AZ School Forces Kids With Bad Grades To Wear ‘Scarlet Letter’ Badge
Mingus Union High School in Cottonwood, Ariz., issues ID badges to students, including students with learning disabilities, announcing their failing grades.
MAD yet? School Contact Information below.
Each year, the school issues ID badges for all students to hang around their necks. Freshmen and sophomores wear red-colored cards. Juniors and seniors wear gray. Red and Grey are the school colors.
“These are standard badges worn by students at schools across the nation issued in large part as identification in the case of a school shooting,”
But upperclassmen who struggle in classes must also wear red badges, with numbers that indicate their repeated grade level if their marks don’t improve.
“Scarlet badges” of shame.
According to Marcela Taracena with the ACLU of Arizona, Mingus Union by “forcing their students… wearing that badge has resulted in increased discrimination, bullying and disengagement.”
“The scarlet badge singles out students who are struggling academically,” Taracena said. “And we are asking that Mingus end this ID scheme immediately.”
A student whose identity was kept private “has heard other students call classmates wearing the scarlet badge ‘stupid’ and ‘problem kids,’” wrote legal director Kathleen E. Brody. The student “reports that because of wearing the scarlet badge, [redacted] receives less individual instruction from teachers because they assume [redacted] is not interested, motivated, or capable of learning. This all causes [redacted] to experience increased anxiety at school, feel ostracized from other students, and feel stigmatized by teachers and administrators.”
The ACLU says the scarlet badges violate the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a federal law that keeps students’ educational records private, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees that people be treated equally.
One junior named Jordan Pickett, who missed classes due to her severe anemia, says her red badge singles her out. “I have to go down to Phoenix to do doctor visits and all that. So I miss a lot of days of school because of it,” she told AZ Family.
Pickett’s friend Jonah Ray also wears a red badge. “Upperclassmen who are missing any credit whatsoever, any credit, are immediately slapped with a red card,” said Ray.
“I said, ‘I like to study history.’ And a kid immediately chimed in saying, ‘You like to study, then why do you have a red card? That must mean you’re stupid or something.’”
In the fall, reported AZ Family, the teens unsuccessfully argued their case against badges during a school board meeting.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona has asked Mingus Union High School to put an end to the school’s current identification badge policy or it “will be forced to pursue further action.”
In a Dec. 28 letter to Mingus Union acting superintendent Genie Gee and current members of the school board, Kathleen Brody, legal director for the organization’s Arizona chapter, wrote on behalf of a student and her mother, “to demand” Mingus Union to “cease the practice of forcing students … to wear distinct badges that divulge their educational achievement level to students, teachers, school administrators and the public.”
Attorney Susan Segal, who is representing the school, stated that calling the red badges a “scarlet letter” is misleading.
This is pure insanity! Anyone with any bit of common sense can see the problem with this. This is ANOTHER example of our out of control school administrators who think they own the children that are in their care.
School employees are the slaves, not the masters. They are hired by the taxpayers to serve a purpose. They are not the boss.
You know the drill. Hardly anyone is reporting on this! It is time to contact the school and district and let them know that they are public servants, not masters,. That these kids belong to their parents, not the school.
Here is the contact information.
Mingus Union High School Office: (928) 634-7531 FACEBOOK
Regina Gee Principal (928) 649-4415 EMAIL: [email protected]
Allen Mitchell Assistant Principal (928) 649-4471 EMAIL: [email protected]
District Info (928) 634-8901
Daniel Dubien Executive Assistant to the Superintendent
P: (928) 478-7943 EMAIL: [email protected]