Of course, Chicago isn't the only district carrying out such policies. An editorial in yesterday's NYT, "The Principal's Office First," takes off from an ACLU study of school arrests in Connecticut which found similar practices.
It found that in West Hartford and East Hartford, minorities were far more likely to be arrested than white students who committed the same infraction. In Hartford’s overwhelmingly minority school system, police arrested students at disturbingly young ages: 86 primary grade children in a two-year period, including 13 in grades three or below.The long-term fallout, including increased dropout rates and recidivism, from this ineffective and discriminatory zero-tolerance and mass-arrests approach to school discipline is almost too horrible to contemplate. I'm hoping that the new administration (yes, with Duncan as its educational leader) will see the light on this and help put an end to these barbaric school district policies, policies which were encouraged and institutionalized under the Bush administration.