Imagine you are a young person whose parent is in prison. How does that impact you as you walk into school, interact with peers and teachers, and sit down to learn? What makes you feel safe and connected? Five million U.S. children are living this experience. How can we better serve them? What other students… Continue reading Hidden Among Us: Identifying and Supporting Students With An Incarcerated Parent
I was walking into work today and a colleague of mine began exchanging small talk. She knows that my husband John is incarcerated and was kind enough to ask me how he was doing. I told her that, all things considered, he’s doing really well and that I was excited to see and spend time… Continue reading Why Do Our Schools Look Like Prisons? What Is This Doing To Our Students?
Last week I wrote that a major reason why there is a lack of Black and Brown male teachers in the classroom is because Black and Brown men have a higher rate of felony convictions. This precludes them from garnering the certifications required to become teachers in New York State and/or New York City. While… Continue reading The-School-To-Prison-Back-To-School-Pipeline
For months you’ve read about my husband John’s former experiences with the public school systems in New York City and on Long Island during elementary, junior, and high school, as well as his current experiences being educated in a maximum security prison in New York State. Quite the dichotomy, some might say. Others, like myself,… Continue reading If at First You Don’t Succeed: A Man Rescues Himself From the School-To-Prison Pipeline
Writing is helping me make deeper connections among various topics. Follow me right now, if you will. I’m beginning to see how the school-to-prison pipeline continues to flourish because of a lack of culturally relevant pedagogy. Culturally-relevant pedagogy is lacking because of a void of Black teachers, especially Black, male teachers. One reason there… Continue reading Educational Bias and Bigotry Are Flourishing Under the Leadership of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos
Restorative justice. Restorative circles. Equity in education. College and career ready. These are all buzz phrases about initiatives high on education’s lexicon list. They sound good but, without any action taken towards their actual fruition, they are words that mean absolutely nothing. Just saying them or writing them surely isn’t doing much to change the… Continue reading Our Schools Need Support Staff, Not Police!
I posted a blog last week on my personal website about the school-to-prison-pipeline (STPP) from the perspective of one who is presently incarcerated. As I shared the blog with others dedicated to prison activism, prisoner advocacy, and reform of a broken system that perpetuates the mass incarceration of Black and Brown people, I received a… Continue reading The School-To-Prison-Pipeline Prevention Begins At Home
I’ve noticed that the insides of the schools many of our kids attend look like the inside of prisons. It was a startling observation. I was walking in the stairwell of a school recently and there was an uncanny resemblance to the prison where I visit my husband on a weekly basis. It was not… Continue reading Schools Look More Like Correctional Facilities Than Learning Institutions
A teacher’s expectations and the standards to which he or she holds students accountable may very well be the largest factor in academic success, or lack thereof. I write these words to you with such a frustrated spirit and a heavy heart because the crass reality is that some students, particularly poor Black and Brown… Continue reading The Sad State of Our Schools
This is Part 9 of my series “Letters from John.” In Part I, I wrote, “I’m in a beautifully loving marriage to John Dukes, a man who is truly one of the greatest human beings I’ve ever had the pleasure to know. My husband is also incarcerated. During our friendship, courtship, and marriage, John and… Continue reading What Happens When You Really Just Don’t Like School?