I’d love to hear the 911 call for the water balloon fight. It’d be funny if it wasn’t so disturbing.

The water balloon incident happened in May 2013

When police were called to get kids to stop throwing water balloons at Enloe High School in Raleigh, North Carolina, seven kids got charged with misdemeanors: Six for disorderly conduct and the seventh for assault and battery after throwing a water balloon at a school security officer. A parent who protested was arrested.

Alarmingly, cops being called on kids in school isn't as unusual as you might think. The days of just going to the principal's office — and that's it — are over in some schools.



School administrators around the U.S. are getting tougher with misbehaving kids, meting out suspensions, expulsions, and even arrests.

The evidence suggests that these punishments are having a terrible lifelong impact on the students.

It puts them into the so-called "school-to prison pipeline."

It's not even like the schools are necessarily going after kids for serious things, either.

95% of out-of-school suspensions are for non-violent misbehaviors.


The dangerous result is that every one of these kids gets the message:


Once that happens, it's a slippery slope.


  • Kids who get sent to juvenile detention centers are 67% more likely to be back in jail by the time they're 25.

Certain groups receive the bulk of the discipline, making this even more troubling.

Wade County, North Carolina, has one of the most active school-to-prison pipelines. In that school, 40% of black kids caught with cellphones were suspended while only 17% of the white kids caught were punished with suspension.

Only 29% of public school kids are black and Latino, and yet they receive 70% of the in-school arrests.

Special needs students are often caught up in this, too.

32% of the kids in juvenile detention centers are special needs kids.

They're often sent there for their special-needs behaviors.

Are all schools involved in this?

Thankfully, no.

But as America tries to improve its education system — and as administrators try to deal with behavior challenges — the school-to-prison pipeline makes it clear that too often kids are being set up for a dark, hopeless future. There must be a better way to deal with kids acting out. For now, the school-to-prison pipeline is one of the reasons the U.S. jails more people than any other country.

Here's Brave New Films' explanation of the school-to-prison pipeline:

True

Davina Agudelo was born in Miami, Florida, but she grew up in Medellín, Colombia.

"I am so grateful for my upbringing in Colombia, surrounded by mountains and mango trees, and for my Colombian family," Agudelo says. "Colombia is the place where I learned what's truly essential in life." It's also where she found her passion for the arts.

While she was growing up, Colombia was going through a violent drug war, and Agudelo turned to literature, theater, singing, and creative writing as a refuge. "Journaling became a sacred practice, where I could leave on the page my dreams & longings as well as my joy and sadness," she says. "During those years, poetry came to me naturally. My grandfather was a poet and though I never met him, maybe there is a little bit of his love for poetry within me."

In 1998, when she left her home and everyone she loved and moved to California, the arts continued to be her solace and comfort. She got her bachelor's degree in theater arts before getting certified in journalism at UCLA. It was there she realized the need to create a media platform that highlighted the positive contributions of LatinX in the US.

"I know the power that storytelling and writing our own stories have and how creative writing can aid us in our own transformation."

In 2012, she started Alegría Magazine and it was a great success. Later, she refurbished a van into a mobile bookstore to celebrate Latin American and LatinX indie authors and poets, while also encouraging children's reading and writing in low-income communities across Southern California.

Keep Reading Show less

Need a mood boost to help you sail through the weekend? Here are 10 moments that brought joy to our hearts and a smile to our faces this week. Enjoy!

1. How much does this sweet little boy adore his baby sister? So darn much.

Oh, to be loved with this much enthusiasm! The sheer adoration on his face. What a lucky little sister.

2. Teens raise thousands for their senior trip, then donate it to their community instead.

When it came time for Islesboro Central School's Class of 2021 to pick the destination for their senior class trip, the students began eyeing a trip to Greece or maybe even South Korea. But in the end, they decided to donate $5,000 they'd raised for the trip to help out their community members struggling in the wake of the pandemic instead.

Keep Reading Show less