Policing and Strip Searches of Minors

When the details of ChildQ hit the news there was general shock and concern among the general public that such a thing should happen.

For Parents and community activists within the Black community this was not news, it was not rare and it was not even recent. There are many men of my generation that will describe being stripped naked in the back of police vans in their early teens, frequently while still in handcuffs. Now it seems our children are not even safe in schools where increasingly policing is becoming part of the day to day sanctioning within schools.

As a parent the thing I find most hard to wrap my head around is that there seems to be no onus to contact parents even when this occurs within a school setting. so it still remains possible for your child to return home from school and inform you that he or she has been stripped at school and then expected to rejoin their peers and complete the school day.

When we look at the details of these cases it is hard to believe that black children are considered human beings…. noone is stripping 14 year old Poppy and then sending her back to her maths class, because we immediately understand that such an experience is so traumatic that there would need to be extraordinary set of circumstances to justify it, and if it were to happen how could we expect her to endure something so intrusive, humiliating, dehumanising, terrifying and then sit in a class …and learn.

Black children continue to be subject to this practice disproportionately….and honestly the details of these searches are eye-watering when you understand what children are requested to do during these searches.

We need to understand that this treatment marginalises Black children. We tell them early in their lives and very clearly that they do not matter, they are not safe…anywhere, and they are not a part of our society. We create trauma that is irreparable and actually if anything add to levels of crime by creating disenfranchised, powerless and angry children.

As a parent of black boys, the sister of a black man and the daughter of a black man, I have seen this go on for three generations…. it’s time for an end to this. The very people that are supposed to be safeguarding our children are the exact people who are harming them so deeply and irreparably. Leaving black parents with a sense of dread everytime our children leave our homes and holding our breaths until they arrive home each day. It’s time for change

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