Disrupting School to Prison Pipeline
Even though a report published in 2010 indicated a drop in youthful crime rates, the discipline policies in schools are taking an off-beam direction. According to the Education Department for Civil Rights, disciplinary suspensions and expulsions have escalated since 2000. According to the department’s report, black students were most affected by the discipline policies compared to white students.
The youth advocates have raised concerns based on those reports, which attracted attention of prominent politicians including the Obama administration at the time. The high number of students who were being expelled out of school forced a need to change the school discipline policies. The youth advocates linked the current school discipline policies to the phrase “school to prison pipeline” because the policies were similar to juvenile detention.
Students that caused trouble in learning institutions were channeled to face a criminal justice system. Some of the common crimes committed in schools include fight, drug abuse, and personal injuries. The administrators were forcing students to face criminal justice system. Arresting of students in school occurred many times where they were put into detention centers.
Lessons Learned from Years with Options
The issue of keeping students out of school as a disciplinary action was not common in the 1970s. When the crime and violations escalated in schools, administrators adopted expulsion and suspension programs. Bringing a weapon in school was also regarded as a high offense that deserved expulsion or suspension. The enactment of zero-tolerance policies contributed to increased cases of students being suspended and expelled out of school.
Discovering The Truth About Resources
The policy of suspending students when they bring weapons to school was misinterpreted by school administrations. Even talking about a weapon was a reason to expel or suspend a student out of school. Apart from the serious crimes that could warrant a suspension, many schools adopted their own zero-tolerance policies to discourage other more serious crimes. Simple mistakes such as missing a class or being disruptive are offenses that deserve expulsion or suspension.
After some time, schools started using police officers as school resource officers. The police officers were actually protecting students from incidents of mass shooting. This resulted in misuse of police responsibilities while in schools. Many students have been arrested and taken to detention chambers.
Due to arrests and prosecutions, many students got criminal juvenile records. Regardless of the punishment a student gets for the first offense, the second punishment would be obviously tougher. The Obama administration opened investigations into the civil rights implicated by the school discipline policies and urged schools to come up with different discipline policies. Therefore, expulsion and suspension was to become a last resort punishment.
Today, many schools have put in place restorative plans such as substance abuse prevention programs. These programs focus on enhancing relationship among students, teachers, and administrators. Therefore, students that cause trouble in school can get guidance from teachers rather than being arrested by the school resource officers (SRO).