“Safety and Security” in Boston Schools: A History of Police and Repression, Part 3

When I started this series, it was before police shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back, before they tossed water to a white supremacist who had just murdered two protesters. That was only one week ago, but it already feels like forever-ago or, more accurately, feels like a version of this has been happening…

“Safety and Security” in Boston Schools: A History of Police and Repression, Part 2

In part 1, posted last week, Matt Kautz looked at the origins of school policing in Boston: as students peacefully protested conditions in the city’s segregated schools, their dissent was criminalized. That post details efforts by the Boston School Committee, led by Louise Day Hicks, to frame student protest as dangerous, leading to police presence…

“Safety and Security” in Boston Schools: A History of Police and Repression, Part 1

In the discussion about policing following George Floyd’s murder, we’ve learned (or been reminded) that contemporary policing has its roots in the slave patrols of the early 1800’s. It turns out there’s a sort of analogy with schools: instead of maintaining safety, school policing likewise began as an effort to criminalize people of color who…

#PoliceFreeSchools in Springfield, MA

In Boston, school policing understandably gets a lot of attention- students, for example, have been deported for fabricated offenses and the district’s proposed new policy doesn’t appear to protect students from ICE. Though it gets less attention, things are also bad in Springfield, where the struggling district pays over $1 million for armed school resource…

Still Separate, Still Unequal: Racial justice art events this summer

Shortly after starting my job at the Center for Education and Civil Rights, I learned about a unique art exhibit that was set to be installed at Penn State as part of a national tour. The exhibit is called “Still Separate – Still Unequal,” co-curated with Larry Ossei-Mensah, and it is the second part of…

Upcoming events for the 65th anniversary of Brown

May 17th will mark 65 years since the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in Brown vs. Board of Education. It’s a key moment in the year for the school integration movement, a time to reflect (often on the pace of resegregation or the unfulfilled promises of Brown) and a time that many groups use for conversation…

SD News Roundup: The Different Faces of Segregation

In the contemporary movement for school integration, there’s an important core principle: that integration is so much more than desegregation. While battles about race and student enrollment are still extremely critical, the impact of school integration would not nearly be the same if it was limited just to the demographic composition of districts/schools. Many, many…

SD News Roundup: Best of the fall

As mentioned in yesterday’s post, it’s been a while since I’ve done a news roundup; so, there was a lot to talk about. To keep things manageable, I broke it up into three posts – the first looked at coverage of school segregation in Charlottesville and San Antonio (specifically analyze how media talks about or…

Past is present: Community organizing and school integration

The SD Notebook is back today, the 64th anniversary of the Brown decision, after a short hiatus to wrap up the semester and submit final grades. Especially because many others will attempt (better than I can) more comprehensive summaries of the state of school (re)segregation on the anniversary, I try to use my blog posts…