"Zero-tolerance policies can push students out of schools and onto the streets through excessive suspensions"
This week, the Huffington Post recognized Denver Public School District’s work to end the school to prison pipeline. For those who do not know, the school to prison pipeline is exactly the process it sounds—where students are pushed out of school through excessive suspensions, expulsions, and in school arrests, and are then more likely to end up in jails or prisons because of overzealous, zero-tolerance discipline policies.
This problem affects students nationwide and affects students of color at a much higher rate. For example, a study from the Department of Education found that while black students made up only 18% of the student population polled, black students made up 35% of students suspended once, 46% of students suspended more than once, and 39% of student expulsions. Also, read this article about a six year old who was arrested for throwing a temper tantrum, and a 14 year old who spend 21 days in jail for hitting another student with a pencil, both in 2012.
Denver Public Schools has been working to rewrite these harsh discipline policies by partnering with a local community organization called Padres y Jovenes Unidos. DPS has been fighting to make school a place where students are welcome, safe, and on a path to success, not the criminal justice system.
Read the full article here where Denver Public Schools is commemorated for leading the way on this issue.
Posted by Haley DiRenzo
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