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Senate to hold hearing today on school-to-prison pipeline

By David Limm on Dec 12, 2012 12:33 PM
Photo: Flickr/Connor Tarter

Unruly students have always been given punishments. But zero-tolerance policies and other harsh punitive practices now employed to keep students in line are considered by many to border on the draconian. Such measures, they argue, adversely affect at-risk and minority children, carving a direct route from school to prison.

Today, for the first time, the U.S. Senate will weigh in on the topic of the school-to-prison pipeline. This afternoon's hearing, to be held by the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights, will address, among other things, the alarming incidence of suspensions for minor offenses, restorative justice practices, and ways to end the pipeline.

Calling for a moratorium on out-of-school suspensions, the Dignity in Schools Campaign, represented by Chicago-based youth organizer Edward Ward, will testify about the links that have been established between the exclusionary discipline of students and the increase in dropouts, grade retention, and involvement in juvenile and criminal justice systems. Earlier this year, the human rights group released a set of policy recommendations and guidelines to help end school pushouts.  

The American Civil Liberties Union has also submitted a statement to the committee. Detailing the progress that the ACLU is making on the school-to-prison pipeline in various states, the group scrutinizes the reliance on excessive punishment and prescribes reform measures that will help to reduce what it sees as discriminatory practices. 


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Comments (3)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 12, 2012 12:15 pm
we are witnessing the beginning of the end of free and appropriate public education. that thing you see on the curb with the bathwater is the bay.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 12, 2012 4:37 pm
Let's be very clear about this. Obama and Nutter have not been helpful in all this. Corbett, Walker, Chrisite and Snyder et al answer to shot callers far above them. These billionaires mean the poor and working class no good. The ball is now in our court and if we don't fight back, we deserve what we get. There needs to be a united MASSIVE reaction by the many against the few who would love to control the masses and turn the clocks back 125 years. All of this is connected and designed to take away our rights and destroy the progress made by working people over the last century. The elections of 2010 gave these cretins the green light to deconstruct the achievements of workers over a very long period of time. Obama ignored us until he needed our votes. Nutter is even worse, playing the fool for the gentry so he can secure HIS future.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 13, 2012 4:52 pm
I wonder if the people commenting teach in schools at all? Do they understand how one student with emotional issues can turn an entire class of willing learners into a circus?

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