A little child was thrown into the back of a police car after coming to school with the wrong color shoes, according to a reports released by the American Civil Liberties Union.
In Mississippi, if kindergarten students violate the dress code or act out in class, they can end up in the back of a police car.
The story about a 5-year-old boy in particular stands out. The boy was forced to wear black shoes to school. Because he did not have black shoes, his mother used a black marker to cover up his white and red sneakers. A little red and white was still visible, so the child was taken home by police.
The child was escorted out of the school by police so that he and his mother would be taught a lesson.
The report cites several examples of unfair discipline, including the story of the boy with the "black" shoes.
Other incidents include:
Students in a school bus were throwing peanuts at one another. Because one of the peanuts hit the female bus driver, five black male students were arrested on charges of felony assault.
A student was sent to a juvenile detention center for wearing the wrong color socks. It was a violation of probation for a previous fight.
Kelly Welch, associate professor of sociology and criminal justice at Villanova University, said that zero tolerance policies are often more severe in schools with large populations of minority students.
"We know that the effects of exclusion penalties, such as suspension and expulsion, are so detrimental to student learning and future participation in criminal justice, it is imperative that these policies are examined to ensure that they are used only when absolutely necessary and which are not racially discriminatory," Welch said.