7-year-old Jedi Oruh didn’t know there’d be extreme consequences for taking off his face mask. He had a doctor’s note explaining why it was OK for him to not wear it on the school bus. But, even if he didn’t – why did they call the POLICE and not his parents?
A spokesperson claims they were “de-escalat[ing] the situation,” and that Jedi was “impairing the ability of the bus to transport students.” Was it really that serious?
This isn’t new for Black children like Jedi, though.
Most of us know about the school-to-prison pipeline, but many don’t know that disabled Black children face this threat the most! Because Jedi is autistic, wearing a mask for too long can actually be dangerous for him.
As many as 55% of disabled Black people have experienced arrest by age 28. And Jedi’s mother has had enough.
Dr. Chioma Oruh gathered other parents to protest outside Washington D.C.’s Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), challenging OSSE to change their policy on policing of children.
No matter your beliefs on policing, there’s no excuse for this over-policing of Black children, especially Black disabled children. Like these parents, we need to challenge this system that allowed this to happen. In our communities, we need to support problem-solving solutions that don’t involve police!