We Support the Stop the School House to Jailhouse Pipeline Act

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In response to highly publicized violent incidents in school, such as the Columbine High School massacre, schools have taken on a punitive approach to discipline. Zero-tolerance policies have been implemented to create safety for students and staff, however, research shows that it has not been quite successful.

o  In the state of SC, out of 100 students, almost 17 black students were suspended compared to 6 white students in the 2014-2015 school year.

o  Children who have been suspended or expelled are more likely to stay back, drop out, commit a crime, and/or end up incarcerated as an adult.

o  African Americans are disproportionately represented in the criminal justice system and are 3.5 times more likely to be suspended, expelled, or arrested for the same offense than white peers.

Issue:

o  Our society should be more concerned regarding the current methods used to discipline children in the school system. The zero-tolerance policy has not proven to be the most effective.

o  In the United States suspending students from school has become the norm, even for relativity trivial offenses. This trend disproportionately affects African American students.

Call to Action:

o  School Districts in South Carolina should get rid of the zero-tolerance policy, which is a main contributor to the school to prison pipeline, and create restorative justice programs within the school system.

o  Restorative justice programs can significantly reduce the number of students being suspended and/or expelled, as well as decrease the number of students funneling from schools to prison.

o  Removing kids from a structured environment, such as school, disrupts their education and often escalates poor behavior. This increases their likelihood of getting in trouble.



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