Military personnel were looking for students in a high school in California

For the past 10 years, California has been slowly dismantling a tough infrastructure in crime that led to the prison population peaking at 173,000 in 2006. Today, the prison system in the largest state in America holds less than 100,000 inmates. This is a fascinating turn for the country that after the enactment of the Three Strikes Act in 1994, was for many years a slang word for a stricter sentence.

However, despite this, activists fear that too many young people are still studying in schools where they are set to fail. For poorer California residents, the so-called prison school pipeline – the assumption that young people from certain backgrounds are inherently suspicious, and as a result should be forcibly controlled – remains operational. Every year in California, according to the National Youth Law Center, about 6,500 students are expelled from schools, over a quarter of a million suspended, and many students are placed in “alternative” education settings where they receive a minimum of personal instruction each week and then sent home with information sheets to complete The difference.

Once students are considered irreparable and have actually been expelled from the school system, they are more likely to get in and out of jail and jail over the next few decades, and the likelihood of them succeeding financially is much lower. It is a dysfunctional circle that locks in place racial and class gaps.

Black students are much more likely to be suspended than members of other groups. Ten years ago, 133 out of every 1,000 black students in the country were suspended sometime in the year. Today, that number has dropped, but it still remains appallingly high, at about 80 per 1,000. For Latino students, this number is closer to 30; And for boys it is about 25.

The treatment of students in schools varies greatly from district to district. Students in poorer cities, or in schools where large numbers of students come from poorer neighborhoods, and with higher percentages of non-white students, are more likely to be subject to sweeping and cohesive enforcement policies.

Three weeks ago, two black students at El Cherito High School in the province of Contra Costa got into a fight. During that fight, one of the students pulled out a gun and swung it. Fortunately, he did not fire a gun and the incident ended without bloodshed.

Unsurprisingly, Richmond police were called and an arrest was made later that day. Not surprisingly, too, following the incident the high school principal, Patricia Crespo – who did not return an email request to be interviewed for this column – implemented a temporary policy whereby all student backpacks and bags would be inspected before teens were allowed to enter the school grounds.

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