Joyful learning, not Juvie!

13 Mar

Washington Incarceration Stops Here (W.I.S.H.)  recently posted this announcement on their facebook page:

Sat Mar 16th,  10-1:45

12th and Alder: Juvenile Hall

The county is having an open house at the Juvie to “Talk with King County staff about the public involvement, design and construction process; learn about programs designed to help youth and families; share your comments and concerns at the open house”.

We are gathering outside to express our unyielding disgust and outrage for the existence of the Juvie and the county’s reinvestment into cages, instead of youth.

Come on down, make some art, make some noise and talk to some folks about why we shouldn’t cage youth and what we should do instead.

Hopefully readers can make it out to this important event. We should fight for quality schools  instead of more youth jails. 

However, we should also insist that the schools themselves should be nothing like jails.  During their break today, some of my students had a debate about whether school is as bad as jail; some said that it is becuase it’s all about control, discipline, and boredom.  Others said jail is far worse, and it’s insulting to folks who have been to prison to suggest there is any comparison. 

In any case, the fact that any students feel the comparison is apt shows that there is a problem in our schools that would require radically transforming them, not simply chanting “schools not jails”.

Making sure that resources go to creative learning projects instead of an expanded  juvenile detention center is a good start.  Much respect to W.I.S.H for pushing this forward, with an uncompromising comittment to youth freedom.

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