NO ADVERTISING, GOVERNMENT OR CORPORATE FUNDING

  • Latest News
  • Pitch a Story
  • Work with a Journalist
  • Join the Blog Squad
  • Afghanistan
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Baltimore
  • Canada
  • Egypt
  • Europe
  • Latin America
  • Middle East
  • Russia
  • Economy
  • Environment
  • Health Care
  • Military
  • Occupy
  • Organize This
  • Reality Asserts Itself
  • US Politics
  • Government's Call for Less Police In School Doesn't Go Far Enough


    Student activist Tre Murphy: Eric Holder and Arne Duncan's call for less use of zero-tolerance policies is a good start but much work remains to reign in the use of law enforcement in public schools -   January 10, 14
    Members don't see ads. If you are a member, and you're seeing this appeal, click here

    Audio

    Share to Facebook Share to Twitter




    Understanding info is a powerful thing. Thank you to all of your reporters for making a significant difference. - Nancy SmithEaken
    Log in and tell us why you support TRNN

    Bio

    Tre Murphy is an 18-year-old high school senior at Baltimore’s Mergenthaler Vocational High in Baltimore and an organizer with the Baltimore Algebra Project, and is part of the Dignity in Schools Campaign. The algebra project rents space at The Real News.

    Transcript

    Government's Call for Less Police In School Doesn't Go    Far EnoughJAISAL NOOR, TRNN PRODUCER: This is The Real News, and I'm Jaisal Noor in Baltimore.

    On Wednesday, the federal government unveiled new guidelines aimed at reining in harsh disciplinary measures widely used in the country's public schools. Speaking in Baltimore, Education Secretary Arnie Duncan and Attorney General Eric Holder acknowledged suspensions and arrests are overused and disproportionately target minority students.

    ~~~

    ARNE DUNCAN, U.S. SECRETARY OF EDUCATION: Nationwide, as many as 95 percent of out-of-school suspensions are for nonviolent misbehavior. But I must ask: is putting children out of school the best solution, the best remedy for those problems?

    ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: We're not afraid to say that, you know, if you're a kid with a disability, if you are a kid of color, under these zero-tolerance approaches you are unfairly likely to be suspended. And that is a reality we have to confront.

    ~~~

    NOOR: This is the first time the federal government has released guidelines on school discipline, and comes as increasing evidence is emerging that such zero-tolerance policies are ineffective.

    Now joining us to discuss this here in Baltimore is Tre Murphy. He's an 18-year-old high school senior at Baltimore's Mergenthaler Vocational High, organizer with the Baltimore Algebra Project, which is part of the Dignity in Schools campaign. For full disclosure: the Algebra Project rents space here at the Real News headquarters.

    Thanks so much for joining us, Tre.

    TRE MURPHY, ORGANIZER, BALTIMORE ALGEBRA PRJECT: Thank you for having me.

    NOOR: So, Tre, you're a high school student. You just came to our studio from high school. And I taught in many public schools in New York City for the last five years, and most people don't understand just how many police are in public schools today and what kind of impact having police, having metal detectors you have to walk through every day going to school, what kind of impact that has on someone's education. Can you talk about your own experiences and what kind of impact you think that has on yourself and your fellow students?

    MURPHY: Yeah. Sure.

    So that is actually correct. One of the biggest things for me is that when I walk inside of my school, nine times out of ten, most of the time, the first person who I see or the first staff person that's not a student who I see is a resource officer, a school resource officer. And so that has a dramatic impact on me, because when I walked into my high school in ninth grade year, I never knew that schools was even allowed to have police officers there. And then--so for me to walk inside of a high school from just coming straight from middle school or straight out of middle school, it was a new experience for me.

    You know, it really awakened my eyes to the fact--it made me raise a series of questions, one of which was: is this school safe? Because the first thing that I do when I walk into a new high school is see a police officer. And so that made me aware of, like, do I--should I constantly be alert at all times here. They say that school is--number-one priority is safety, but having cops inside of schools raised the question of are the schools even safe to begin with in the first place. [incompr.] I can recall even way back to my ninth grade year when there was a student who was forcefully put up against a wall by a school resource officer for simply walking down--.

    NOOR: Which is, like, a police officer. It's, like, a cop that works inside a public school.

    MURPHY: Yup. So they have the same training. They get the same--they have to go through the same process as a regular police officer. They are just made a Baltimore City school police officer, which we call resource officers.

    And he actually forcefully put one of my fellow students up against the wall. And it made me think, like, is that the way that we should treat our students?

    NOOR: You're part of the Algebra Project and part of the Dignity in Schools campaign. That's really--both nationwide efforts at really kind of raising this as an issue that needs to be dealt with. And the federal government on Wednesday, for the first time they really acknowledged this is a problem. They issued these guidelines.

    Talk about the significance of the work that's been done by students, by community members raising these issues and the fact that the federal government acknowledges, as you heard, you know, Arne Duncan and Eric Holder say in the beginning of this interview, that these are serious problems and they disproportionately target minority students and students with disabilities.

    MURPHY: Yes. No. That is very valid. First and foremost, it's significant of them just acknowledging that sends the country in a whole different direction. So for community activists such as myself and such as the members of the Dignity in Schools campaign and all of the rest of the national networks--the Alliance for Educational Justice, Advancement Project, all of the national networks who have worked so diligently to even try to push the Department of Education and the Department of Justice to actually acknowledge that there is a problem or there is issues facing our school district that's predominantly African-American or Latino-based, and that this is a race-based issue, I mean, the significance of that is just--it's not as big as I would like it to be, but just getting them to acknowledge that there is a school-to-prison pipeline, that it does [incompr.] affect minority youth of color and youth with disabilities, that sends us to a whole 'nother level.

    NOOR: So talk about how activists can use these guidelines to, as you said, make concrete changes in their schools, in their communities. And talk about what alternatives exist as far as discipline and--Arne Duncan and, you know, Attorney General Holder talked about making schools a safe place that's conducive for learning. What kind of community-based approaches exist out there that aren't being used but can be used?

    MURPHY: Yes. No. So there are a great number of things that can take place. And so some of the methods that we have been able to use across the country is what we call the Restorative Justice Toolkit. And so what it is: it's basically--it's just methods of mediating issues, different issues that young people face.

    So we do something that's called peer mediation. We know that peers [incompr.] best from other peers who are in the same situation that they're faced with, so other peers being able to mediate their peers, because they can understand the context of the situation from which they are going through, something that a school resource officer, a police officer, or a school official, administrators, may not have any knowledge of. And so that's just one of the methods.

    We also know that based off statistics, a person who doesn't go to jail at all is not likely to go to jail more than a person who goes to jail once, who is more likely to go back to jail again.

    And so how do we keep them off of that jail track? Because having more police inside of schools, giving them the ability to lock up students, is setting a precedent that you are a criminal and you should be treated such as a criminal.

    NOOR: Exactly. It raises the point: are we preparing kids to go to jail, or preparing them for a future and to get an education to have a future?

    MURPHY: Exactly.

    And the method that I use all the time is that my school and schools across the country are becoming more jail-like as the days and the years go by. It's become a normal thing.

    And so how do we detoxify that setting? Because it's not normal for our schools to look like prisons. That's just not normal at all. It's not normal for our students to have the mind mentality that because I walked down the wrong side of the hallway, I should be tried as a criminal, I should go to jail. That at all is not normal.

    And something that the Baltimore Algebra Project has specifically used is what we call the National Student Bill of Rights. What we say is that the reason why that there are so many issues facing our young people, and the alternative to not having school police officers or these zero-tolerance policies at all, is to have a National Student Bill of Rights that changes the whole culture of the school. And so if the culture of the school for so many years have been that if you do something wrong, you get locked up by or the school police officers has to deal with you in a way from which it just should not be tolerated, then we change the whole culture to students actually feeling ownership over their education, because we know that the people who are most directly affected by stuff, that should be the people that's on the forefront of it. And so why young people's input aren't in a foundation of how to make their education better is just outrageous to me.

    And so the National Student Bill of Rights just simply says that you have an education, that you can improve your own education, that you should have some ownership over your education, because you're more inclined to protect your education if you feel ownership over it.

    NOOR: Alright. Tre Murphy, thank you so much for joining us.

    MURPHY: Thank you for having me.

    NOOR: You can follow us @therealnews on Twitter, Tweet me questions and comments @jaisalnoor.

    Thank you so much for joining us.

    End

    DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.


    Comments

    Our automatic spam filter blocks comments with multiple links and multiple users using the same IP address. Please make thoughtful comments with minimal links using only one user name. If you think your comment has been mistakenly removed please email us at contact@therealnews.com

    Comments


    Latest Stories


    The Bundy Ranch Standoff Demonstrates Values Shared by Corporations and the Far Right
    The Resegregation of American Schools
    The Modern History of Venezuela, Why Still So Much Crime? - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (7/9)
    What Role Has Russia Played in Eastern Ukraine?
    Can Johns Hopkins Afford to Pay A Living Wage? (2/2)
    University Sit-In Targets World's Largest Private Coal Company
    The Modern History of Venezuela and the Need for a Post-Oil Economy - Edgardo Lander on RAI (6/9)
    Can Johns Hopkins Afford to Pay A Living Wage? (1/2)
    One Percent of Environmentalists Killings Lead to Convictions
    Investigation Finds Former Ukraine President Not Responsible For Sniper Attack on Protestors
    The Modern History of Venezuela from 1973 to the Caracazo Massacre - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (3/9)
    Ukraine Transitional Gov't Moves Militarily To Reclaim Seized Buildings
    IPCC Report Flawed By Narrow Focus on Carbon Emissions
    The Modern History of Venezuela: The Bolivarian Revolution - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (5/9)
    Obama Signs Directives to Reduce the Gender Wage Gap
    Eastern Ukraine Lacks Political Representation in Kiev
    Demystifying the Role of Mitigation in the Most Recent IPCC Report
    Hypersurveillance State Won't Prevent Another Boston Marathon Bombing
    The Modern History of Venezuela from 1973 to the Caracazo Massacre - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (3/9)
    Univ. of Maine Faculty Reinstated After Students Protest Against Cuts
    The Modern History of Venezuela from 1908 to 1973 - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (2/9)
    IMF Will Address Global Inequality, Says Managing Director Christine Lagarde
    Raising Big Banks' Leverage Ratio Good, But Not Nearly Enough
    TRNN Replay: Austerity Road to 19th Century
    Has Palestinian Maneuvering Revived Peace Talks?
    Late Jackson Mayor Lumumba's Son Wins Primary to Replace His Father, Runoff Election Ahead
    Quebecers Reject PQ and Elect a Liberal Government Representing Big Business
    TRNN Debate: Decriminalization vs. Legalization
    The Beginning of the Chavez Era - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (4/9)
    "Off With His Head": Court Upholds Obama's Power to Kill
    Workers at Nation's Top Hospital Strike For Fair Wages
    From Exile to Radicalization in Venezuela - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (1/9)
    Rwanda 20 Years Later: Genocide, Western Plunder of Congo, and President Kagame
    Ukrainian Protesters in the East Demand More Autonomy From Kiev Government
    Hunger Strikers Demand President Obama Halt His Record 2 Million Deportations
    Indian Parliamentary Elections - A Primer With Vijay Prashad
    West Looks to Carve Up Ukraine & Privatize Industries Held by Kleptocrats
    Where Are Israeli-Palestinian Peace Negotiations Headed?
    The Multiple Kingdoms of Saudi Arabia (5/5)
    Do the Afghan Presidential Elections Signify Progress?
    Republican Presidential Hopefuls Pay Homage to Billionaire Casino Tycoon Sheldon Adelson
    Will Extremist Lieberman Become Israel's Next Prime Minister?
    Why do the Saudis Want the US to Attack Iran? (4/5)
    Immigrant Advocates and Families Tell President Obama 'Not One More'
    Elections, Pipelines, and Protests - The Canada Panel
    Chris Hedges on "Israel's War on American Universities"
    Baltimore Residents Decry Lack of Affordable Housing
    Yellen Talks the Talk But Will She Walk the Walk?
    Hopkins Hospital Workers Speak Out against "Poverty Wages"
    Will Venezuela's New Floating Exchange Rate Curb Inflation?
    The European Central Bank's War on Wages is Pushing Europe's Economy to the Brink
    Supreme Court Decision Opens Floodgates for More Campaign Cash
    Charles Keating, the Financier Behind the Savings and Loan Scandal, Dies at 90
    Saudi Arabia and the al-Qaeda Monster (3/5)
    Maryland Residents Voice Opposition to Natural Gas Fracking Export Facility
    Supreme Court Ruling Gives Wealthy Individuals More Influence Over Elections
    What are the Saudis Afraid Of? - Madawi Al-Rasheed (2/5)
    Baltimore's MICA Adjunct Professors Set to Vote on Unionization
    Boycott of Israel Moving to Next Level?
    Hypocrisy Dressed Up as "Realism" Justifies American Alliance with Saudi Dictatorship
    Immigration Reform in the Shadows of Cesar Chavez's Legacy
    Leaked Senate Report Shows Use of Torture As "Ineffective"
    UN Report Says Climate Change Will Threaten Food Production Worldwide
    The Hypocrisy of US Calling for Enforcement of International Law
    How the Ecuadorian Economy Grew in a Global Recession
    'Shadows of Liberty' Trailer
    Kristina Borjesson on Why CBS Shut Down Her investigation into Flight 800 (2/8)
    Glen Ford on Racism in the American Media (3/8)
    Paul Jay on What Drives Corporate Media and What Drive The Real News (4/8)
    Creating a New Media Paradigm After Citizens United (5/8)
    Should The Left Engage with the Mainstream Media? (6/8)
    What Is the Financial Backing For The Real News? (7/8)
    Standing up to Character Assassination (8/8)
    Oligarchs, Fascists and the People's Protest in Ukraine
    TRNN Debate: Is Obamacare In the Interest of Workers?
    Too-Big-To-Fail Advantage Remains Intact For Big Banks
    Obama and the Saudi Agenda
    TRNN Replay: Investigating the Saudi Government's 9/11 Connection and the Path to Disilliusionment - Sen. Graham on Reality Asserts Itself pt 1
    The Iraq War's Real Legacy
    Petitions with 100,000+ Signatures Call for Snowden's Passport to be Reinstated
    We Need to Harness People Power - Andy Shallal on Reality Asserts Itself (4/4)
    BC Pipeline Fight and Quebec Elections - The Canada Panel
    Jonathan Schell - 1943-2014: Board Member of TRNN on Why We Need The Real News
    Teachers on Strike from the UK to Argentina
    Connecticut Poised to Become First State with $10.10 Minimum Wage
    Oil Spill Threatens Wildlife and Local Economy
    DC School Test Scores Up, But Poor Black Kids Are Doing Worse - Andy Shallal on RAI (3/4)
    Obama's Proposal To End NSA Bulk Data Collection Won't Protect Privacy
    How Google, Apple & The Biggest Tech Companies Colluded to Fix Workers' Wages
    An American Should be One that Questions Their Government - Andy Shallal on RAI (2/4)
    What's Driving Putin & Obama's Posturing on Ukraine?
    Hundreds of Students & Faculty Occupy College Campus to Fight Cuts to Public Higher Ed
    Due Process 'Impossible' In Harsh Death Sentencing Of Over 500 Muslim Brotherhood Members
    Has Anglo-American Capitalism Run Out of Steam?
    Being the "Other" in America - Andy Shallal on Reality Asserts Itself (1/4)
    TRNN Debate: Should Baltimore 'Ban The Box'?
    How Fallujah Became the Iraqi Government's New Battleground
    Why I Decided to Blow the Whistle on the NSA
    NASA Climate Predictions Show Serious Threat To Humanity
    Professor Who Teaches Israel-Palestine Conflict Accuses College of Violating His Academic Freedom
    CIA and NSA Wrongdoing Requires Independent Investigation, Says Former Church Committee Staff
    Are Tuition Breaks Enough To Combat High Student Debt And Low Graduation Rates?
    Industries Across the U.S. Are Stealing Wages From Their Lowest Paid Workers
    Who In Ukraine Will Benefit From An IMF Bailout?
    NSA Recording All International Calls From U.S.
    Israel "Making Lives Miserable" for Africans, Hoping They 'Self-Deport' (2/2)
    BP Gets Green Light to Drill in Gulf, But Has Safety Improved?
    Residents Still Not Drinking Tap Water Two Months After West Virginia Spill (1/2)
    Libya's Descent Into Turmoil Three Years After NATO Intervention
    From Pipelines to Peladeau - Canadian Report
    Israel "Making Lives Miserable" for Africans, Hoping They 'Self-Deport' (1/2)
    Congressional Progressive Caucus Budget Strikes Back Against Austerity
    Libya Three Years Later - Chaos and Partition
    Why Was Gaddafi Overthrown?
    Should Ukraine and West Accept De Facto Crimea Joining Russia? (2/2)
    Tony Benn Saw Socialism as the Culmination of Democratization
    Why Didn't Bush/Cheney Attack Iran and Can Obama Make and Sell a Deal? - Gareth Porter on Reality Asserts Itself (3/3)
    After Late Mayor Lumumba is Laid to Rest, What's Next for Jackson, Mississippi? (2/2)
    Crimea Referendum: Self Determination or Big Power Manipulation? (1/2)
    Sen. Graham: President Must Side with Openness About CIA and 9/11
    Manufacturing a Narrative for War - Gareth Porter on Reality Asserts Itself (2/3)
    Protesters Hit the Streets of Brooklyn to Demand $15 Minimum Wage
    Hammer: 'Moral Bankruptcy' Behind Massive GM Recall
    White House Withholds Thousands of Documents from Senate CIA Probe
    I Grew Up Believing in Time Magazine's Version of America - Gareth Porter on RAI (1/3)
    Western European Banks Vulnerable to Ukrainian Sovereign Debt Crisis
    TRNN Debate: What's Driving Inflation in Venezuela? (2/2)
    CIA vs. Senate: Who Is Obama Protecting?
    Will Tipped Workers Get Excluded Again From Minimum Wage Hike?
    TRNN Debate: What's Driving Inflation in Venezuela? (1/2)
    After Late Mayor Lumumba is Laid to Rest, What's Next for Jackson, Mississippi?(1/2)
    TRNN Replay: A Look at Who's Poised to Become No.2 at the Fed
    How Right-Wing Nationalism Rose to Influence in Ukraine (2/2)
    Netanyahu Attacks Boycott As Campaign Enters New Phase
    Moving Towards a Police State - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (7/7)
    Fighting Reagan's Secret, Illegal Wars - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (6/7)
    Puerto Rican Independence Movement and Cuba Further Radicalized Me - Michael Ratner on RAI (5/7)
    The Butcher of Attica - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (4/7)
    MLK and a Radicalizing Moment in American History - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (3/7)

    RealNewsNetwork.com, Real News Network, Real News, Real News For Real People, IWT are trademarks and service marks of IWT.TV inc. "The Real News" is the flagship show of IWT and Real News Network.

    All original content on this site is copyright of The Real News Network.  Click here for more

    Problems with this site? Please let us know

    Linux VPS Hosting by Star Dot Hosting