Despite the fact that this incident involved two teenage boys who attended a special school for troubled juveniles, parents should understand that students in practically any government-run “educational” institution can fall prey to sudden — and potentially lethal — police violence.

“Every day in communities across the United States, children and adolescents spend the majority of their waking hours in schools that increasingly have come to resemble places of detention more than places of learning,” observes investigative reporter Annette Fuentes in her infuriating and valuable new book Lockdown High: When the Schoolhouse Becomes a Jailhouse. Federally subsidized “zero tolerance” policies growing out of the “War on Drugs” have created what Fuentes and other critics of the system call the “school-to-prison pipeline”: “If yesterday’s prank got a slap on the wrist, today those wrists could be slapped with handcuffs.”

As the case of Derek Lopez illustrates, a childish prank could be treated as a capital offense, with summary execution carried out by a corrupt cop who doesn’t have to endure so much as a slap on


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