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Newscast 04.14.23: New exhibit in the SC City Hall Museum focused on suspending oppression in schools

Monique Scarlett
Monique Scarlett

A new exhibit that focuses on ending the school-to-prison pipeline was unveiled yesterday at the Sioux City City Hall Museum.

The city is partnering with the African American Museum of Iowa to host “Suspended: Systemic Oppression in Our Schools.”

The traveling exhibit examines the role public schools play in funneling students into the prison system. School board member and the leader of the Unity in the Community Monique Scarlett cut the ribbon on the exhibit saying the large numbers of black men and women forced to leave school for a juvenile facility is a daunting issue in American life.

Black and native youth are overrepresented in juvenile facilities, while white youth are underrepresented in the U.S. facilities. These racial disparities are particularly pronounced among black young men and black young women, while native young ladies make up a small part of the confined population.

Scarlett said 42 percent of boys and 35 percent of girls in juvenile facilities are black. She added that the Sioux City School District needs to do more to prevent young people from ending up in prison.

We recognize that there are an alarming number of students, if neglected to receive help, will be the next adults in prison. This calls for three things: A commitment to care, consistency for outreach programs, and a structured plan that must not fail our students.

Scarlett call on all Siouxland residents to help keep black students in school and out of juvenile facilities.

By increasing the involvement in programs that work, in programs that reform and programs that rebuild and holding ourselves accountable for the community.

The new exhibit “Suspended: Systemic Oppression in Our Schools.”is free and is located in the City Hall Museum on 6th Street until June 31. You can visit the exhibit between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m Monday through Friday.

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