what we have here is a failure to communicate

Suspended From School In Mississippi? That’s A Jailing

a "safe learning environment" for the childrenWe at Wonkette have been pretty excited about Louisiana lately, what with revealing that they are one of the more awful states of the union in terms of infant mortality and life expectancy and whatnot, and also because they will teach about the Loch Ness monster in science class (so long as they don’t have to teach about it to MUSLIM children because that would just be going too far). Turns out we were so fascinated with Louisiana that we forgot about Mississippi, which is really doubling down on the fight against education these days, what with their “school-to-prison” pipeline that incarcerates students for minor infractions at school. You will be shocked, SHOCKED, to learn that African American students are over-represented in this disciplinary strategy. (The disciplinary strategy of sending children to jail when they get suspended from school!)

Officials in Lauderdale County, Mississippi, have operated “a school-to-prison pipeline” that violates the constitutional rights of juveniles by incarcerating them for alleged school disciplinary infractions, some as minor as defiance, the U.S. Department of Justice said Friday.

“Students most affected by this system are African-American children and children with disabilities,” the Justice Department said. […]

In 2009, the Lauderdale County Juvenile Detention Facility in Meridian was the target of a federal class-action lawsuit by the Southern Poverty Law Center that alleged children and teens were … “crammed into small, filthy cells and tormented with the arbitrary use of Mace as a punishment for even the most minor infractions — such as ‘talking too much’ or failing to sit in the ‘back of their cells,'” the center said in a statement.

First of all, we don’t know why everyone is getting so upset. Mace is like pepper spray, which is a food product, essentially. And really, all they were doing was trying to keep children SAFE, don’t you want them to be safe? In jail?

[CNN]

About the author

Kris E. Benson writes about politics for Wonkette and is pursuing a doctorate in philosophy. This will come in handy for when they finally open that philosophy factory in the next town over. @Kris_E_Benson

View all articles by Kris E. Benson

Comments

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  • randcoolcatdaddy

    And I thought my high school was a prison….

  • Biff

    I really like my naga jolokia essential food product, but I don't like it in my eyes. Or near my junk. Don't ask how I know not to like these things.

  • Baconzgood

    Good job Mississippi. I always like when I shit talk on the south and then you go and prove me right.

  • Tundra Grifter

    At the risk of sounding like a jerk, the "Coolhand Luke" quote is "What we have here is failure to communicate." No "a."

    Similar to Mr. Obama never said Bill Ayers was "just a guy in the neighborhood." Sen. McCain added the "just."

    Sometimes it just grates to read a wrong quote…As you were…

  • BloviateMe

    "…children and teens were … 'crammed into small, filthy cells and tormented with the arbitrary use of Mace as a punishment…"

    As the owner of teenage children, this sounds completely reasonable.

  • OzoneTom

    They need to be allowed to secede retroactively.

  • Callyson

    The police department command staff and officers characterized their agency as a "taxi service" for the schools and juvenile detention facility, without assessing the circumstances of the alleged charges against students, the Justice Department said.

    Well, what did those kids expect when they didn't give the cabbie a tip? Didn't they ever see Taxi Driver? Hell, they were lucky it was just mace…

    JFC…

    • bikerlaureate

      Wow, it's a good thing the Police raised such a loud, sustained stink over the injustice, then.

  • mavenmaven

    I bet they count Mace as a vegetable, like ketchup, for their school lunches.

    • Geminisunmars

      Down the hatch…

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/30500320@N06/ DerrickWildcat

    Mississippi is also the fattest city in America.

    • foxpuppet

      That city's so fat, it's practically a whole state.

      • kingofmeh

        if they started putting capsaicin on all their food, i bet they'd eat less. really, this program is just the "tough love" version of michelle obama's anti-obesity movement.

        • foxpuppet

          Well, that doesn't seem to have stopped folks in Louisiana from eating?

  • Ducksworthy

    Look, the Corrections Corporation of Amerikka needs to fill those beds. Who better than misbehaving blah children?

  • MissTaken

    Lemme guess, the Lauderdale County Juvenile Detention Facility is a for profit prison, right?

    • Fukui-sanYesOta
      • T3rbo

        why do you hate america? for profit=great jobs (jailing black youths) jobs=america. so, then, profit=america to the second power or some such thing

    • Come here a minute

      My first thought, too. I won't look it up, because I already believe it.

    • sewollef

      It's American Exceptionalism is what it is.

      I read about it in my school books back in England when I was a whippersnapper.

      I understand at this point in the discussion I'm supposed to chant, "USA, USA, USA!!" Amirite?

    • Biel_ze_Bubba

      I can't wait to find out which school official is connected to the for-profit prison.

  • memzilla

    Ah, Mississippi, the Arizona of the South. Except it's a wet heat.

    • BaldarTFlagass

      Ah, Mississippi, the Mississippi of the USA.

    • MaxNeanderthal

      Mississippi, the unthinking persons North Korea…

  • Baconzgood

    So they take black people out of school and put them in jail for no real reason without a trial? The GOP just came in their pants.

    • chicken_thief

      And they are headed to DC.

  • noodlesalad

    Someone's religious freedom to put uppity ("talks too much") blahs in jail is about to be discriminated against…

  • zippy_w_pinhead

    Those jails aren't gonna fill themselves, Missy!1!

    Stupid libtards and their socialist fourth amendment…

  • http://www.wonkette.com smokefilledroommate

    Sounds like a head start plan for career criminals. Wtg!

    • SorosBot

      Yeah, funny that when you treat normal people like criminals they become more likely to turn to actual crime.

    • MissTaken

      Cradle-to-Prison Pipeline

      • Fukui-sanYesOta

        Incarceration begins at conception!!!111!11

        • BoatOfVelociraptors

          I had to drug my warden and have an accomplice cut her to escape the uterine prison.

      • http://wonkette.com/ starfanglednut

        That is so sad.

  • memzilla

    Say, you know who else liked to cram minorities into small filthy cells and torture them for the flimsiest of reasons… ?

    • sullivanst
    • http://lostintarnation.blogspot.com/ SayItWithWookies

      Islam Karimov?

    • http://facethesuncastnoshadow.wordpress.com/ Mumbletypeg

      Mitt Romney?

    • Come here a minute

      CCA?

    • foxpuppet

      Franco?

    • Chichikovovich

      A group that nobody expects?

    • bikerlaureate

      Bill Lumbergh ?

    • billy_reuben

      John Yoo?

    • Negropolis

      Lyndie England.

  • Local_Mojo

    At least one of the judges, Vel Young, is African American.

    • emmelemm

      Clarence Thomas is, by all accounts, also African American.

      • PubOption

        He'll never to go jail, he doesn't speak out of turn.

    • bikerlaureate

      Are judges elected there?
      Any possible chance the demons running Lauderdale County Juvenile Center made any donations to Young or any of his buddies?

  • orygoon

    A "school-to-prison" pipeline? WTF?

    I had a friend who had a really rambunctious kid when we were both a lot younger. When he was about two or three, she's feed him lunch and put him in bed for a nap. He'd get up. She'd put him back down. He'd get up again, and be all obnoxious. Eventually she'd spank him a little and he'd cry and that would wear him out and he'd go to sleep. She looked wearily at me after describing this and said "Obviously, it would be much easier to feed him lunch and immediately give him a spanking".

    But she was funning, dammit.

  • Fukui-sanYesOta

    "students are incarcerated for disciplinary issues as minor as "dress code violations, flatulence, profanity, and disrespect."

    We'd all be in jail in Mississippi.

    • MissTaken

      How the fuck do you know about my shit-stank flatulence?

      OH! You mean my profanity. Carry on.

    • http://dismalpseudoscientist.wordpress.com Mumbly_Joe

      flatulence

      Especially me!

      • Dudleydidwrong

        Sometimes it would be a capital offense for me. And I'll bet that Haley Barbour would be counting up some jail time for that.
        "How 'bout some more beans, Mr. Barbour?"
        "I'd say we guys have had enough."

    • MaxNeanderthal

      "More mother-fucking tea, vicar? Sorry, didn't mean to fart in my gimp suit"…

    • Guppy

      Because if there's any American institution that truly commands respect, it's high school.

    • BigSkullF*ckingDog

      That wasn't me, it was my dog!

    • SpeedoFart

      Explains why I went straight to jail without passing Go or collecting $200, I guess.

    • http://wonkette.com/ starfanglednut

      Whatt about buttsecks?

    • Negropolis

      Hell, some of us would have been executed on the spot.

  • elviouslyqueer

    In fairness, Meridian is like Alabama, only with slightly more unregenerate racists.

    Hard to believe, I know.

  • AlterNewt

    "First of all, we don’t know why everyone is getting so upset."

    Oh. So this is one of those 'feel good' pieces, then.

  • BaldarTFlagass

    I wonder if any of them kids got jailed for bagging some honky's groceries against their creed.

    • zippy_w_pinhead

      I think Julia ratted them out…

  • http://lostintarnation.blogspot.com/ SayItWithWookies

    Hey, Mississippi used to arrest black people for even trying to learn to read. Waiting until they actually get inside the school building is, alas, a progressive step for them.

  • T3rbo

    More proof that we need to defund education. Throw the baby out with the bath water (and into jail?) I say! This is probably the fault of teachers unions, also

  • SorosBot

    And here I thought high school was already too hellish as it is.

    • T3rbo

      Yeah, if I went to high school in Mississippi, they probably would have given me the death penalty, or at least water boarded me. Way to make nuns look reasonable, fattest state ever

      • SorosBot

        I think these Mississippi schools are tied with Sunnydale High for worst high schools to attend in America, and they don't have a hellmouth as an excuse.

  • comrad_darkness

    "Detention" she said, not "detention facility."

  • Extemporanus

    Everybody knows about Mississippi…GOD DAMN!

    • Baconzgood

      You're on a roll Extemporanus. Another feather in your cap today for Nina.

    • Geminisunmars

      Goddamn Awesome. You and Nina.

  • http://www.tumblr.com/blog/hamsterpantsworld Hammiepants

    Man, if they're incarcerating people for flatulence, they may as well bury me UNDER the prison…

  • sullivanst

    Good for Missippi, teaching their nears early on how the rest of their lives will be lived: thrown in jail by the whites for whatever arbitrary reason comes most easily to mind at the time.

  • BigSkullF*ckingDog

    This program will only work if it is a for-profit, privately run jail.

    • Fukui-sanYesOta

      It is.

      • BigSkullF*ckingDog

        Jerb creators!

        • Fukui-sanYesOta

          Invisible bitchslappin' hand of Free Market Justice!

          • Negropolis

            The invisible hand is the Chuck Norris of the free market.

          • Fukui-sanYesOta

            An unbearably religious douchehat with no conception of its own irrelevance?

            Oh, wait. Never mind.

  • ThundercatHo

    Why do people still live there?

    • Baconzgood

      Poverty?

    • MaxNeanderthal

      Air conditioning has a lot to answer for..

    • YouBetcha

      It's the only place my Brother-Husband can find work. You wouldn't want us to uproot the entire family of cousin/siblings, would you now?

  • fartknocker

    The reader comments are just sad and stupid. It's classic Southern justice, if you do the crime you do the time mantra. And I suspect they are very excited about those handsome Yankee men who will remove the colored man from the White House.

    • Fukui-sanYesOta

      Two of the best, in my opinion:

      Fantastic slippery-slope argument about how flatulent kids will end up killing people

      Bottom line these kids are getting away with many violations and taught its OK people will allow it to continue. Then we scream and complain because little Johnny shot and killed his friend while breaking into his house to steal his stereo. Every little thug escalates to a larger thug. We dont need new laws; we need people to hold everyone accountable to the laws on the books now.Then after lil Johnny is put on death row we look back at his childhood and the warning signs were there, yet we as adults chose to forgive without holding him responsible.

      and the obligatory "education is communism" comment

      One of the Ten Planks of Marxist Communism was the creation of "free public schools" in which children would be subjected to state propaganda and groomed to become obedient cogs in industrial communism. We now have unbridled, rampant communism alive and well in the US, and fewer rights in the eyes of the all-powerful "State."

      • sullivanst

        It's hard to have faith in this country sometimes.

      • Fare la Volpe

        I can't tell if my tears are from laughter or uncontrolled sobbing.

      • PsycWench

        A free public school? That would be a terrible idea.

      • bobbert

        Fuck. I try not to read comments elsewhere, and so I forget for days at a time just how awful some of my countrymen are.

      • bikerlaureate

        Every little thug escalates to a larger thug.

        Are they aware of what Rmoney thought was "fun" when he captured one of those Cranbrook longhairs?

  • zippy_w_pinhead

    those silly Republicans and their fetish for pipelines…

  • PuckStopsHere

    Flush all the toilets at the same time (a felony) and learn, first-hand, that Mississippi is a Death Penalty state.

  • http://citizenfuturist.wordpress.com/ gogogodzilla

    I've said it here before: Alabama's state motto–"Thank God for Mississippi."

  • http://www.wonkette.com Clancy_Pants

    Flatulence, profanity, and disrespect"? Sounds like an afternoon reading/commenting on Wonkette. Today we are all Meridian MS school children.

    • Geminisunmars

      I'm sending them to pick you up, right now!

  • Goonemeritus

    Well when life gives you lemons, build a giant prison industrial complex and make lemonade.

  • GeorgiaBurning

    I can hear the discussion now: "Does mace count as a condiment or a vegetable? There's some federal money on the table if we get it right in the grant request."

  • Ducksworthy

    Ryan will block grant the Medicaid program. This will allow Mississippi to channel that money to the Corrections Corporation of Amerikka for child care (with hard labor) for the young poors and to the Hospital Corporation of Amerikka for hospice (death) care for the old poor.

  • Schmegeg

    Let's nit get so high and mighty, considering this was in my backyard:
    http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2011/08/11/13

    • zippy_w_pinhead

      you have a court room in your backyard? Damn, that beats the hell out of a swingset…

      • Schmegeg

        Now if I could just get Dick Wolf to leave. . .

    • Dudleydidwrong

      Pennsylvania: the Mississippi of the Mid-Atlantic.

    • bikerlaureate

      Where else is this occurring, right now, without us knowing?

      ((sigh))

    • http://inappropriatejobpostings.blogspot.com/ fuflans

      i bet that dude is going to be having an awesome next 28 years.

    • just_a_head

      I'm sad to say I grew up there. I taught the asshole's son, too. Kid was a bit of a dick, but you can't really expect much from a child with that as a role model.

      I'm glad to say that I no longer live there.

    • Negropolis

      Well, it is Pittbsurgh and Philadelphia with Alabama down the middle.

  • Monsieur_Grumpe

    "Mace is like pepper spray, which is a food product, essentially."
    Just like ketchup.

    • MacRaith

      Except it's illegal to squirt people in the face with ketchup.

    • Fare la Volpe

      And mustard gas!

      • sullivanst

        And Ricin.

        Oops, now I'm on the DHS watchlist.

  • Kid_Charlemagne

    Rock, Rock, Rock, Rock Rock and Roll Prison!!

  • arihaya

    Of course these Mississippi fellows are NOT racists. Nope, not at all.

    And they will elect their presidential candidate in November solely on the basis of merit, not of color skin. Because they are not racists.

  • qwerty42

    Geeze. This. is. so. incredibly. sad.

  • TeaNuts

    My new T-shirt:
    Mississippi teaches the 3 "R"s.
    Rmoney
    Ryan
    Retards

    Just saying, your turn Texas.

  • chicken_thief

    “crammed into small, filthy cells…"

    Sounds like a job for a school kid – cleaning prison cells after school! Amirite, Newt?

  • poorgradstudent

    'Cause putting juveniles in prison ensures they'll never ever want to become more dangerous criminals in the future! It's Kommon Sence!

  • subsum

    No wonder in Alabama people console themselves by saying "Thank God for Mississippi."

  • http://crasstalk.com/ grandinquisitor

    No snark for this. Can someone fetch my Louisville Slugger?

  • Larry McAwful

    I don't get it. When something like this happens in Uganda or Burma or Libya, Amnesty International floods their capitals with letters of outrage, and begs the UN to condemn them. But are we seeing letters flood into Jackson? No, we are not. Shouldn't we treat all Third World crackpot governments with equal contempt?

    • carolinaswamp

      Actually, Amnesty does go after the U.S.

      • Larry McAwful

        Yeah, but I was talking about Mississippi.

  • Wilcoxyz

    Still beats sending kids to Penn State. But just barely.

  • foxpuppet

    All this, just to be sure them pomofo's won't be votin' once they're 18.

    Hell, they spend 'nuff time in prison, they won't be able to count to 18… Heheheh…

  • CogitoErgoSumo

    Coming up next, the Ludovico technique. "I'm singing in the rain…just singing in the rain…"

  • finette_

    Allow me to draw your attention back over here to Louisiana for a second. Besides Nessie being real and evolution a myth, what other lies do you suppose will be taught using public money under the voucher program?

    How about:

    "God used the Trail of Tears to bring religion to Indian tribes and greed for their land had nothing to do with it."

    "[T]he Ku Klux Klan was [and presumably still is?] a benevolent society [which] 'tried to be a means of reform, fighting the decline in morality and using the symbol of the cross. Klan targets were bootleggers, wife-beaters, and immoral movies.'"

    This last courtesy of Bob Jones University Press, of course.

  • http://www.southsidejohnny.com/ Jukesgrrl

    In Arizona we have the school-back-to-the-rez plan and it's working so well we have the highest drop-out rate in the nation. So take that, Mississippi. You need moar Bureau of Indian Affairs.

  • HistoriCat

    Reconstruction – This time, finish the job.

  • sati_demise

    fuck these fucking fuckers. in a jail cell, with a mace can

  • midnighttoker69

    Sometimes I just can't think of a single funny thing to say. There's no humor here. The jack-booted thugs are in every town, flying their flags and oppressing in the name of freedom and Jesus, and it's only a matter of time before they come for all of us.

  • Toomush_Infer

    Well, that'll larn 'em….

  • TxSpinyLizrd

    I hear the Mississippi tourism bureau will be advertising in the RNC convention program –

    Visit Mississippi
    The Republican Utopia

  • docterry6973

    I think we would all be safer in jail, especially a juvenile detention facility in Mississippi.

  • MinAgain

    This is what I've been saying. Privatize the prisons, then privatize the schools and eliminate that pesky middle man.

  • carolinaswamp

    I looked this place up. According to the county website "The Center is funded by the Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors." Note that it is not RUN by the county. The website "Manta: Where Small Business Grows" tells us that this facility "is a private company categorized under Juvenile Detention." In short, once more we have an instance of the joys of the for-profit prison industry, where more prisoners means more profit. Three whoopees for capitalism. Who are the owners of this "small business?" Where can they best be incarcerated in a way that will leave them with a lasting understanding of the error of their ways? Or must we leave these "job creators" alone to pursue their profits elsewhere?

  • Riggsveda

    Wonkette, please. Mississippi don't do nuthin' they every thought up they own selves. Why, up here in Pennsyltucky, we pracklly invented that ol' pipeline. Din't none a yall every hear a the Luzerne cash-for-kids job-creatin' scam? Them ol' judges packed off a passel a yunguns to they buddies' joovenile facilities for various criminal activities such as sassin' grown-ups and lookin' guilty. The buddies got brandy-new payin' customers, and the judges got a sweet $2.6 million for keepin' the gentry safe from they neighbors chirrens. 'Course, ol' Tommy Corbett comes along and signs a couple new laws this year that "juvenile defendants be represented by counsel in most cases and that juvenile court judges state in open court the reasoning behind their sentencing decisions"—on account a since he was way too busy treein' Democrats before the election, he just din't have time to look into sumpin' like this that went on under his nose for 5 years while he was Attorney General, but he was awful sorry about that and now here he comes to fix it up. Gaaw-lee, ain't it sumpin', lettin' them kids have lawyers an' all?

    So you can see how I couldn't let the dishonor a my fine Commonwealth be overshadowed by those shitkickin' Mississippi-come-latelies. You a day late and a dolla short, 'Sip!

  • OurDailyBread

    Yes, but do the prisons have Arbeit-Macht-Frei signs over the entrances?

  • http://howtosavetheworld.ca/ BZ1

    Mississippi still have work gangs? that prison thing seems pretty sissy.

  • Negropolis

    Goddamn Mississippi, Mississippi goddamn.

    Mississippi is like a veteran hooker; it's always burning.

  • Baba_NinjaCat12

    At least they get their daily requirement of vegetables serving in a spray form.

  • Negropolis

    Random question, but where do the two or three white, non-Dixicrat Democrats live in Mississippi?

  • Negropolis

    Mogadishu looks on Jackson with envy. Sharia law? Hell, I'm afraid of Mississippi law.

  • ttommyunger

    Flatulence is an Offense in that Jurisdiction? If I lived there I would never see daylight.