Sunday, April 22, 2012
School Today, Jail Tomorrow: The Impact of Zero Tolerance on the Over-Representation of Minority Youth in the Juvenile System
"Criticizing the high rates of incarceration of poor youth of color in this country Giroux (2009) calls on the United States to bring this issue to the forefront of policy and social agendas. We answer his call by critically examining zero tolerance policy and its victims across the nation, while also studying Florida schools and its juvenile system where reform efforts are evolving in an attempt to mitigate practices which have contributed to the arresting and sorting of minority youth. Florida has been selected for analysis in this article due to historical challenges in its juvenile justice system with the over-representation of minority youth, and its high rates of school-based arrests. This article illustrates Giroux’s argument (2009) that youth of color are viewed as “expendable” and “disposable.” Zero tolerance policy as implemented in public schools is a pathway from school to jail for many youth of color deemed outcasts (Bauman, 2004). Zero tolerance policy in public education continues to be fed by distrust in youth, diminished rights and freedoms of youth compared to adults in public schools, and racism that is reflected in “widespread stereotypical images of Black youth as superpredators and Black culture as the culture of criminality” (Giroux, 2003, p. 560)."
School Today, Jail Tomorrow: The Impact of Zero Tolerance on theOver-Representation of Minority Youth in the Juvenile System