Maxine Mimms Academies
The Guidepost is our community News feature and member network. Staff and students of the Academy can also communicate through the Guidepost. Ask your teacher or supervisor for details.
Date: Saturday 8/29/15 Location: Pacific Lutheran University Tacoma, Washington EntryFee: $50 until 7/1 -7/31; $65 after 8/1.
Donate & Attend
In a candid conversation, Dr. Maxine Mimms shares the story of Evergreen State College's early beginnings. She describes how the school became an institution of higher learning, and how the model has been used to educate and prepare a new generation of urban youth in our society. Its mission and its students are far from traditional and its graduates have become leaders in industry throughout the world.
Critical Conversation - 052108 - 1
Marian Wright Edelman has written on a theme dear to our hearts. Her analysis and prescriptions overlap our approach to supplementary education. She writes...
"The increasing criminalization of children has become a major crisis. Children are being suspended and expelled from school and incarcerated in the juvenile and adult justice systems at alarming rates and at younger and younger ages. This increased incarceration is not due to an increase in serious delinquent or violent criminal behavior by young people. Juvenile arrests for violent crimes grew rapidly in the late 1980s and peaked in 1994, but then began falling. Between 1994 and 2003, the juvenile arrest rate for Violent Crime Index offenses__-murder, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault_-fell 48 percent to its lowest level since 1980. So if actual crime is not the cause for the rise in incarceration rates, what is?
Dr. Maya Angelou is a well known American poet and a long-time friend of academy founder Dr. Maxine Mimms. Ms. Angelou recently gave Dr. Mimms permission to use her poem, A Pledge to Rescue Our Youth
, as a call to action for the academy.
A Pledge to Rescue Our Youth
A Poem by Dr. Maya Angelou
Young women, young men of color, we add our voices to the voices of your ancestors who speak to you over ancient seas and across impossible mountain tops.
Come up from the gloom and national neglect, you have already been paid for.
Come out of the shadow of irrational prejudice, you owe no racial debt to history.
The blood of our bodies and the prayers of our souls have bought you a future free from shame and bright beyond the telling of it.
We pledge ourselves and our resources to seek for you clean and well-furnished schools, safe and non-threatening streets, employment that makes use of your talents, but does not degrade your dignity.
You are the best we have.
You are all we have.
You are what we have become.
We pledge you our whole hearts from this day forward.
Eleven-year-old Booker Beaver has been suspended from school more than once, a punishment that in the past meant staying home and playing video games.
This time is different.
He's attending class five days a week at the Maxine Mimms Academy, a new community program for students suspended or expelled from Tacoma middle schools.
Booker says he prefers the academy over McIlvaigh Middle School.
"But we don't want to stay forever," said Booker, who was suspended for fighting. "This is just to calm us down."
The story is all too familiar: Middle School: Hormones kick in. Girls can get pregnant. Boys can become fathers. Mobility becomes part of the classroom experience. The proving stage. Emergency expulsions increase by a factor of 1500% over elementary school; short term expulsions triple. Juvenile arrest rates in lower income neighborhoods are double and triple those in higher income neighborhoods.
- 7% of students nationally suspended or expelled
- 25% of African-American male students suspended or expelled
- In inner-city schools, more than 65% of all students suspended or expelled.
- Drop-out rates exceed 50% in inner-city neighborhoods.
- Almost 100% of incarcerated youth have been suspended or expelled Over 80% of all incarcerated adults have dropped out of school.
- Suspension is used disproportionately with students who are male, of color, poor, and of low educational achievement
- There is no evidence that African American students act out more than others. Studies show that the disproportionality in school discipline is not due to characteristics of African American students, but to bias and discrimination in the system. School characteristics are differentially related to suspension rates, rather than student behavior.
- Suspended students in 26 states have no form of education.
Over one million African-American students are being suspended each school year. More than 100,000 are suspended in the I-5 corridor.
IT IS AN EPIDEMIC, AND THERE IS A NEED FOR EMERGENCY TREATMENT!