RESOURCE

Confronting Segregated Education and the School to Prison Pipeline



Jeffrey Johnson lives in Missouri and completed a SARTAC Fellowship in 2020. Jeff created a resource guide on Confronting Segregated Education and the School to Prison Pipeline. This guide helps families to advocate for their child’s education and treatment. On October 15, 2020, Jeff presented a webinar on his project.

The School To Prison Pipeline happens when a student’s behavior results in the involvement of law enforcement. Zero tolerance policies at school are a factor in this practice and those who are often victims of these policies and practices are students of color and students with disabilities.

Unfortunately, too many students have faced suspensions and expulsions from school in recent years due to harsh zero-tolerance policies. In recent years, public school students have been suspended or in some cases, expelled from school for behaviors and less severe offenses such as being rude and truancy. Studies have shown that zero tolerance policies have resulted in unequal treatment of students of color and students with disabilities. Statistics have repeatedly shown that African American students are 4x more likely to be suspended or expelled from school than white children. And students with disabilities are 2x likely to be suspended or expelled than their nondisabled peers. (Emily Hanson, American Civil Liberties Union) This is concerning and alarming because when school children are suspended or expelled from the school environment, they become more vulnerable to entering the school to prison pipeline.

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