school to prison pipeline

03 May

Comprehend Don’t Suspend

Discipline is not synonymous with punishment. True discipline is not condemning one for their behavior, but finding a solution that prevents harmful behavior from reoccurring. In the case of school disciplinary practices, true discipline should not be about discouraging a student from attending school. Unfortunately, that is what happens for too many students in New York City public schools that experience school suspensions. Our current system relies too heavily on punishment that has proven to be ineffective, because suspensions do not address the root causes of behavior and are racially discriminatory. 
28 Jul

Not If, But When?


Here we are again, consumed by grief and anger after the horrific and senseless killings of two more Black people at the hands of law enforcement. In Louisiana, Alton Sterling, was shot at point-blank range, multiple times, in the chest and back, while pinned to the ground by two police officers. The next day, his 15-year-old son stood before reporters sobbing uncontrollably and crying, "I want my Daddy." 

20 May

Expel the Box in Virginia


Tyler had dreams of going to an Ivy League school after graduating from his segregated, inner-city school. Sarah worked extremely hard to overcome grinding poverty and position herself to get a scholarship. Juan is an English learner who wants to be the first in his family to go to college. Maya is a student with an emotional disability emanating from childhood trauma who wants to get a business degree and start a women’s empowerment organization. Sadly, all four of these Virginia seniors face a barrier to pursuing higher education.

17 May

Philadelphia Student Union to Rally Against Police Abuse in Schools


Last week, DSC member Philadelphia Student Union released a statement regarding a recent assault of PSU youth member, Brian Burney, by a school resource officer. On May 5 Brian attempted to use his school’s bathroom and was told by School Resource Officer Jeffrey Maiocha that he needed a pass and an argument ensued. Brian threw an orange at the wall out of frustration and was then assaulted by Officer Maiocha. Part of the incident was captured on video by a fellow student and shared publicly. Following the incident Brian was told he suffered a concussion and his parents have filed a complaint with Philadelphia’s Police Advisory Commission. 

14 Apr

Students and Parents from Across Country Join Action Demanding De-Militarization of Los Angeles Schools


Los Angeles- In late February, the Los Angeles School Police Department (LASPD) informed the Strategy Center’s Fight for the Soul of the Cities campaign that they had returned all military grade weapons granted by the Department of Defense’s (DOD) 1033 program. After a year and a half of campaigning for 1033 weapons to be destroyed, the Labor Community Strategy Center (LCSC) and Fight for the Souls of the Cities are demanding full accountability from the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and LASPD for harm caused to the Los Angeles community. 

The Fourth Annual National Week of Action Against Incarcerating Youth organized by our member Save the Kids is back! The week of action will be held from May 15 to May 21, 2016.

Sun, 05/15/2016 - 12:00am - Sat, 05/21/2016 - 11:55pm
07 Apr

12-Year-Old Body Slammed by School Resource Officer Shows Continuing Criminalization of Youth of Color


This week a video surfaced showing Joshua Kehm, a school resource officer, body slam and handcuff a 12-year-old student at Rhodes Middle School in San Antonio, Texas. This video displays the violent and unethical use of excessive force on a child. It is a reminder of why law enforcement personnel should not handle routine student safety or school discipline issues in and around schools.

25 Mar

Six-Year-Old Girl Handcuffed in School Shows Continuing Criminalization of Black Children


Last week a six-year-old elementary school student in Chicago was handcuffed in school for taking candy off of her teacher’s desk. The student is Madisyn Moore, a young black girl who was then placed under a set of stairs at the school and handcuffed until her mother arrived to pick her up. The reasoning behind this action by a school security guard was to “teach her a lesson.” This incident is unacceptable and shows us once again why School Resource Officers (SROs), municipal police, probation officers and other law enforcement personnel should not handle student safety or school discipline issues in and around schools.

On November 2015, TruthOut published the article, "How Police Became Part of the Public School System and How to Get Them Out" by GS Potter, a community activist and educator.

22 Mar

Missouri Youth Leaders Visit State Capitol to Address School Pushout


This month youth leaders from our member organization, Missouri GSA Network visited their state capital, Jefferson City to meet with legislators to discuss issues of school pushout and the school to prison pipeline. Thirty youth leaders from high schools and colleges across the state, including the Kansas City Metro Area, Mid-Missouri and the St. Louis Metro area visited the state capitol when a historic nearly 40 hour filibuster ended.

18 Mar

New Report Shows Charter Schools Suspend Black Students and Students with Disabilities at High Rates


This week, the Center for Civil Rights Remedies at the UCLA Civil Rights Project released the report Charter Schools, Civil Rights and School Discipline: A Comprehensive Review, revealing alarming data on the state of school discipline in charter schools across the country. These findings underscore the importance of implementing the recommendations found in the Dignity in Schools Campaign Accountability Guidelines on School Pushout and Charter Schools, released in 2014 to address the lack of oversight for charter schools when dealing with school discipline.

03 Mar

Video Released of Baltimore School Police Officer Hitting Youth


This week, a video surfaced of a Baltimore school police officer hitting and kicking a youth at REACH Partnership School. Similar to what was seen last year in Columbia, SC at Spring Valley High, we see another youth of color being assaulted by a police officer in school. 

25 Feb

DSC Urges Acting Secretary of Education Dr. John King to Champion School Discipline Reform Upon Confirmation


Today, Acting Secretary of Education, Dr. John King, will appear before the U.S. Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, seeking confirmation as Secretary of Education. If confirmed, King will be responsible for carrying out the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which was signed into law by President Obama on December 10, 2015, replacing the broken No Child Left Behind Act. DSC urges Dr. King to ensure that the Department issues regulations and provides needed guidance and technical assistance to states and districts to properly implement the law.

24 Feb

More Conversation about Race, Not Less, Needed in Henrico County


On February 4, 2016, students at Glen Allen High School – located in the “Capitol of the Confederacy” – watched a four-minute, animated video titled, “Structural Discrimination: The Unequal Opportunity Race.” The African American Policy Forum (AAPF) produced the video, which The Washington Post describes as “contextualiz[ing] historic racial disparity in the United States using the metaphor of a race track in which runners face different obstacles depending upon their racial background.” 

On August 2013, Advocates for Children's Services, a project of Legail Aid of North Carolina released the State of the School-to-Prison Pipeline in the Wake County Public School System report.

State Relevance (if applicable): 
North Carolina

On November 2015 the Civil Right Project at UCLA released the Closing the School Discipline Gap in California: Signs of Progress report. The report found that in California, the number of suspensions declined from 709,580 total suspensions in 2011-12 to 503,101 in 2013-14.