|KIPP padded cell for kindergartners|
But reports that a KIPP charter school in N.Y. is locking children in a padded cell in order to "calm them down" are just the latest example of the charter chain's long record of child abuse and mis-education targeted primarily at African-American and Latino children.
The Daily News reports that a kindergartner and first grader at KIPP Star Washington Heights Elementary School were emotionally damaged after being put away in a padded walk-in cell used for 'time out.'
“He was crying hysterically,” said Teneka Hall, 28, a full-time Washington Heights mom whose son, Xavier, was rushed to the hospital after he panicked and wet himself while he was holed up in the padded room. “It’s no way to treat a child.”I didn't have to look at the picture of the terrified youngster and his mother to know that they were African-American. It's hard to imagine this happening in white, middle class, public schools.
|Teneka Hall and son Xavier|
Slant is based on the writings of a pop psychologist from the University of Pennsylvania named Martin Seligman, who studied the conditioning of dogs and then authored of a series of self-help books about positive psychology.
My friend and early childhood ed expert Deb Meier calls it "military style" discipline aimed at "humiliating them into compliance." But I must say that even as a military recruit, I was never debased in the fashion of KIPP's Washington Heights Elementary School.
While it's true that not all KIPP schools (I have visited several and have worked with some former KIPP teachers) faithfully follow this routine or its most abusive aspects, there is still enough of a history here to warrant an investigation and a revocation of KIPP's charter and public funding.
A twist on "separate but equal"
This from the N.Y. Times Mag piece on KIPP:
The [KIPP affiliated] schools that Toll, Atkins, Levin and Feinberg run are not racially integrated. Most of the 70 or so schools that make up their three networks have only one or two white children enrolled, or none at all. Although as charter schools, their admission is open through a lottery to any student in the cities they serve, their clear purpose is to educate poor black and Hispanic children. The guiding principle for the four school leaders, all of whom are white, is an unexpected twist on the “separate but equal” standard: they assert that for these students, an “equal” education is not good enough.