental health is called), and criminalize the Black and Hispanic child (the police is called).”
What is the answer to changing this situation? Parents need to be more actively and intimately involved at every level of their children’s lives especially in education. We cannot leave it up to the schools to do what is best for our children. We need to engage our children in critical thinking and self-esteem discussions. We need to engage them in conflict resolutions skills. We need to seek the help we need to help our children. Complaining about the system is not enough; we need to be actively and committedly engaged in changing it; that also means doing all that we can to ensure that our children act responsibly.
Education is a fundamental building block of families, communities and societies; this is more applicable in the 21st Century than it ever was, and it applies to all levels of society. Without a solid education foundation our children will not be able to earn a livable wage now or in the future; they will not be able to compete for jobs. Education is the hall mark to success; let us emphasize the value of education and the importance of self-respecting behaviors.
Links to additional resources: - The Color of Discipline, Russell Skiba, 2000
Annually, in celebration of Black History Month, the Maynard Institute presents brief profiles of 28 African-Americans who have made and continue to make rich contributions in the world of WORDS. The women and men included are writers, editors, journalists, publishers, trailblazers and change makers. The lives of these Americans are worthy of celebration and further study. OneWorld implores parents and teachers to share this link with their students and encourage further exploration. For Feb. 2012 there are 29 profiles.
The media has made great strides since the days when mainstream newsrooms were mostly male, almost exclusively white and often declined to report on communities of color. Yet even today people of color too often find themselves over represented in stories about crime, sports and entertainment and too infrequently in stories about business, lifestyle and everyday life. The problem is compounded by the fact that news stories still rely on the personal narrative, often ignoring the structures and policies in place that go a long way toward defining our lives. OneWorld highly recommends visiting Maynard Media Center.