School to Prison Pipeline 101

Ten Things you should know about the "School to Prison Pipeline"

1. It can be defined as an institutional push of disadvantaged students out of the school system into the prison system. 

2. The school to prison pipeline has been correlated to "zero-tolerance" policies that are the premise of most urban schools, but in particular, charter schools. 

3. A great systemic antidote to the "school to prison pipeline" is restorative justice and in-school restorative therapy. 

4. In-school arrests and referrals to law enforcements disproportionately affect black and latino students. 70% of those incidents involve children of color. 

5. You can tell if your child's school is apart of the issue if they have zero tolerance policies, non-negotiable suspension rules, excessive policing incidents, rely on testing for funding and enrollment, have disciplinary and bureaucratic practices for movement in school buildings, as well as an institutional culture that degrades children. 

6. Students who are expelled or suspended tend to rely on school for food or safekeeping.When they are pushed out, they often deal with serious consequences that effect their choices that sometimes land them in juvenile detention centers.

7. Students need advocates for mental health, guidance, remediation, and thorough and beneficial social work in the home to avoid arrests and cyclical incarceration. 

8. A focus on literacy is vital. Students who can critically read and write have more agency. In this neoliberal society, literacy is the auxiliary function of success. 

9. Police arrest and excessive force of children in schools are constitutional violations. 

10. You can help by being an advocate, questioning the practices of your child's or community schools', attending meetings at the school, district, and city level, and asking your kid how they feel after being disciplined at school. Actions taken by the administrator should be corrective not humiliating or degrading. 

Leave questions in the comments if you want to know more.