Submitted by Sarah on Wed, 11/04/2015 - 12:24.
By Fatimah Loren Muhammad
By now, many have heard about the recent incident at Spring Valley High School, where a South Carolina deputy slammed a young African American girl to the ground, dragged her on the floor, and handcuffed her for disobeying school rules. Several videos have gone viral and spurred national dialogue about the “school-to-prison pipeline,” a framework that connects harsh school disciplinary practices (such as zero tolerance policies) and increased presence of school police with the eventual incarceration of young people. Research suggests that the criminalization of youth behavior disproportionately impacts African American children and children with physical/emotional disabilities.
While many may debate various aspects of this case – the egregious and disproportionate use of violent force of a deputy, the arguments for or against firing said deputy, or even the disruptive behavior of the young woman – there are still many looming questions about how we as a society respond to acts of disruption, aggression, or violence among students in school.