BOE Reaction to ACLU Report
Posted by whforums on December 1, 2008
I posted last week about an ACLU report that showed that “minority” students were significantly more likely to be arrested in West Hartford schools than white students. Real Hartford also has a great post on the topic here. While this story has certainly been a mainstream story (in the Courant, on the TV news, even in the West Hartford News), I’ve been surprised at how little reaction there’s been within the blogosphere (not just in comments, but in general traffic/interest), maybe because, to me, it seems like a pretty significant story.
In any case, the West Hartford News has an interesting piece about the BOE reaction to the report, which can best be described as politic. The BOE essentially said the following — we take it seriously, if there’s a problem, which there isn’t. They called into question the data collection methods of the ACLU, the lack of presence of West Hartford officials in the study, and a declining number of arrests since the implementation of the SRO program.
All of which sort of brings me back to square one. The problem, folks, isn’t with the SROs, but is instead the institutional discrimination (likely not conscious) which calcifies the processes of almost any large scale organization. This isn’t about some “boss” making decisions, it’s about the unexamined prejudices of the many, slowly rolling together into silent discrimination against the disempowered.
The argument, then, as of December 1st, 2008, looks like this:
The ACLU says: The numbers demonstrate that children of different races and ethnicities are treated differently. (Implicit: Institutional racism. Look in the mirror).
WHPS says: Oh, that’s a problem if it’s true. Good thing we know it’s not true. (We will not look in the mirror, but thanks).