Across the country, kids are incarcerated at an alarming rate. The “school to prison pipeline,” which funnels disadvantaged children from schools to incarceration for any number of reason, particularly hits kids of color and LGBTQ kids.
In 2015, Virginia topped the nation in the rate of referrals of students to law enforcement at around 16 per 1000 students; three times the national average. Richmond, Henrico and Chesterfield were at the top of those numbers.
Art 180 has prepared I AM POWERFUL, an art show featuring works by incarcerated juveniles. This show opened on Oct 7, however, Mothers and Others of VA, a group aiming to maintain and increase rights and protections for LGBTQs, is hosting a special event this Friday Oct 21 6 to 8 pm to highlight the issue of youth incarceration.
We have brought together a number of speaker on the issue to offer solutions:
Kandise Lucas of Advocates for Equity in Schools: Lucas works with families with kids with IEP’s where the system refuses to deliver services mandated by the federal government. She has been arrested four times, accused of trespassing by Chesterfield Schools while trying to attend IEP meetings. Kandise has won three of those cases with one more pending, and Chesterfield is charged with complying with a letter from the Department of Justice. Her clients include LGBT headed families.