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Jacobin magazine describes itself as “a leading voice of the American left, offering socialist perspectives on politics, economics, and culture.  The print magazine is released quarterly and reaches over 10,000 subscribers, in addition to a web audience of 600,000 a month.”  Noam Chomsky says:

“The appearance of Jacobin magazine has been a bright light in dark times. Each issue brings penetrating, lively discussions and analyses of matters of real significance, from a thoughtful left perspective that is refreshing and all too rare. A really impressive contribution to sanity, and hope.”

Today’s online edition features an article on the criminalisation of youth inside schools entitled “Counter-Insurgency in the Classroom”.  Jacobin contributors Mary Anne Henderson and Brian Platt write:  School in police embody the school-to-prison pipeline.  They have no place in our hallways or classrooms. [1]



JACOBIN—[5 NOV 2015]  On an early November morning in 2003, students at Stratford High in Goose Creek, SC milled around the school’s hallways and cafeteria waiting for the school day to start. Their morning routine was shattered, however, when police in SWAT team armor suddenly burst out of utility closets and stairwells with guns drawn, screaming at them to get on the ground. Terrified, some students froze in place while others ran for cover.

Black students in particular were the targets of intimidation and arrest. The principal, George McCrackin, coordinated with local police, timing the raid so it occurred just after the buses transporting students from predominantly black neighborhoods arrived. And two-thirds of those arrested were African American. As Jessica Chinners, a white tenth grader, said, “I looked down the long hall and saw the police lining up all these black students.”

While police “secured” the school, McCrackin personally accompanied officers through the cafeteria, pointing out students he thought should be arrested. Teenagers were removed at gunpoint with their hands zip-tied behind their backs while police dogs sniffed them for drugs — none of which they found. “I really don’t know why they did what they did to me,” Rodney Goodwin, a black tenth grade student, later told reporters. “I didn’t do anything wrong, but they arrested me.”

Video of the raid was leaked online, sparking outrage. In a letter to parents McCrackin attempted to exonerate himself: “I was surprised and extremely concerned when I observed the guns drawn. However, once police are on campus, they are in charge.” While McCrackin failed to mention his crucial role in the raid, his comment did highlight a stark truth about police and schooling: once cops are on campus, they are in control.

Learn more at JACOBIN.


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[1]  Mary Anne Henderson is a historian who teaches at the Northwest School in Seattle. Brian Platt is an aerospace machinist who lives in the Seattle area.


[Last modified 5 NOV 2015 19:11 PDT]