Children in schools find themselves locked out and locked in, searched and surveilled, excluded and banished, objects of a militarized social order. Christopher Robbins has written a brilliant and incisive account of the ravaging of hope through the criminalization of youth, punishing kids by depriving them of an education. A must read to see how we got here, who is served, and how to resist. Christopher G.
Expelling Hope raises critical questions about the effects of punitive policies, particularly "zero tolerance," and repressive social relationships on youth of color and public schooling. It argues convincingly that zero tolerance is a catchword, or linchpin, for an array of discourses and social practices that support the criminalization of youth, the militarization of public schooling and culture, and the marketization of public life. Through his assembly of empirical studies, incidents from across the United States, theoretical frameworks, and his trenchant commentary, Robbins shows that zero-tolerance practices, which were once devised as protective measures against dangers, are themselves threats to democracy and the well-being of all youth in society.
In five chapters, Robbins extensively describes the invidiousness of zero tolerance and the acts that opponents can take toward undercutting its influence. In the introductory chapter, he summarizes zero tolerances origins as a Navy anti-drug initiative that eventually made its way to schools as a "general school discipline policy that responds with similar punishments to both nonviolent behaviors that are perceived to be disruptive and weapons and drug related infractions of school discipline codes" p.
He shows that policies and adherents' failure to reflect on the implications of those policies have damaged youth's social and educational opportunities. In chapter one, he explains how fear, perpetuated by media images, led schools to increasingly implement punitive measures that affect youth who live in cities, who are poor or who are of color.
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In chapter two, the most detailed chapter, he makes explicit the link between a neoliberal America, characterized by privatization and corporate interests, and the practice and ideology of zero tolerance. For instance, he contends that in the mid twentieth century, America was concerned with social welfare.
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This concern meant that schools cultivated young people to be future adult citizens. For the past three decades, however, the U. Robbins explicates how zero tolerance is just one of the provisions that emerged from this shift. Yet, surprisingly, discipline and management have escaped sustained critical analysis.
Expelling Hope - The Assault on Youth and the Militarization of Schooling (Paperback)
This book is a unique, heuristic effort to break the silence regarding modes of classroom control, explicitly bringing democratic, moral, and political perspectives to bear on the issues. It analyzes classroom relationships in terms of ethical and political considerations, arguing that current behaviorist and "teacher-tricks" approaches to classroom control fundamentally contradict expectations of moral development and democratic ends.
Historical and Political Perspectives. Uncontrolled Students Eventually.