On a Tuesday morning three years ago, Julia Ringo discovered her daughter was in terrible pain. Examining her, Ringo looked in shock at a mass of bruises and swelling on her daughter Kiorey's buttocks, a day after the 8-year-old Black girl had been paddled with a wooden board at an elementary school in Grenada, Mississippi. Ringo rushed her daughter to the emergency room and told the attending doctor what had transpired. "As soon as he looked at her behind, it was like he couldn't even look at it," she says, breaking down in tears. "He just took a deep breath, felt on her butt to see was it swollen. She was screaming." Kiorey's injuries were so severe, Ringo said, that she had to stay home the rest of the week.
A new study from the University of Michigan on the use of facial recognition in schools is recommending that lawmakers and school administrators ban the use of this technology in educational settings. The researchers behind the study write that facial recognition in schools “will likely have five types of implications: exacerbating racism, normalizing surveillance and eroding privacy, narrowing the definition of the ‘acceptable’ student, commodifying data, and institutionalizing inaccuracy. Because FR is automated, it will extend these effects to more students than any manual system could.” “Using facial recognition in schools amounts to unethical experimentation on children,” said Evan Greer (she/her), deputy director of digital rights group Fight for the Future who have been organizing to ban facial recognition for more than a year.
As policymakers call for more school police in response to safety concerns, a new analysis of federal data shows that many students don't have access to other kinds of staff necessary for safety and support—staff like school nurses, social workers, and psychologists. As a result of safety discussions that focus on shootings, rather than the broader range of safety concerns and student needs, "schools are under-resourced and students are overcriminalized," says the report, released Monday by the ACLU. The analysis also found that disproportionately high arrest rates for students of color and students with disabilities are continuing, while there was a 17 percent growth in school-based referrals to law enforcement from 2013-14 to 2015-16.