School-to-Prison Pipeline in Political Aspect

Introduction

The school-to-prison pipeline is a highly destructive tendency. It results in students being suspended and imprisoned for minor discipline violations. The problem can be studied from many perspectives, as it concerns social, psychological, and political issues. This paper investigates the school-to-prison pipeline from the political point of view using the two articles concerning the topic. The documents offer a diverse perspective of the problem, examining the issue from different angles.

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The School-to-Prison Pipeline’s Effect on Political Participation

Kupchik, A., & Catlaw, T. J. (2015). Discipline and participation: The long-term effects of suspension and school security on the political and civic engagement of youth. Youth & Society, 47(1), 95-124.

The first article studies how the school-to-prison pipeline influences students’ future political and civic participation. Kupchik and Catlaw (2015) note that over the past twenty years American schools started to adopt harsher punitive methods, such as zero-tolerance policy. Authors suggest that it can result in a weakening of students’ political commitment since they learn to accept adults’ authority and be obedient rather than take action. It means that schools suppress and discourage children’s future political aptitude. School socialization can play an important role in raising democratic citizens by cultivating democratic capacities that include critical thinking, and concern for human rights and “common good” (Kupchik & Catlaw, 2015). Students’ engagement in different school activities, such as planning and problem solving, can cultivate their political and civic potential. Unfortunately, such policies are not implemented in school systems. Instead, schools create conditions in which students are disempowered and taught to believe that they are potential criminals. It naturally results in an indifferent political position.

The authors point out that suspension has a long-term effect on students and their desire to vote. Negative experiences with harsh school discipline have a suppressive impact on students’ political participation. Kupchik and Catlaw (2015) describe suspension as an “ineffective” and “counter-productive” policy (p. 105). The school-to-prison pipeline is also associated with more hostile relationships among students and teachers and does not eliminate the likelihood of future discipline violations of students. The authors underline that political participation can be taught only through inclusive educational climates and suspension contributes to the low level of political commitment among students (Kupchik & Catlaw, 2015). The results of this study show that harsh school policies are damaging the nation’s long-term civic engagement.

The Role of Neoliberalism, Conservatism, and Penal Populism

Mora, R., & Christianakis, M. (2013). Feeding the school-to-prison pipeline: The convergence of neoliberalism, conservativism, and penal populism. Journal of Educational Controversy, 7(1). Web.

The second article studies how the school-to-prison pipeline is reinforced by the convergence of neoliberalism, conservatism, and penal populism. According to Mora and Christianakis (2013), politicians criminalize minority youth by imposing strict crime prevention for political gain. Neoliberalism has turned control of the working class into the extensive use of prisons. Along with this, neoliberalism has normalized the criminalization of poverty and punitive thinking. Because of it, zero-tolerance policies are used to control minorities throughout the current neoliberal society. Many studies prove that aggressive policing is targeted against minority youth (Mora & Christianakis, 2013).

Penal populism dehumanizes and criminalizes young people of color. The authors note that over the last two decades many states have stiffened penalties against youth due to penal populism. Moreover, nearly all states have contributed to the school-to-prison pipeline by improving the process of transferring young people to adult criminal courts. This rhetoric has resulted in juvenile courts focusing on punishing students rather than protecting them. Politicians promote penal populism and contribute to it to gain support.

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Conservative, zero-tolerance centered disciplinary policies are currently implemented in over 90% of American public schools (Mora & Christianakis, 2013). The supporters of these policies argue that they are necessary for school violence regulation. However, research proves that most discipline violations are minor and often include the disruption of school activities and disobedience to authorities. Zero-tolerance policies are not aiming to improve students’ behavior and create a safe environment for young people. It is clear that neoliberalism, conservatism, and penal populism has shifted the schools’ focus from educational programs to crime prevention.

Commentary

Both articles introduce a detailed study of the relation between the school-to-prison pipeline and politics. It is clear that the students and their future decisions are highly affected by schools’ disciplinary policies. The first article in notable because it studies the results of the school-to-prison pipeline from an uncommon perspective. It is crucial that Kupchik and Catlaw make the readers reflect on the future effects of such a punitive system on the political engagement of the nation. The second article reveals the connection between political tendencies and the harshening of school disciplinary methods. Its strong point is the ability of the authors to see how politicians and the competitive electoral system incite discipline violations. The paper explains why minorities are the tools politicians use for their professional gain. In my opinion, both articles lack ideas on how to eliminate the effects of the school-to-prison pipeline based on the issues that enhance the destructive tendency. However, the papers provide crucial insights into the political aspect of the problem.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I want to point out that the articles have made a significant contribution to my knowledge of the school-to-prison pipeline. I have learned how much politics is engaged in this discriminative system, and how the school environment shapes the future political capacity of the nation. The articles made me realize that the school-to-prison pipeline elimination demands to change the political order of the country. Such destructive tendencies should not be reinforced by politicians’ competition, as well as they should not affect the future political aptitude of students. I believe that understanding the reasons for the problem is the first step to solving it.

References

Kupchik, A., & Catlaw, T. J. (2015). Discipline and participation: The long-term effects of suspension and school security on the political and civic engagement of youth. Youth & Society, 47(1), 95-124.

Mora, R., & Christianakis, M. (2013). Feeding the school-to-prison pipeline: The convergence of neoliberalism, conservativism, and penal populism. Journal of Educational Controversy, 7(1). Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2020, December 26). School-to-Prison Pipeline in Political Aspect. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/school-to-prison-pipeline-in-political-aspect/

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"School-to-Prison Pipeline in Political Aspect." StudyCorgi, 26 Dec. 2020, studycorgi.com/school-to-prison-pipeline-in-political-aspect/.

1. StudyCorgi. "School-to-Prison Pipeline in Political Aspect." December 26, 2020. https://studycorgi.com/school-to-prison-pipeline-in-political-aspect/.


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StudyCorgi. "School-to-Prison Pipeline in Political Aspect." December 26, 2020. https://studycorgi.com/school-to-prison-pipeline-in-political-aspect/.

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StudyCorgi. 2020. "School-to-Prison Pipeline in Political Aspect." December 26, 2020. https://studycorgi.com/school-to-prison-pipeline-in-political-aspect/.

References

StudyCorgi. (2020) 'School-to-Prison Pipeline in Political Aspect'. 26 December.

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