www.bittermedicineblogs.com -- Today’s episode discusses the shift in recent years, within our education system, away from traditional disciplinary actions (counseling, detention etc.) when students misbehave in school, to suspensions, expulsions, and law enforcement to punish students. Children are actually being arrested and removed from schools for minor discretions, at alarming rates around the country. However, all children are not receiving these punishments equally: Race differences are present.
Many reasons are often proposed by the dominant society, and usually those reasons exclude racial bias as a cause. Some claim school safety is the reason, after the Columbine shootings in 1999; some claim the increased level of punishment is to rid the schools of bad performers, so as to improve school stats etc., but how can these be the reasons when mostly Black children are being affected?
Statistics show (PBS: https://goo.gl/UBQ7SM) 40% of students expelled each year are black; 70% of in-school arrests are Black & Latino students; Black students are 3.5 times more likely to be suspended than whites for the SAME offences; and Black & Latino students are twice as likely not o graduate high school than white students. Add to this that Black & Latino people make up 61% of the prison population, while only making up 30% of the U.S. population; that 1 out 3 Black males, and 1 out of 6 Latino males will be incarcerated in their lifetime.
From these statistics alone, it is not hard to see that the criminalizing of Black, and even Latino, children in the school system is leading them to prison. We discuss more on the why, how, and what we can do in our community to remedy this situation. Listen to learn more.
About or Guest:
Jason Edgar, a native of Brooklyn, NY, is an Enrollment Services Coordinator at the University of North Florida. In his role as coordinator, he is responsible for providing access to a diverse, academically gifted student population from first contact to
graduation through admissions, financial aid, and university rules and regulations.
He believes that life was not meant to be lived either in a silo or in isolation - it is through our living, working, serving with and learning from others unlike ourselves that we are able to experience the full spectrum of life, and then share those experiences and knowledge to uplift others. After all, if you want to change the nation, you must first change your neighborhood.
Jason is a graduate of Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, where he earned his BS degree in Operations Management. He has received his MBA degree in Business Administration from the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, FL, where he is also currently pursuing his Doctorate in Educational Leadership where his dissertation topic will be dismantling the “School to Prison Pipeline”.
He has been a member Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated since 1986, and currently serves as the president of the Jacksonville, FL alumni chapter as well as the Southern Region Social Action Director. Supporting him in his efforts are his wife, Karla Calliste-Edgar, and their daughter, Jade, a student at New York University, New York, NY.
His social justice interests are criminal re-enfranchisement, the school the prison pipeline, minority health issues, and fighting community apathy.
His hobbies include personal physical fitness, tennis, baking, cycling, public speaking, and travel.
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The Bitter Medicine podcast is a Black Empowerment show that speaks frankly about matters that affect Black people across the globe. Our show focuses on Black news & entertainment, arts, science, economics, history, people and strategies that uplift, empower, and motivate Africans within the diaspora.