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Aug 5, 2017 by

Disrupting School to Prison Pipeline The school discipline programs are taking a wrong direction regardless of a drop in juvenile crime rates. The Department of Education for Civil Rights reported an increase in expulsion and suspensions of students in schools. According to the department’s report, black students were most affected by the discipline policies compared to white students. Due to the seriousness of the issue, youth advocates raised concerns to draw attention of the Obama administration and lawmakers. The high number of students who were being expelled out of school forced a need to change the school discipline policies. Due to the similarity between youthful detention and school discipline, civil rights advocates linked the school discipline to “school-to-prison pipeline”. Students that caused trouble in learning institutions were channeled to face a criminal justice system. A few of these offenses include fighting, personal injuries, and drug abuse. The administrators were forcing students to face criminal justice system. In many occurrences, students were arrested from school and taken into detention chambers.
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The issue of keeping students out of school as a disciplinary action was not common in the 1970s. When the crime and violations escalated in schools, administrators adopted expulsion and suspension programs. For instance, bringing a weapon in school was a one year punishable crime. Adoption of the zero-tolerance policies led to increase in cases of expulsion and suspensions.
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The policy of suspending students when they bring weapons to school was misinterpreted by school administrations. Having a weapon like object led to many students being expelled out of school. Other schools developed other discipline policies that created tension among students. Even those small misbehaviors such as missing a class could get a student expelled. After a while, administrators started relying on state police officers in the form of school resource officers (SRO), who are stationed in various schools. The police officers were actually protecting students from incidents of mass shooting. This has led to misuse of police service whereby they overuse resources that should be used in more serious and rare situations. Many students have been arrested and taken to detention chambers. Due to arrests and prosecutions, many students got criminal juvenile records. Regardless of the punishment a student gets for the first offense, the second punishment would be obviously tougher. Obama administration opened legal investigations into the school discipline policies, and schools urged to establish new policies. Therefore, expulsion and suspension was to become a last resort punishment. Nowadays, various schools have established drug abuse prevention programs. The aim of the new programs is to create a stronger bond between students, teachers, and school administrators. Therefore, students that cause trouble in school can get guidance from teachers rather than being arrested by the school resource officers (SRO).

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