The Line Between "Structure" and Racism

Structure is not a dirty word and lines are not a bad thing either, but when practicing lines over and over takes the place of learning--and the lines are a part of a school culture of relentless compliance--lines are a problem. Furthermore, if these rigid line expectations are disproportionately forced on students of color and their bodies, with hands behind their backs and the threat of punishment over their heads, 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.