Why Are Cops in Schools, Anyway?
The videotaped altercation in a South Carolina high school that saw a white sheriff's deputy throwing a black female student to a classroom floor and tossing her across it prompted the news media to expand their reporting beyond the incident itself. They covered such subjects as the school-to-prison pipeline, the "criminalization of black girls" and whether deploying police in schools is a good idea.
Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott announced the firing of Sheriff's Deputy Ben Fields Wednesday, "saying an internal investigation determined Fields did not follow protocol when he was asked to remove the student from the classroom at about 11 a.m. Monday," as Avery G. Wilks reported in the State of Columbia, S.C.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, President Obama delivered a few barbs at the news media during an address in Chicago Tuesday before the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
"I reject any narrative that seeks to divide police and communities that they serve," he said. "I reject a storyline that says when it comes to public safety there's an 'us' and a 'them' — a narrative that too often gets served up to us by news stations seeking ratings, or tweets seeking retweets, or political candidates seeking some attention."
Obama also said, "I’m sure if you polled this room, people would have different takes on what happened in places like Ferguson and New York. And let's face it, the media tends to focus on the sensational and the controversial, and folks on both sides who say stuff that's not designed to bring people together but oftentimes makes the situation more polarized. . . ."
On the Washington Post site, Stacey Patton wrote Wednesday, "The daily incidents are startling reminders of how far we have to go to secure a post-racial future. Black kids have been slapped on a plane for crying, verbally assaulted by racists on a school bus, terrorized at a birthday party by armed white men carrying Confederate flags, had their hair cut off in front of the class by a teacher, called 'feral' in a viral, racist social media post, and assaulted by police at pool parties. . . ."
Matt Pearce and Sonali Kohli reported Thursday for the Los Angeles Times, "Since the 1990s, educators and parents have demanded 'zero tolerance' policies in response to school shootings, drugs and gang tensions. Creating safe schools became a mantra for elected school boards. One result has been the deployment of an estimated 14,000 officers on campuses across the country, a number of them carrying weapons, and a number of them now tasked with duties that go well beyond holding shooters and gangsters at bay.
"In many districts across the country, common discipline problems that were once the purview of teachers and school administrators are being handed off to armed police officers. And infractions that once resulted in detention may now leave students with criminal records — a phenomenon that critics say disproportionately affects African American students.
"The girl in the South Carolina incident, captured on other students' cellphone videos, faces a misdemeanor charge under South Carolina's 'disturbing school' law.
" 'What we find is school safety becomes conflated with school discipline — officers dealing with classroom disruptions, dress code infractions, minor discipline infractions that in the past would have been handled by teachers,' said Janel George, a senior education policy counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
"In recent years, advocates have decried the 'school-to-prison' pipeline created by the rise of no-tolerance policies at schools.
"In the 2011-12 school year, black students represented about 16% of the student population, but accounted for 27% of all student referrals to law enforcement, and 31% of school-related arrests, according to a federal report from the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights.
"The statistics were so alarming that last year Los Angeles Unified School District police stopped giving citations for fighting, petty theft and other minor offenses in response to growing research showing that when police handle such matters, struggling students are more apt to drop out and get in more serious trouble with the law. . . ."
Pearce and Kohli also wrote, "Although Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott has 87 deputies stationed at schools, including Fields, even he expressed discomfort with the idea of deputies getting involved in classroom discipline problems. . . ."
Wayne Bennett, the Field Negro: This Ben is not so gentle.
Zeba Blay, HuffPost BlackVoices: When Black Kids Aren't Allowed To Be Kids
Charles M. Blow, New York Times: A Movement Has Its Moment
Caroline Brewer, happyteachertraining.com: 50 things the SC Officer and Teacher could have done
Jonathan Capehart, Washington Post: Taking issue with two defenses of South Carolina classroom cop
Ta-Nehisi Coates, the Atlantic: The Creationist Style of Crime Control
Jarvis DeBerry, NOLA.com | the Times-Picayune: After Spring Valley, can we please teach difference between obedience and morality?
Jarvis DeBerry, NOLA.com | the Times-Picayune: Jarvis DeBerry discusses so-called 'Ferguson effect' with NPR's Tom Ashbrook
Editorial, The State, Columbia, S.C.: Spring Valley arrest challenges South Carolina to remain calm, peaceful, again
Jennifer Farmer, Ebony: A School Cop's Treatment of a Student and the Criminalization of Black Girls
Richard Fausset, Richard Pérez-Peña and Alan Blinder, New York Times: Race and Discipline in Spotlight After South Carolina Officer Drags Student
Sam Fulwood III, Center for American Progress: The Myth of Police Reluctance
Janel George, CNN: S. Carolina case lesson: Police shouldn't be doing school discipline
Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez with Miaija Jawara, Kesi Foster, Phil Stinson and Jaeah Lee, "Democracy Now!, Pacifica Radio: Criminalizing the Classroom: Inside the School-to-Prison Pipeline
Lynette Holloway, NewsOne: Spring Valley Classroom Assault Is Latest Example Of Why The School-To-Prison Pipeline Needs To Be Shut Down
German Lopez, vox.com: The brutal Spring Valley High School video shows what happens when you put cops in schools
Collier Meyerson, Fusion: Why that video of a girl being dragged from her school desk is so hard to watch
Mary Mitchell, Chicago Sun-Times: Obama walks fine line on criminal justice
Stacey Patton, Washington Post: What happened in South Carolina is a daily risk for black children
Matt Pearce and Sonali Kohli, Los Angeles Times: Violent South Carolina classroom arrest adds to 'school-to-prison pipeline' debate
Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune: Are police turning camera shy?
Tod Robberson, Dallas Morning News: Another video. More complaints of police abuse. At what point will things change?
Lynn Sweet and Mitch Dudek, Chicago Sun-Times: Obama: Scapegoating cops, racial disparities in policing, 'sensational' media all part of problem
Carimah Townes, thinkprogress.org: Spring Valley Officer Assault Is Just The Tip Of The Iceberg
WLTX-TV, Columbia, S.C.: Student Who Videotaped Incident Speaks Out
Amid fresh criticism of his response to the South Carolina school incident, CNN anchor Don Lemon is the target of an online campaign calling on CNN to remove him.
After two days, the change.org site had gathered more than 25,000 signatures, closing in on its goal of 35,000.
The petition, authored by Jamell Henderson of the mayor's office in Indianapolis, reads, "Since the tragic incident of Trayvon Martin in 2012, Mr. Don Lemon has consistently antagonized and defamed the characteristics of the African-American race on the national scale in mass communications. From the holding of the 'N' word sign before the national audience, to disrespecting the Mayor of Baltimore, to his most recent comments of the unfortunate incident where a student was removed from their chair like a rag-doll by an officer, Mr. Lemon has avoided the obvious to blatantly state that an attack on the African-American race is real and that real solutions need to take place."
It adds, "We, the people want a journalist and an anchor that will not be afraid to accept the facts that are occurring within the African-American community and who will encourage our people the same way that person will encourage others across the board. We, the people, have no confidence in Mr. Lemon's ability to do that, therefore we are asking CNN to remove him from his position."
On The Root, Yesha Callahan wrote Tuesday, "Don Lemon is forever on the wrong side of everything. Whether he's questioning the Black Lives Matter movement, asking people if they’re offended by the n-word or stealing the spotlight from a llama, CNN's anchor seems to effortlessly make asinine statements.
"Monday night, Lemon was joined by former federal prosecutor Sunny Hostin in a discussion about the Spring Valley High School assault video. A black student was brutally thrown to the ground from her desk by Richland County, S.C., Sheriff's Deputy Ben Fields, a school resource officer. Fields then dragged the student across the floor.
"In Lemon's opinion, he needed more information before 'passing judgment' because seeing a student being dragged across the floor by someone twice her size wasn't enough. . . ."
Josh Feldman, Mediaite: Don Lemon Defends Remarks on SC Desk Flip: Didn't Want to 'Rush to Judgment'
Ronda Racha Penrice, theGrio.com: How Don Lemon makes a living off trolling Black people
As the GOP presidential debate wound down Wednesday night, Michael D. Shear wrote in a New York Times blog, "If there is one sure-fire applause line at every Republican debate, it is to attack the 'mainstream' media. And the candidates did not disappoint Wednesday night.
"Donald J. Trump got a big laugh when he challenged a question about his opposition to high-tech immigration visas, saying, 'You people write this stuff.' Earlier he accused one of the debate moderators of asking 'a not-very-nicely asked question.'
"Others on the stage got easy applause from suggesting that CNBC was trying to pit the candidates against each other, rather than focusing on policy questions.
"But it has been Marco Rubio who got in the most pointed critiques of the media. . . ."
An editorial Wednesday in the South Florida SunSentinel urged Sen. Rubio, R-Fla., to resign.
"After five years in the U.S. Senate, Marco Rubio does not like his job," the editorial said. "A long-time friend told The Washington Post 'he hates it.' Rubio says hate might be too strong a word, but he sure acts like he hates his job.
"Rubio has missed more votes than any other senator this year. His seat is regularly empty for floor votes, committee meetings and intelligence briefings. He says he's MIA from his J-O-B because he finds it frustrating and wants to be president, instead. . . .
"You are ripping us off, Senator. . . ."
Asked about the editorial during the debate, Rubio said it was "evidence of the bias that exists in the American media," since other candidates who had run for higher office weren't similarly pilloried.
To audience applause, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, deflected another question with what he called an attack on the moderators' "gotcha" inquiries. "Nobody at home believes that any of the moderators has any interest in the Republican Party," he said.
The audience booed a question to candidate Ben Carson that asked about whether an organization using his name showed something to be wrong with Carson's vetting process. "See, they know," Carson said of the audience.
At the end of the session, Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus said he was "very disappointed in the moderators and very disappointed with CNBC." Analysts on CNN called Priebus' statement "very unusual," especially since the GOP chose CNBC as the debate host.
Lloyd Grove, Daily Beast: Lamestream CNBC Moderators' Total Debate Fail
Errol Louis, Daily News, New York: Don't bet on Trump or Carson
Amber Phillips, Washington Post: The 5 big confrontations between CNBC moderators and GOP candidates
Alex Poinsett, an author who spent three decades as senior editor at Ebony magazine, died Friday after living with Alzheimer's Disease, his daughter,Pierrette Mimi Poinsett, announced on a fundraising site in his honor. He was 89.
Poinsett was a co-founder of the National Association of Black Journalists. NABJ reported that after leaving Ebony, Poinsett was "the manager of communications for Johnson Products Company managing corporate communications and writing for JPC's newspaper."
"Alex Poinsett was a talented journalist who effortlessly told stories which gave an honest account of the black experience," NABJ President Sarah Glover said in a statement. "His work at EBONY magazine provided depth and perspective to the coverage of black America."
A Jet magazine story from 1999, reporting Poinsett's receipt of the University of Michigan Book Award for his 1997 political biography, "Walking With Presidents: Louis Martin and the Rise of Black Political Power," said Poinsett was the author of five books, three of which had been published.
"The angry rumblings and confused lamentations are all over social media," Robin Givhan wrote Wednesday in the Washington Post. "They're coming from diehard customers of Fashion Fair cosmetics, a brand founded in 1973 to cater to African American women at a time when major makeup companies essentially ignored them.
"Where is the Bronze Loose Powder? Where’s the Perfect Finish Souffle Makeup? What about the Brown Sugar Foundation Stick?
"Customers who rely on Fashion Fair for exact skin tone matches and perfectly flattering lipsticks have been unable to locate their favorite products — or any products at all. In stores and online, they're finding color selections so skimpy and stock so depleted there has been little for sales representatives to even sell. Even counter clerks have been asking: What's going on?
"Fashion Fair's response has been, for many loyalists, deeply unsatisfying.
" 'Thank you for your patience as we rebuild our inventories.'
" 'We acknowledge that stock has been low in previous months; however, the replenishment process [is] underway!'
" 'Are they going out of business?' asks longtime customer Allana Smith.
" 'No,' says Linda Johnson Rice, chairman of Johnson Publishing Co., which owns the makeup line. 'We’re not going out of business.'
"But Fashion Fair is in upheaval — and customers have good reason to question its survival. . . ."
"How do you walk away from a dream job?" Aliya S. King asked Wednesday of her Facebook friends.
"A year ago, I was hired to be the Entertainment Editor at Ebony Magazine. The past year has been filled with working among amazing people, (like my shero Mitzi Miller and my mentor of twenty years Kierna Mayo…)
"For a solid year, I worked hard to get this magazine out every month, trying to push the envelope and bring edginess and forward-thinking concepts to the brand. And then, quite honestly, it stopped being the awesomest job ever. For one reason only:
"I'm a writer.
"I started becoming jealous when I had to assign stories to other writers and edit their work. I've been itching to write full time for months but I just didn't know how I could walk away from a plum position with security and stability.
"But when your gut tells you what your next move is supposed to be, you have to go with it.
"I'll be working with my Ebony family for a few more weeks. And then, I return to my roots. I'll be writing full-time again.
"Where will you see my work? Everywhere I hope! I'll be starting as a columnist forTheRoot.com, producing fun content over at BET and dropping a few essays over at Jezebel. (And super excited about something I'm cooking up for Marie Leggette over at The Curvy Fashionista.)
"In addition, I have a book in the chamber that must see the light of day. Working a day job meant that finding time to work on my fiction became more and more difficult. So this month, I'll be finishing up my third novel and sending it out to publishers.
"Am I scared? Hell yeah! I don't know how all of this will play out. I might regret walking away from the stability and security of a full-time job.
"But I know this. At my heart. And at my core. I am a writer. Full stop. That's who I am and what I do.
"When you're lucky enough to know precisely what you're supposed to do in this world — you have no choice but to do it. . . ."
"Mozambique Island in East Africa was a headquarters for the slave trade for 400 years,"Scott Pelley told viewers of the "CBS Evening News" on Wednesday, previewing a "60 Minutes" segment to be televised on Sunday.
"The Smithsonian's African-American History Museum Director Lonnie Bunch showed us where Africans were auctioned and marched to the sea.
" 'What you probably had was almost an assembly line. You'd bring people, you'd sell people. Then you would move them onto the boats and off to the new world,' said Bunch.
Pelley also said, "The ship Bunch was looking for was discovered in the archives of Cape Town, South Africa.
"Anthropologist Steve Lubkemann found an old investigation into a Portuguese ship that hit bad luck at the Cape of Good Hope. Two hundred slaves drowned in the wreck.
" 'We have the captain's account and he signed his name here, 220 years ago,' says Lubkemann. 'He said he decided, "to save the slaves and the people." The people are the crew. The slaves are just cargo.'
"The wreck was discovered in 2010. Jaco Boshoff, one of the divers, says they excavated the sand on the sea bottom to find the artifacts underneath.
"After 300 dives they've found dozens of artifacts but one find may be the most revealing. Covered in marine growth, x-rays show a shackle used to bind slaves. . . ."
"Jen Reel, a multimedia editor for The Texas Observer, had been documenting the harrowing journeys that migrants make through the deep sands and thorny brush of south Texas," Tamar Wilner reported Wednesday for Columbia Journalism Review.
"That work would become 'Beyond the Border,' the award-winning 2014 series written by her colleague Melissa del Bosque and produced by the Observer and The Guardian. But on this day in 2013, Reel and del Bosque were at the lab of Lori Baker, a Baylor University forensic anthropologist.
"They saw researchers examining a backpack that had been found alongside human remains. Inside were typical toiletries — deodorant, tweezers — and a baseball. . . . "
Baker founded the Reuniting Families Project in 2003 to establish a system for the identification of the remains of deceased undocumented . . . migrants found along the U.S./Mexico border, according to its website.
"The RFP is now a consortium of forensic scientists who recover the remains of unidentified individuals from pauper graves in cemeteries along the U.S. Southern border. Attempts are made to associate the remains with law enforcement case reports but this is often difficult due to the lack of grave markers and the lack of cemetery records or maps designating individuals. . . ."
"So Reel took an idea to her publisher," Wilner continued. "Could the Observer fundraise to build a browsable, searchable, and mobile-friendly tool that would allow families to view items found with remains, and make the connection to their missing loved ones?
"Her bosses agreed, and a campaign is now underway for the project, I Have a Name/Yo Tengo Nombre, on the journalism crowdfunding platform Beacon. The Observer aims to raise $10,000 from the general public and $10,000 in matching funds from Beacon itself, which has pledged to spend $3 million on immigration-related projects on its site. . . . As of Wednesday morning, the project was two-thirds of the way to its goal, with nine days left to the deadline. . . ."
"In the photograph that made Kim Phuc a living symbol of the Vietnam War, her burns aren't visible — only her agony as she runs wailing toward the camera, her arms flung away from her body, naked because she has ripped off her burning clothes," Jennifer Kay reported Sunday for the Associated Press.
"More than 40 years later she can hide the scars beneath long sleeves, but a single tear down her otherwise radiant face betrays the pain she has endured since that errant napalm strike in 1972.
"Now she has a new chance to heal — a prospect she once thought possible only in a life after death.
" 'So many years I thought that I have no more scars, no more pain when I'm in heaven. But now — heaven on earth for me!' Phuc says upon her arrival in Miami to see a dermatologist who specializes in laser treatments for burn patients.
"Late last month, Phuc, 52, began a series of laser treatments that her doctor, Jill Waibel of the Miami Dermatology and Laser Institute, says will smooth and soften the pale, thick scar tissue that ripples from her left hand up her arm, up her neck to her hairline and down almost all of her back.
"Even more important to Phuc, Waibel says the treatments also will relieve the deep aches and pains that plague her to this day.
"With Phuc are her husband, Bui Huy Toan, and another man who has been part of her life since she was 9 years old: Los Angeles-based Associated Press photojournalist Nick Ut.
" 'He's the beginning and the end,' Phuc says of the man she calls 'Uncle Ut.' 'He took my picture and now he'll be here with me with this new journey, new chapter.'
"It was Ut, now 65, who captured Phuc's agony on June 8, 1972, after the South Vietnamese military accidentally dropped napalm on civilians in Phuc's village, Trang Bang, outside Saigon. . . ."
"The cover of a college newspaper features a blackface cartoon," Felice León wrote Tuesday for the Daily Beast, under the headline, "College Paper Prints The Most Racist Front Page in America." "The focal point of the illustration is a young black man — depicted with bulging eyes and an exaggerated white mouth. On a street lined with dilapidated houses, a broken-down car (on cinderblocks), and a crooked stop sign, our character continues forth, apparently unfazed by the disarray that surrounds him. . . . On Monday morning, John Ettling, president of SUNY Plattsburgh University, said that he was offended by the illustration in a statement issued to the campus community. The pink elephant in the room: How was a blackface cartoon allowed to be on the cover of Cardinal Points in the first place?'. . ."
Dorothy Gilliam, the first black female reporter at the Washington Post, former president of the National Association of Black Journalists and board member of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, was the subject of the "Little Known Black History Fact" feature on radio's syndicated "Tom Joyner Morning Show" on Wednesday. Reach Media, which syndicates the show, says it airs on nearly 100 stations.
Rebecca Carroll, the first managing editor of HuffPost BlackVoices when Huffington Post bought the site in 2011, is joining WNYC-FM, New York Public Radio, as special projects producer, the station announced Wednesday. She is to produce a year-long series of in-depth projects about race in New York.
On Saturday, "Alfonso Aguilar, a conservative and a former official in the administration of George W. Bush, made the mistake of complimenting Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) as a 'hard worker' on the "Melissa Harris-Perry" show on MSNBC, Erik Wemple reported Wednesday for the Washington Post. Harris-Perry replied, "Alfonso, I feel you, but I just want to pause on one thing because I don't disagree with you that I actually think Mr. Ryan is a great choice for this role, but I want us to be super careful when we use the language 'hard worker,' because I actually keep an image of folks working in cotton fields on my office wall, because it is a reminder about what hard work looks like. . . ."
In Greensboro, N.C., "Councilman Mike Barber's response to the New York Times report about disproportionate police stops of black motorists in Greensboro … was to attack New York," Editorial Page Editor Allen Johnson wrote Tuesday in his News & Record blog. "Barber essentially said Monday that the Times had nerve coming to Greensboro to report on police problems when it has so many problems with its own police force. . . ."
"NBC's Al Roker is coming to a state near you — no matter which state you might happen to be in — he's hitting them all, in just one week," Mark Joyella reported Tuesday for TVNewser. "Roker, who delivered 34-hour 'Rokerthon' last year, will attempt to break another Guinness World Record, this time for 'Fastest Time to Report a Weather Forecast from All 50 U.S. States and the District of Columbia.' . . ."
The National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists have named Elise Durham and Hugo Balta as co-chairs of the 2016 joint convention in Washington, the groups announced on Tuesday. Balta, NAHJ's immediate past president, is senior director of multicultural content at ESPN. Durham soon begins a new job as assistant vice president for communications, marketing and media relations at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, and previously served as NABJ's program chair.
"Yesterday, I had the pleasure of running my interview with Fusion's Latoya Peterson on her new documentary series, 'Girl Gamers,' Benét J. Wilson wrote Tuesday for alldigitocracy.org. "Peterson told All Digitocracy that her series was created after she 'started feeling like this narrative was being forced on me, that as a woman who games, I had to have been harassed out of something.' Soon after this interview was posted, Hugh Forrest, SXSW Interactive Director said in a statement that he made the call to cancel two sessions for the 2016 event: 'SavePoint: A Discussion on the Gaming Community' and 'Level Up: Overcoming Harassment in Games.' " Forrest said that since the two sessions were announced last week, SXSW received threats of on-site violence related to this programming.
"Almost two months after Fox New Channel anchor Harris Faulkner went after the toy giant for a hamster that shares her name and, she says, her look, Hasbro has stopped playing games," Dominic Patten reported Tuesday for Deadline Hollywood. "In paperwork filed in federal court Monday, the company wants the multiple Emmy winner's multimillion-dollar lawsuit dismissed — at least partially. . . ."
Alvin Benn of the Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser was honored at a luncheon Tuesday at Alabama State University for his voice for civil rights, Rebecca Burylo reported Tuesday for the Advertiser. She also wrote, "Benn, a globally recognized reporter and a voice for civil rights in a time of racial turmoil, has written his interviews with Martin Luther King Jr., KKK leaders, Paul 'Bear' Bryant and thousands of others over the course of his journalistic career spanning more than 50 years. . . ."
Engaging interview Friday by Allan Wolper of WBGO-FM in Newark: "Gregory Pardlo, the winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for poetry, debunks the theory that African American fathers are disinterested parents. Pardlo is the second African American male poet to win the Pulitzer for poetry and the sixth African American poet overall to capture the highly coveted honor. . . ." Under the headline, "Poet Gregory Pardlo: 'I won the Pulitzer: why am I invisible?'," Angela Chen of the Guardian reported Tuesday, "Pardlo, a doctoral candidate at the City University of New York, was honored Monday night at a 'diversity in publishing' panel jointly sponsored by Cuny and Pen American. . . ."
"A Thai court has ruled that a Hong Kong-based photojournalist arrested in August on charges of violating Thai law for possessing a bulletproof vest and helmet will have to stand trial," Chris Fuchs reported Oct. 16 for NBC News Asian America. "The decision to pursue charges against Hok Chun Anthony Kwan drew criticism from the Asian American Journalists Association, of which Kwan was a member while attending college in Minnesota. . . ." A judge set a pretrial hearing for Nov. 16.
"Hard-earned press freedom in Tunisia is under threat as journalists are squeezed between violent extremists and security services sensitive to criticism in the wake of deadly terror attacks," the Committee to Protect Journalists wrote Tuesday over a report by Safa Ben Said. "While Islamist militants threaten the media, the government introduces restrictive legislation and security forces legally harass and even assault journalists. In this climate, which is further restricted by regulatory disputes, some news outlets resort to self-censorship. . . ."
"Honduran newspaper Diario Tiempo announced today the termination of its print edition," Lorenzo Holt reported Tuesday for the Knight Center for Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. "The newspaper made the decision three weeks after the Honduran government froze the assets of its parent company, business conglomerate Grupo Continental, following accusations of money laundering by the U.S. Office of Foreign Asset Control . . ."