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Criminalization Of Schools

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Education has remained a source for continued politicizing and legislating for years. Whenever policy is discussed at a national, state or local level, it seems that education makes it ways into the conversation on some level. While many institutions and business have enjoyed increased deregulation, the regulation of education has increased tremendously. The very institution charged with preparing children and young people to function in society as participating citizens is plagued with the most rules. There is no argument that students should be entitled to a safe and substantial education in school and rules must be in place to maintain a level of order in order to allow for learning. However, there have been two polices that impacted the …show more content…

The difficulty lies in the inability to turn that back around. School crime is not as pervasive as the media would like communities to believe, “the real and imagined pictures of violence-plagues public schools […] have created a neural pathway to the concept of public schools (Simon 208). Simon goes on to say that although most middle-class students will not encounter weapons in school, the policies enacted in suburban schools are similar to those in inner-city schools, a movement he calls “fortress tactics.” This includes drug testing, searches, metal detectors, video surveillance, and security officers, among others. All of these methods point to the students being a problem or at least being an anticipated problem. What is worse is this is usually done in the name of keeping students safe, which is not true. It is to retain control, “new forms of expertise now openly compete with pedagogic knowledge and authority for shaping routines and rituals of schools (Simon 209).” It is through these means that schools now have become a prison …show more content…

Zero Tolerance policies have criminalized normal disruptive classroom behavior, and “ha[s] generally involved harsh disciplinary consequences such as long-term and/or permanent suspension or expulsion for violations, and often arrest” which are often enacted on “minor or non-violent violations of rules such as tardiness and disorderly conduct” (Heitzeg 9). On the other hand, the existence of No Child Left Behind “finds that the higher the stakes and the longer such an accountability system governs schools, the more school personnel view students not as children to educate but as potential liabilities” (Rice University). In fact, “the No Child Left Behind Act represents another kind of extension of the crime model in education” (Simon 226). Both regulations have positioned students as the enemy. The negative impact and pressure that has evolved in the school environment is palatable. Students’ behavior is more of a focus than their learning; teachers are under pressure to teach and maintain credentials, administrators have become police in monitoring both the teachers and the students in order for the school to remain in operation. In fact, teachers are affected by both regulations since “accountability as a system

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