All across the country, an alarming number of students are suspended, expelled and even arrested for minor or trivial offenses. Instead of being sent to school guidance counselors to determine root causes of student misbehavior, young people are increasingly pushed into police stations, courtrooms and juvenile detention centers. In many schools, commonsense, age-appropriate discipline has been replaced by unforgiving ‘Zero-Tolerance’ policies.
Being a teenager is hard enough!
But schools across the country are making it even harder for young people, by creating a School-to-Prison Pipeline.
These schools are overusing suspensions, that keep students out of class for weeks at a time . . .
and replacing guidance counselors with metal detectors and police who aren't trained to work with young people.
More police in schools, means more students getting sent to jail for ridiculously minor misbehavior.
For example . . .
In 2005, a kindergartner in Florida had her candy taken away,
Understandably, she threw a bit of a tantrum.
So the school decided the best course of action was to arrest her on FELONY charges.
Or that time when two friends hugged in the hallway . . .
and were suspended from school.
Or when an honor student followed up on her scientific curiosity . . .
and ended up being arrested on felony charges and expelled from her school.
Students of color, LGBTQ students and students with disabilities are more likely to be subject to these harsh and ineffective policies.
And according to the US Department of Education, Black and Latino students are more than 3.5x more likely to be suspended or expelled, and 70% of school arrests are of black and brown students.
In many places, they are spending more to incarcerate young people than they are to educate them
These practices are destroying school climate
and ending students' chances at college and career.
But there is good news!
Schools in places like Boston, Oakland, Los Angeles, Denver and Broward County, FL are returning to common sense school discipline.
Investing in relationships between students and adults, and getting to the root causes of problems before behavior escalates.
Want to learn more and find out how you can help end the School-to-Prison Pipeline? Visit us at www.safequalityschools.org