Structure is not a dirty word. Students of all ages and colors need structure and support. They need to know what is expected of them. But when what is expected of Black, Brown, and Indigenous students mirrors expected prison behavior, there is a problem. A racism problem.
"In today's world of police shootings and communities' mistrust of authority, schools cannot continue to promote practices that undermine human dignity and restrict freedom. "Ducktail" walking as a tool for compliance does both. It takes away the human dignity of a K-5 student by indicating that he or she cannot be trusted to walk down the hall appropriately, and it restricts freedom without just cause. Simply put, these students must follow orders similar to those given in prisons," Anthony M. Rodriguez explains in his Letter to the Editor.
There is a line between healthy structure and racism. Simply put, if one can find a picture on the internet of prisoners that mirrors expected student behavior, the line has been crossed.