Bad Boys by Arnette Ferguson

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Paige Kahalnik
Bad Boys paper

In the book, Bad Boys, Ann Arnett Ferguson goes on a three-year journey through Rosa Parks Elementary School to observe and research why it is that mostly black males are ending up in jail and are unsalvageable from such a young age. She interviews and observes daily interactions with the eleven and twelve year old students that have been labeled “at risk” by their teachers and peers. She wants to research how it is being in school when all of the educators have already labeled them as “unsalvagable, at risk, and bound for jail”. These kids pretty much act in the way that their teachers treat them. They get into trouble every single day and most of the times these boys provoke it because that’s how they think there supposed to act because they think they are already going no where in life. At such a young age, these boys, just because they are black, shouldn’t be criminalized and put in a different category than other boys. These children faced many challenges that effected how they learned in school, the way teachers and peers treated them, and how they are labeled as bad boys. Ann Arnett Ferguson said, “in the course of my study it became clear that school labeling practices and the exercise of rules operated as part of a hidden curriculum to marginalize and isolate black male youth in disciplinary spaces and brand them as criminally inclined”(page 2). This means that the educators didn’t really realize they were doing this and labeling these boys but it was more like a tradition and they saw nothing wrong with it. This is purely based on race and obviously some people are still in the mindset that black people are inferior to white people. Bad boys show black males from a very young age being adultified and become very masculine making them becomes part of the criminal system early on. Adultification is a filter of overlapping representations of three socially invented categories of “difference”; age, gender...
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