Increasing the Flow Through the School-Prison Pipeline

The 13th Amendment of the United States Constitution didn’t abolish slavery regardless of what many believe. What it did was change the rules. Criteria for who can and cannot be used as a slave is no longer based entirely on skin color, although it often plays out that way. Instead the primary criteria is whether or not an individual has been given the arbitrary label of criminal. With the slave labor pool dropping something has to be done to keep Federal Prison Industries and Corrections Corporation of America stocked with workers.

Schools in Minnesota, and most likely their slave labor employing partner MINNCOR, are looking at an innovative new way to get those numbers back up. The experiment involves drug testing children in schools:

School administrators in Duluth are talking about testing students randomly for drugs.

Educators say parent and student input would be gathered if the idea moves forward.

Parent Deb Johnson tells KSTP’s sister station WDIO-TV she’s in favor of the tests because it would likely curb the drug problem in the high schools. Johnson is president of the Duluth East Parent-Teacher-Student Association. She expects some resistance to the idea.

Since every activity an adult can possible consider doing is effectively illegal in this country the only way to increase the flow of laborers into the prison system is to either increase enforcement or criminalize children. Increasing enforcement costs money and requires more badged thugs. Criminalizing children is much easier because the population is mostly captive. This is probably why more states have been trying to open the school-prison pipeline wider. Testing adults for drugs is slightly more difficult than testing children for drugs because adults have the right to refuse. Children, on the other hand, are given no legal opportunity to refuse any order given by a school administrator.

I’m sure many people, like Deb Johnson, will approve of drug testing children. They will approve of this because they perceive that a drug problem exists and believe drug testing will fix that problem. In reality this is a case where the “fix” is worse than the “problem”. In all likelihood any kid who tests positive for drug use will find him or herself brought up on charges. What may have been a youthful indiscretion would turn into a lifelong punishment.

Finding a job is extremely difficult when you have anything on your criminal record. It’s one of the reasons I believe the recidivism rate is so high in the United States. After getting out of prison an individual has a difficult time getting a job so they return to crime in order to survive. By charging children with a drug offense they are effectively guaranteed a lifetime of hardship in regards to finding a job. While many people may claim that this is a good reason for kids not to do drugs we need to be honest and admit that children suck at long term planning. That’s part of the reason we don’t trust them with real responsibility. So hitting them with a lifelong punishment is nothing short of absurd. But that’s most likely what will come of these drug tests.

I find it sick that the schools are even thinking about doing this and I find it even sicker that many people will actually approve of this.