Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics


published on April 28, 2023

Nikia S. Robert

An Ethic of Abolition
Becoming Educational Sanctuaries

This paper addresses the uncanny resemblance between the educational industrial complex and the US carceral state. Both schools and prisons comprise carceral apparatuses that use policies, pedagogies, and practices to respond punitively to com­munal transgressions. Moreover, architectural designs and fiscal budgets further reveal symmetries that make learning communities unsafe and complicit with carceral systems. Black and Brown people are disproportionately caught in the frays of punitive disparities, targeted violence, and stereotypes of deviance that drastically impede social thriving. Ergo, this paper responds to the inextricability of punishment that link classrooms to prisons by introducing an abolitionist theological ethic to create educational sanctuaries.