I’m sharing this blog because I believe in what the author says. And because I’m proud she perpetuated Ammon Hennacy’s words through Utah Phillips’ voice on Ani DiFranco’s album Fellow Workers.
"I would also encourage them to listen to recordings of the late folk singer and storyteller Utah Phillips, especially the advice he relayed from Ammon Hennacy, who taught Phillips about privilege and being a pacifist:
“You were born a white man in mid-twentieth century industrial society. You came into the world armed to the teeth with an arsenal of weapons. The weapons of privilege: sexual privilege, racial privilege, economic privilege. You want to be a pacifist it’s not just giving up your hard angry thoughts, it’s not just giving up guns and knives and fists and plugs. You’re going to have to give up the weapons of privilege and go forth into the world completely disarmed. That’s hard.”
Ammon’s been gone twenty years and I’m still at it. But if there’s a worthy struggle in my life I suppose that’s the one.
The Texas supreme court chief justice, Wallace Jefferson, has warned that “charging kids with criminal offences for low-level behavioural issues” is helping to drive many of them to a life in jail.
My headline: School-to-Jail program - The new No Child Left Behind?
"What we see often is a real overreaction to behaviour that others would generally think of as just childish misbehaviour rather than law breaking," said Fowler. Tickets are most frequently issued by school police for "disruption of class", which can mean causing problems during lessons but is also defined as disruptive behaviour within 500ft (150 metres) of school property such as shouting, which is classified as "making an unreasonable noise".
My question: It’s now illegal to be unreasonable?
"Another pupil was arrested for throwing paper aeroplanes."
Uh oh! I sure hope this illegal action has a short-term statute of limitations. Don’t you?
"One teenage student was arrested and sent to court in Houston after he and his girlfriend poured milk on each other after they broke up."
Um, was this on Surreality TV?
“There’s also something called officer discretion….if you ask five different police officers if they would write a ticket or not for the same offence, you possibly have five different answers.”
So law enforcement officers aren’t supposed to follow the letter of the law? I had no idea they were permitted to interpret the law before they decide to enforce it. I mistakenly thought they had to learn the laws before committing to enforcing them all. Silly me!
I’ve gotta close with some common sense…
"When you start going overboard and using laws to control non-illegal behaviour – I mean if any adult did it it’s not going to be a violation – that’s where we start seeing a problem," she says. "You’ve gradually seen this morphing from schools taking care of their own environments to the police and security personnel, and all of a sudden it just became more and more that we were relying on law enforcement to control everyday behaviour."
…and some unsolicited advice to teachers/administrators:
When you treat students like criminals, they’re going to continue behaving like criminals. When you treat them like students and teach them options about how to behave appropriately they will be more likely to learn from you. All students learn when teachers have them arrested is how to get arrested.
And until you’ve been raped, you don’t really wake up and see how much rape is out there for the casual consumer. You didn’t really hear those offhand comments when walking down the street – “oh, you know she totally made that up for attention” – you didn’t really notice that the sex scene in Blade Runner actually really looks like a fucking rape scene, you didn’t really hear how the TV news focuses on what she was wearing, and calls it “sex,” and digs for details about where and how he penetrated her, when you don’t really need to know that, do you? And you don’t realize how many of the people you know and love do not take rape seriously, because they have been sucking up all the same TV shows and movies you do, and they don’t think they know a real person who has been raped. Of course, some of them you might tell, and they can accept that, accept the secondary trauma, begin to start thinking of you whenever they see a rape in a movie, hear of one on the news, hear a rape joke. Or they can disqualify you as a real person. Guess which one happens most.
For some time, Rush Limbaugh has made a lot of money by saying outrageous things to get people to listen to him, in many cases to reinforce their racist, homophobic, sexist prejudices, and to be sure, many have spoken out against him.
As I noted in a previous post, like a spoiled child, he “acts…