cross-posted sans video from post in space
As the civil rights movement was working to end racial apartheid in the South and gain access to education after WWII, schools were continuing their intense centralization. Spurred by the rapid growth of the military-industrial complex, corporations expanded their reach and grasp globally. And corporate expansion fit well with a highly centralized public school structure that could offer a large market to corporate vendors. Education corporations have since gained enormous domination of the entire arc of education in the neoliberal era even as more citizens used education services as fair wages declined.
Increasing repression within schools is clearly seen in the movement toward zero tolerance policies in the past 30 years, policies that sync with mass incarceration, so that today we are seeing levels of policing and control within schools that hard to reconcile with the original purpose of schools. The schools were partly an answer to the exploitation of youth in factories but many schools today have become factories themselves with a school-to-prison pipeline for racial minorities.
Schools should be a social service for citizens in a democracy and police are not needed when this social service works with families in a supportive capacity. Changing the power structure of compulsory schooling to allow all families to be partners in the social services they pay for, changing this dynamic would enable communities to begin strengthening our weak social fabric. Authoritarian tactics and racism by a social service that should serve families are, as Alice Walker says, symptoms of the disease . That disease has brought war as a growth industry and expanded police power in mass institutions that are not anchored firmly and democratically to all citizens.
“In March the U.S. Department of Education released the Civil Rights Data Collection, a self-reported survey of more than 72,000 schools that serve 85 percent of American students. Among the tool’s findings is that African-American and Latino students receive harsher school discipline than their white counterparts. Black students are more than three times as likely, for example, to be suspended or expelled, and one in five African-American boys received an out-of-school suspension.“
Youth protesting Trayvon Martin case in Baltimore, video with activist Glen Ford who advises youth to remain involved in activism for change, at the Real News Network, Trayvon Martin and Structural Racism