More than 1,000 Texas teenagers have had to spend time in jail due to missing school and not being able to pay truancy fines. While some might see this as a feasible way to scare mostly poor black and latino teenagers straight into attending school, it often has the opposite effect because students fall even farther behind:
While in jail, students told BuzzFeed News, they witnessed adult inmates beating each other and soliciting sex. Still, some young people said their jail stint startled them into recognizing the value of school — a point echoed by proponents of the system. “It’s important that children learn that there are consequences to their actions,” Judge David Cobos of Midland County, in western Texas, told state legislators at a recent hearing. … But many other students said that jail scarred them by making them feel like failures or, in some cases, by exacerbating preexisting mental illnesses. One student was housed in solitary confinement for most of his 11-day sentence in 2013, leaving only to spend 48 hours under suicide watch in the infirmary, according to jail officials.
Even worse? None of these students have access to lawyers to help them understand their options.
Team Blackness also discussed a Florida sheriff who had some ignorant things to say about black people, CNN president’s thoughts on Don Lemon, and more on the death of Eric Harris.