Weekly Roundup

Fighting the Worst Pipeline of All: From School to PrisonIndian Country Media, Commentary, Frank Hopper, Posted: Jan 02, 2017

“Another pipeline crossing Indian country threatens our most precious resource. This pipeline has been under construction for nearly a century and has already done irreparable damage to Native people and communities. It doesn’t carry oil or natural gas. It carries Native children, vacuuming them out of schools and transporting them to one of our nation’s fastest-growing industries: the adult prison system.
On December 7, the Native prisoner support group, Huy, submitted a letter to the Seattle City Council opposing a new King County juvenile detention facility slated to open in 2018, arguing it is part of the school-to-prison pipeline confronting Native students.” Read more.

Fear Of Deportation, Hate Crimes Reportedly Threaten Mental Health Of Young Californians, Kaiser Health News 

“In the months leading up to the presidential election, Guillermo and his friends at Oakland International High School had a running joke.

“If Donald Trump wins,” they’d tease each other, “go buy some suitcases.” Then they’d laugh. They didn’t think the candidate who was threatening to deport millions of undocumented immigrants stood a chance.

Guillermo, an 18-year-old senior, fled gang violence and police corruption in El Salvador three years ago. Kaiser Health News is not using his last name at his request because he fears jeopardizing his quest for legal status in this country.

The night of the election, Guillermo flipped on the television to check the news while celebrating his father’s birthday. “Look,” he told a friend, “Trump’s ahead.” The next morning, he arrived at school to find teachers and other staff in tears.

“I felt a little strange,” he said. The scenario that had seemed impossible a day earlier was suddenly very real. Some kids still joked about being kicked out of the country, but the humor had a new edge to it.

Around the country, children and adolescents who are undocumented immigrants or who have undocumented family members, are experiencing a surge in stress, depression and anxiety, advocates, educators and mental health providers say. The same is true for young people belonging to other groups targeted by threats or hate crimes, including Muslim and transgender youth.

Reports of these mental health concerns remain mostly anecdotal so far.” Read more.

Juvenile detention centers struggle with transgender inmates, The Washington Post  January 1

“Young transgender people are too often sent to girls’ or boys’ lockups based on their anatomy, not their gender identity, and can end up suffering psychologically and getting picked on by other inmates or staff members, according to advocacy groups. Even when they are assigned to detention centers that correspond to their gender identity, they are often victimized.

“There are many systems that are basically clueless as to what the best practice should be, and they end up mistreating transgender girls particularly, just placing them in hallways or handcuffing them to desks,” because the institutions don’t know where to house them, said Flor Bermudez, detention project director at the Transgender Law Center.

Maine plans to review its practices after a 16-year-old transgender boy charged with setting fire to his house killed himself while on a suicide watch in a girls’ unit in the Portland area. The current policy is to house transgender juveniles on a case-by-case basis and not by anatomy alone, in accordance with federal standards.” Read more.

Camille Van Kote

About Camille Van Kote

Camille Van Kote is a third year student at the University of Houston Law Center. She graduated from Barnard College in 2012. As an undergraduate, she worked as an AmeriCorps member for Jumpstart for Young Children. She was also involved with the Columbia Child Rights Group, where she spearheaded various campus-wide events, including film screenings, conferences and fundraisers, to promote awareness on children’s issues. She interned at Tahirih Justice Center and Kids in Need of Defense, working with courageous women and unaccompanied minors fleeing violence. This past summer, she interned at the Women's Global Network for Reproductive Rights, an NGO advocating for sexual and reproductive rights as human rights.

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