to under resourced schools, are also met with the highest levels of punishment. Ultimately, they are pushed out of the classroom and too often into the back of a police car. Black students are 16 percent of the nation's student population but 31 percent of those who are arrested at school, while white students are 51 percent of the student population and 39 percent of those arrested at school. The basic inefficiency of all of this, particularly of suspensions as a sanction for bad behavior, is part of what informs Seneca's alternative approach. "When was the last time you heard, 'Well, this kid got sus- pended and all of a sudden his behavior just turned around? "' Seneca's CEO Ken Berrick says . "Ifl thought suspensio ns worked as an intervention, I'm not sure Io be against it, but they just don't:' In Lihi Rosenthal's experience, exclusionary discipline doe sn' t get at the root problem. A kid's bad behavior, she says, often masks other troubles. "When yo u're a fifth grader, it's always better to look bad tban to look stupid;' she sars. Being disruptive can be a great coping skill to get out of doing something you're afraid to do, espe- cially if a te ache r 's standard response is to send you ou t of the room. "Of co urse you're going to flip over a desk everytime math work co mes, " Rosenthal says. " It' s actually a brilliant intervention." THE END OF SEGREGATION Cox Academy is located in a particularly rough part of East Oakland. "If you know anything about East Oak- land you know there's a lot of crime, and there 's a lot of poverty;' says Ford-Morthel. Lockdowns triggered by shootings near the school are a regular occurrence. Three days before Thanksgiving last yea r, seven men were shot across the street from Cox Academy ; in what the Contra Costa Times reported; as "a hail of gunfire." Five months earlier, two 14-year-olds were shot8 within a one-block radius of Cox. In 2011 , 16- year-old Najon Jackson was shot and killed 9 on the front steps of his grandmother's home one block north of the school. It's not uncommon for a student at Cox Academy to be directly affected by all of this community and police violence just outside the schoolhouse door s, says Ford-Morthel. Elmhurst Park, where Cox is located, is one of the poorest neighborhoods in Oakland. More than 90 per- cent of the students at Education for Change schools qualify for free or reduced lunch, according to Ford- Morthel. Students come to school hungry because they haven't eaten breakfast, or even hungrier because they didn't eat dinner the night before. Some students move around from night to night, with no fixed place that they call home. "All-In " was informed by research which has found that dealing with sustained trauma affects kids' ability to form positive relationships, adjust their emotions and tell the difference between threatening and non-threatening relationships, all of which affects how well they're able to do in school.
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