As many other state laws entail age restrictions, those laws recognize that younger children cannot be held to the same standards as teens or adults, so what makes it okay to arrest young children for common behavior like tantrums?
This school-to-prison pipeline is essentially the process by which American youth are pushed into the juvenile criminal justice system by means of criminalizing small, sometimes ridiculous offenses such as (you guessed it) throwing tantrums in school at the age of six! This cycle derails the lives of juveniles at a young age by building a negative criminal profile before they can even understand what is happening.
To take it a step further, the idea of relating this incident to slavery brings up the important topic of race in such criminalization. Would a white child have had the same treatment in this situation? It’s hard to say.. but the majority of the online population seems to think not.
This shows the threat that people of color are presented with in everyday life due to the criminal justice system’s criminalization of race, often referred to as “living while black.”
The negative bias and criminalization of race starts in schools, where black children are 338 percent more likely to be suspended than white classmates. This shows the school-to-prison pipeline at work and interrupts childhood as well as education while setting these black students up for life on the wrong path.
Of all males in the U.S. prison system, 68% do not have a high school diploma. The school-to-prison pipeline likely pushed these men into the system and therefore diminishing their opportunities, creating a cycle of racial injustice.
Currently, no official policies have been introduced to the criminal justice system to fight back against criminalization of race or students, but groups such as The Advancement Project and YWCA are actively working to educate society on these issues and create equal opportunities.