Arrested at School: Criminalizing Classroom Misbehavior

KNTV Bay Area

NBC Bay Area’s Arrested at School: Criminalizing Classroom Misbehavior is a rigorous examination into the overreliance of local school districts on police as a means of student discipline. The series of investigations reveals an alarming lack of direction from school districts combined with the overreach of police who have negligible school-focused training. The result for many students—mostly minority populations—is juvenile citations that become permanent criminal records. A mud-sliding prank leads to a permanent record of trespassing, while an autistic teen’s hopes for fame in carving his initials into a sidewalk means arrest after he cleans it up. Reporter Bigad Shaban’s interview with one San Jose district director is especially noteworthy, offering up an absurd conversation in which the administrator admits that he oversees discipline but claims ignorance about the risk of criminal records and deflects responsibility onto the police. The investigation inspires policy reform efforts both at the state and national level, urging for school district clarity on the roles of campus police and encouraging fewer referrals. For its tenacious efforts and hard-earned findings in uncovering a disturbing trend in student civil rights violations and for its contribution to the larger conversation about rebuilding trust between police and their communities, Arrested at School: Criminalizing Classroom Misbehavior is a Peabody Award winner.


Executive Producer: Stephanie Adrouny. Reporter/Writer: Bigad Shaban. Producer/Writer: Michael Bott. Chief Photographer/Editor: Mark Villarreal. Photographer/Editor: Michael Horn. Photographers: Jeremy Carroll, Felipe Escamilla. Interactive Designers: Scott Pham, Nelson Hsu.