Should Getting Caught With Pot Keep Kids From Receiving College Loans?

Experts hope the movement to ban drug misdemeanor questions on college applications might spark changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.



(Photo: Colin Hawkins/Getty Images)


MAY 16, 2016A veteran journalist and former White House correspondent for Politico, Joseph Williams is a freelance writer, blogger, and essayist in Washington, D.C.
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For most black males, getting stopped, questioned, or even arrested by police by the time you reach adulthood is a fact of life. That encounter, however, can be a barrier to a college education: Several school and financial aid applications ask whether an applicant has had contact with the criminal justice system—justified or not—and weigh it as a factor before saying yes.

Now, in what’s being framed as an advancement in criminal justice reform, the U.S. Department of Education is calling on colleges and universities to eliminate the question, a move that closely echoes the federal “ban the box” initiative to improve hiring for job seekers with criminal records.

Last Monday, the department “urged America’s colleges and universities to remove barriers that can prevent the estimated 70 million citizens with criminal records from pursuing higher education,” including banning questions about an applicant’s contact with the justice system. Besides eliminating prospective students who might otherwise be qualified, those questions can have a “chilling effect,” the department said, discouraging applicants before the process starts.

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“We believe in second chances, and we believe in fairness,” Education Secretary John King Jr. said in a statement announcing new “Beyond the Box” guidelines for colleges and universities. “The college admissions process shouldn’t serve as a roadblock to opportunity, but should serve as a gateway to unlocking untapped potential of students,” including some who were unjustly charged and others who paid their debt to society.

Meanwhile, Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., has sponsored legislation that would remove a similar question from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid that requires applicants to disclose any drug-related offense they’ve had while receiving federal student aid.

Called the Fair Access to Education Act, the bill, introduced in 2015, would exempt FAFSA applicants with misdemeanor marijuana possession offenses from having to check the box and would reinstate students whose applications were suspended because of those offenses.

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“Students shouldn’t be singled out and put through an additional screening process if they have a misdemeanor marijuana possession on their record,” Blumenauer said in a statement. “The applicant has already done the time for the crime and should be treated the same as everyone else.”

Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, told TakePart that the impact of these developments extends beyond education to racial equality.

“What colleges and universities are doing, many of them, is they are including questions regarding convictions on their applications,” Clarke said. “But many of them sweep far more broadly, asking if [students have] ever been stopped by police or detained.”

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At the same time, other colleges “are asking [applicants] whether or not they’ve received an oral warning not to trespass on private property,” she said. “This is an area that has not been regulated. It could have a disparate impact on African Americans and other minority students who are seeking access to college classrooms.”

Framing the move as a civil rights victory isn’t a stretch: Economists, education policy analysts, and even President Obama agree that a college education is vital to landing a job with middle-class wages. At the same time, there’s a significant “graduation gap” between white and black youths; minorities without a bachelor’s degree, an associate’s degree, or a specialized training certificate risk being left behind in the new economy.

Meanwhile, the president and top Democrats and Republicans have found common ground on criminal justice reform—specifically, in their focus on reducing the disproportionate number of black Americans behind bars. That includes the ban-the-box initiative, which prevents employers and landlords from asking about an applicant’s criminal record, and a political movement to restore voting rights to ex-offenders who were convicted of felonies.

“There’s an existing conversation happening about ending [mass incarceration], but there’s not enough to focus on the barriers and problems that sometimes lead people to become entangled, once again, in the criminal justice system,” including joblessness and undereducation, said Clarke.

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While some colleges consider it a matter of public safety, Clarke said there’s no definitive link between campus crime and students who may have had contact with the law. That’s particularly true, she said, if colleges provide adequate support and guidance to students with criminal records.

While the criminal justice reform movement has gained a lot of attention, how a criminal record affects higher education has largely flown under the radar. Clarke said that’s largely because of relative inaction by the Education Department, but that seems poised to change.

The conversation around mass incarceration of black Americans “has grown tremendously,” but “it’s only now that we are [grappling with] the costs and consequences that mass incarceration has had on society,” Clarke said. The Justice Department guidelines, she added, “are a sign [officials are dealing with] one component of that problem.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"I'm just trying to make a way out of no way, for my people" -Modejeska Monteith Simpkins

 

AFRICAN AMERICA IS AT WAR

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON AFRICAN AMERICA

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON AFRICAN AMERICANS

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON BLACK PEOPLE IN AMERICA

AMERICA'S RACISTS HAVE INFILTRATED AMERICAN POLICE FORCES TO WAGE A RACE WAR AGAINST BLACK PEOPLE IN AMERICA

THE BLACK RACE IS AT WAR

FIRST WORLD WAR:  THE APPROXIMATELY 6,000 YEAR WORLD WAR ON AFRICA AND THE BLACK RACE

Original Post

 In today's world...YES!!!!!   Absolutely. It should be age generated...like students between the ages of 18 and 30.    Otherwise, students will spend wasted years in college and have learned nothing.  This way the brain is clear and can absorb the knowledge.   Cuz when you're young?  Your brain is nothing but a sponge.   But!

I say no because everyone makes mistakes and stupid decisions when they are young and immature that should not be allowed to ruin their entire life, and that should not bar them from getting an education.  

Also, "laws" and "policies" and "rules" like this are no more than part of the Arsenal being used in the WAR ON BLACK PEOPLE IN AMERICA, because who exactly is the 'kid' most likely to be stopped by police, frisked by police, have their car searched by police, put under surveillance by police, live in Police-State neighborhood?  

 

I would not recommend it but people should not be punished for smoking pot and especially when pot laws are disproportionately used against Blacks to meet the profit greed of the criminal justice system. Pot should be decriminalized or legal for recreational use.

RadioRaheem posted:

it will never happen.  Anything that harms white people will never be law.  Just look at the recent care and concern for white heroin addicts and judicial sentencing.  

The only reason the laws are changing because young white people are catching criminal records. In the Boston area where many white college students attend elite universities the laws are being aggressively changed, decriminalizing pot. I saw a show sometime ago about the Boston area, the cops know who the white drug dealers are but don't touch them simply because they are white, yet where Blacks are current pot laws are strictly enforced.

The show I saw showed several white college students making thousands of dollars a week while attending college selling all kinds of drugs. Cops actually pointed out the white drug dealers and did nothing, if they were black they would have locked them up without hesitation.

I almost forgot, one cop said he just takes their drugs away and lets them go because he does not want to ruin their lives and that is what the white drug dealers said, cops don't arrest them.

Momentum posted:
RadioRaheem posted:

it will never happen.  Anything that harms white people will never be law.  Just look at the recent care and concern for white heroin addicts and judicial sentencing.  

The only reason the laws are changing because young white people are catching criminal records. In the Boston area where many white college students attend elite universities the laws are being aggressively changed, decriminalizing pot. I saw a show sometime ago about the Boston area, the cops know who the white drug dealers are but don't touch them simply because they are white, yet where Blacks are current pot laws are strictly enforced.

The show I saw showed several white college students making thousands of dollars a week while attending college selling all kinds of drugs. Cops actually pointed out the white drug dealers and did nothing, if they were black they would have locked them up without hesitation.

I almost forgot, one cop said he just takes their drugs away and lets them go because he does not want to ruin their lives and that is what the white drug dealers said, cops don't arrest them.

I am still amazed that so many Black people in America still can't see that the so-called "War On Drugs", was "CODE" for "WAR ON BLACK PEOPLE IN AMERICA".  

If more of us did see the elaborate b.s. scheme for what it was, it wouldn't be a long jump to seeing how "laws" and "policies" have been meticulously designed to be used as just another weapon in the arsenal of weapons used in the War Black people in America; more specifically, tomake unemployable, as many young Black males and to to snare up as many as possible in the Prison Industrial Complex Industry

So, of course White cops are going to use the 'discretion' vested in them to protect young White males from such a dirty trap, while at the same time showing no mercy toward young Black males.  

 

If you've never tried pot or never tried cigarettes, DON'T. Eventually, it's going to catch up with you, you'll be wheezing like a bitch, never be able to catch your breath and eventually you'll DIE. They don't tell you that because that's how they want you, DEAD.

Leave the drugs to the white folks and keep your black asses out of the Human Dog Pound. The dogs don't even want to be in those nasty places. The Human Dog Pounds make whites heaps of money at your expense. Stop doing the things that put you there. These white folks will throw your black behinds in those cages until you die. Three lifetime sentences. Who ever heard of that shit? Lots of them deserve three lifetime sentences and are walking free as a bird in a tree. Does Zimmerman ring a bell?? The cop that killed Michael Brown? Men that have done less than that are serving 40 years solitary confinement and 3 lifetime sentences. Smarten up black sons of black men and women; daughters too.

Your body wasn't meant for that. Some time you must have common sense. Try to get as much as you can while you're young and use it to the max. These days are no damn JOKE and whites are your enemy. Stop getting caught up in their webs. They're like Black Widow Spiders; they'll fuck you and eat you up.

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