Children are far more likely to be arrested at school than they were a generation ago.Why do we pay more to incarcerate people than it would cost to educate them?
The vast majority of these arrests are for non-violent offenses such as “disruptive conduct” or “disturbance of the peace.” Five year olds are being led out of classrooms in handcuffs for acting out or throwing temper tantrums. Students have been arrested for throwing an eraser at a teacher, breaking a pencil, and having rap lyrics in a locker. These children do not belong in jail.
Why is this happening? “Zero tolerance” policies criminalize minor infractions of school rules and high-stakes testing programs encourage educators to push out low-performing students to improve their schools’ overall test scores. Students of color are especially vulnerable to the discriminatory application of discipline and push-out trends.Here’s a chance to do something about it.
The School To Prison Pipeline (STPP) refers to a disturbing national trend in which students are funneled out of public schools and into the juvenile and criminal justice systems. Most of these kids are children of color, and many have learning disabilities or histories of poverty, abuse or neglect, and would benefit from additional educational and counseling services. Instead they are punished and isolated.The Valdosta Dismantling the School to Prison Pipeline Symposium is one of a series throughout the state of Georgia. It’s 9:30AM – 4PM 30 Oct 2010.