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?


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
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  1. 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.

  2. Baconzgood

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

  3. 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…

  4. 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.

  5. 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…


    1. bikerlaureate

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

      1. 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.

  6. Ducksworthy

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

  7. MissTaken

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

      1. 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

    1. 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?

  8. 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.

  9. noodlesalad

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

  10. zippy_w_pinhead

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

    Stupid libtards and their socialist fourth amendment…

    1. SorosBot

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

        1. BoatOfVelociraptors

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

  11. memzilla

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

    1. 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?

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

    1. MissTaken

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

      OH! You mean my profanity. Carry on.

      1. 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."

  14. elviouslyqueer

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

    Hard to believe, I know.

  15. 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.

  16. BaldarTFlagass

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

    1. 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

      1. 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.

  19. 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.

          1. Fukui-sanYesOta

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

            Oh, wait. Never mind.

    1. 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?

  20. 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.

    1. 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."

      1. 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.

      2. 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?

  21. PuckStopsHere

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

  22. Goonemeritus

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

  23. 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."

  24. 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.

    1. zippy_w_pinhead

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

    2. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. TeaNuts

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

    Just saying, your turn Texas.

  27. chicken_thief

    “crammed into small, filthy cells…"

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

  28. poorgradstudent

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

  29. 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?

  30. 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…

  31. CogitoErgoSumo

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

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. TxSpinyLizrd

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

    Visit Mississippi
    The Republican Utopia

  36. docterry6973

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

  37. MinAgain

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

  38. 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?

  39. 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!

  40. Negropolis

    Goddamn Mississippi, Mississippi goddamn.

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

  41. Negropolis

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

  42. ttommyunger

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

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