School violence has fallen steadily for twenty years. Yet in schools throughout the United States, Annette Fuentes finds metal detectors and drug tests for aspirin, police profiling of students with no records, arbitrary expulsions, armed teachers, increased policing, and all-seeing electronic surveillance.
This climate of fear has permitted the imposition of unprecedented restrictions on young people’s rights, dignity, and educational freedoms. In what many call the school-to-prison pipeline, the policing and practices of the juvenile justice system increasingly infiltrate the schoolhouse. These “zero tolerance” measures push the most vulnerable and academically needy students out of the classroom and into harm’s way.
Fuentes’s moving stories will astonish and anger readers, as she makes the case that the public schools of the twenty-first century reflect a society with an unhealthy fixation on crime, security and violence.