"Get tough" school discipline policies aren't doing anything to make our schools safer. In fact, they're creating a school-to-prison pipeline and exacerbating the school pushout crisis that is drastically curtailing access to educational opportunities for students of color.
Meridian, MS, has been in the news often in the past several months for it's horrendous school-to-prison pipeline. But the sad reality is that the injustices committed there – the heavy and unequal punishments levied for minor offenses, the absurd amount of police involvement in school discipline, the denial of due process rights to students – are happening across the state. A new report from our allies at the Mississippi NAACP, the ACLU, and the Advancement Project reveals that "Mississippi is mired in an extreme school discipline crisis."
In the first in a series of policy proposals, the National Opportunity to Learn Campaign advocates the creation of Personal Opportunity Plans for every student who is one grade level or more behind in reading or math, giving them access to the academic, social and heathcare supports they need to get back on track.
Need some help developing or advocating for policies in your state to tackle school pushout and end the school-to-prison pipeline? Then look no further than this newly released state policy guide from the Opportunity to Learn Campaign!
Today the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against the city of Meridian, Miss.; Lauderdale County, Miss.; judges of the Lauderdale County Youth Court; and the state of Mississippi for helping "operate a school-to-prison pipeline in which the rights of children in Meridian are repeatedly and routinely violated."
Free Webinar! Solutions Not Suspensions:
How to Go from Mad to Movement Building
October 3, 2012, 2:00-3:00 PM EDT