School to Prison Pipelines in the Era of COVID-19
An education system in need of disruption, issues related to virtual learning, and how to take control over your child's learning.
With students across the country transitioning to online learning during COVID-19, school representatives now have virtual access into the homes of students. An education system, that was originally created to serve White elites, continues to use drastic measures to punish students. An unjust education system is further perpetuating the school to prison cycle that keeps pushing children of color into prison and poverty. The time has come for the American education system to be disrupted in order for all communities to be equally served.
“Parents are the executive directors of their child's learning."
Dealing with the current school system along with having to transition to virtual learning has been a challenge for African American families and has left them feeling unprepared on how to best assist their children within this new learning environment. African American parents are encouraged to reach out to organizations such as Disruptive Partners that help teach parents how to take charge of their child's learning experience. In this new environment, the effects of excessive screen time from school has had many negative consequences for children as a result of mental fatigue. Giving kids brain breaks along with providing them with an appropriate working environment is necessary for them to be successful.
"As a parent, you now have a lens into the type of learning your child is getting."
The virtual learning environment gives parents the opportunity to observe the type of learning their children are receiving. Parents should therefore be paying attention to the kind of education their kids are getting in order to hold the school system accountable. Overall, the pandemic has made it very difficult for kids to learn and feel connected. Depression and anxiety has skyrocketed as a result of of the social isolation of our youth. Schools can't meet the social and emotional needs of children in addition to providing them with an education. The community has to come together with the schools to provide kids with an adequate work environment along with opportunities to socialize with their peers.
Parents must remember that schools have access to their homes in a virtual learning setting. Here are some tips on how to safeguard your environment to prevent schools from being able to raise concerns that could lead to the police getting involved.
Have a dedicated workplace in your home for your child that is free of distractions.
Provide your child with sufficient supplies that are within arms reach to negate the need to get up and move around unnecessarily.
Periodically check on your children or child to ensure their workspace is not obstructed.
Unless it is an emergency, try to keep interruptions to a minimum and are align them with instructional breaks.
Remember that in home learning is not the time to be lackadaisical. This means be aware of how your behavior could be misinterpreted by observers in the virtual learning space.
Finally, find out what is the school's policy for reporting concerns observed in the virtual learning environment.
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