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School to Prison Pipeline
Transcript of School to Prison Pipeline
design by Dóri Sirály for Prezi
What are your thoughts on the activity?
What did you notice about yourself?
What did you notice about your classmates?
How does this activity relate to the school to prison pipeline?
According to data from the U.S. Department of Education:
Over 3 million students
in grades K-12 were suspended in 2009-10 (more than double the rate in the 1970s)
African American students are suspended or expelled
at least 3.5 times more often
than their white peers
Suspended or expelled students are
more likely to fall behind in their studies
drop out of school
interact with the juvenile justice system
, and ultimately,
may end up committing crimes in their communities
that result in some type of incarceration
School to Prison Pipeline Activity
What is the School-to-Prison Pipeline?
For Profit Prisons
"U.S. spends almost $70 billion annually on incarceration, probation and parole. This number lends itself to a 127% funding increase for incarceration between 1987-2007. Compare that to a 21% increase in funding for higher education in the same 20-year span." (Amurao)
Private Security Firms
“Airports walk-through metal detectors cost $5,000 a piece and at that price, putting just one in each school would cost $2.7 million, plus the salary of an attendant for each.” (Camper & Strong)
Mislead into believing they are benefitting by weeding out the "problem kids"
Who Benefits from the School to Prison Pipeline?
What are the societal conditions that allow the School to Prison Pipeline to continue to exist?
14-year-old high school freshmen at MacArthur High School in Irving, Texas
Aspires to be an engineer
Built a digital clock that he brought to school to show to his engineering teacher
“I would advise you not to show any other teachers.
It looks like a bomb
.” -Ahmed’s Teacher
Ahmed was sent to the principal’s office where four police officers waited
Officers assumed it was a bomb a
Took him to a juvenile jail
Released him into his parent’s custody
for three days
The stunning display of
ignorance and racism
by Texas police and school system
lost my innocence
. I can never look at the world in the same way.” -Ahmed
Who Suffers the Most from the
School to Prison Pipeline?
(Most commonly African American and Latino males)
In St. Louis, MO schools, the Normandy School District’s 98% Black student population drew in the following:
100% of all students received
more than one out-of-school suspension
100% of those were
expelled without educational services
100% of those who were
referred to law enforcement
In Missouri’s Ritenour School District:
67% of Black students vs. 33% white students
were referred to law enforcement (Reese)
Students of Color
Students in Poverty
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics,
between 74% and 94% of schools in the U.S. have implemented zerotolerance policies
How is this Affecting
Our School Systems?
Students with Disabilities
Who is Complicit in the
"LGB youth, particularly gender-nonconforming girls, are
up to three times more likely to experience harsh disciplinary treatment by school administrators than their non-LGB counterparts
...As with racial disparities in school discipline,
higher rates of punishment do not correlate with higher rates of misbehavior among LGBT youth
." (Mitchum & Moodie-Mills 2014)
of all students referred to law enforcement nationally were special-needs kids —
kids with physical or learning disabilities
— even though these kids represent only 14 percent of U.S. enrollment." (Ferriss)
If you go into the suburbs of most big cities, which are typically white, there are few problems with their school budgets
; their tax base is sound,” said Gallagher, the criminology and sociology chair at La Salle University. “In the school my kids attend outside of Philadelphia, for example, only 2 percent of the students are on free-or-reduced lunches.
One mile away in the city, the reverse is true. This suggests poverty and it suggests that for such schools, a host of other poverty-related issues are coming into the classroom with the student
Structure of the Public School System and Funding
"The second theory explains a lot about factors that limit students’ performance in school, such as lack of educational resources or parental involvement at home. These students are unlikely to do well on standardized tests, and therefore “school officials knowingly and excessively refer these students to law enforcement. An arrest gives the school officials justification to remove the low-performing student from the school, which improves the school’s potential for a strong show in academic performance tests.” (Reese)
Prison Industrial Complex
Young people cost less
More bodies= More cheap labor
Racism and Classism
Fear Mongering in the Media Regarding School Shootings
Increased militarization of schools
Virginia is the state with the highest rate of suspensions and expulsions!
When Did the School-to-Prison Pipeline Start?
Gun Free Schools Act in 1994
Automatic expulsion regarding anything that even looked like a gun
Schools were forced to comply with the act or risk losing federal funding
What are the Causes of the School-to-Prison Pipeline?
Even teachers are subject to personal biases and prejudices, whether they realize it or not
Suspensions and expulsions for things like “willful defiance” are purely subjective, and teacher are more likely to hand those out to black youth.
Teachers need a lot more support and training for effective discipline
If teachers don't know how to manage their classrooms, they are more likely to send their students to the principal's office and face suspension
Keeping at-risk, and special needs kids in class can be a tough order for educators under pressure to meet accountability measures
Classroom teachers are in a unique position to divert students from the school-to-prison pipeline.
70-80% of students
taken out of school and incarcerated are arrested with 2-3 years
Pushing students into the criminal justice system actually increases the likelihood that they will commit more severe crimes later in life
Very few are able to re-enroll in school.
Zero Tolerance Policy
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, between
74% and 94% of schools in the U.S. have implemented zero tolerance policies
A 2013 Education Week survey revealed that
only 48% of educators (teachers and administrators) think zero-tolerance policies are successful
76% believe in-school suspension is effective in reducing student misbehavior
; 60% believe law enforcement referrals work; 46% think out-of school suspensions are effective and 41% think expulsions work.
allow teachers to remove students from the classroom without caveats (including Virginia)
Schools using law enforcement officers report offenses to the police at a significantly higher rate than those not using such officers
No evidence suggesting that School Resource Officers or other sworn law-enforcement officers contribute to school safety
That is, for no crime type was an increase in the presence of police significantly related to decreased crime rates
Failure to Address Trauma
Law enforcement officers are ill-equipped to respond to students in need of mental health attention
Ideological Approaches to the School-to-Prison Pipeline
What are the three ideological approaches?
Provide some examples in regards to the School-to-Prison Pipeline.
“If you just followed the rules this wouldn’t happen.”
Many deficit ideologies regarding the school to prison pipeline do not take into account previous trauma or home situations that may cause a child to act out
“The parents should be more involved.”
This does not address systemic conditions that make it impossible for some parents to be actively engaging in their child’s education
Focusing on prison programs
, such as GED classes and programs rather than addressing how those adolescents got to prison
"Scared straight” tactics
may be a mitigative solution to adverse behavior but does not address trauma or root causes
Eliminate Zero Tolerance
and subjective Willful Defiance expulsions
Restorative Justice tactics
Create responsibility for offending student and make them responsible for creating a positive outcome
Restorative justice is based on core principles: repairing the harm, stakeholder involvement, and transforming the community relationship
While there is a cost to implementing these changes, that cost is recouped in
higher test scores
equals more funding
Over 70% of inmates in US prisons can’t read above a
4th grade level
Shows a strong correlation between prisoners and their reading levels
Minorities are often viewed as threats to society because of racist ideologies and media influence
In addition, minorities growing up in poverty often face discrimination
As a result, minorities are incarcerated more often
Discrimination and Racism
Many of today’s prisoners did not have opportunities in education that most of us due to factors such as:
Lack of parental guidance
Lack of community resources
Poor funding for inner-city schools
Organizations That Mitigate the School-to-Prison Pipeline
Increase the use of
positive behavior interventions
Compile annual reports
on the total number of disciplinary actions that push students out of the classroom based on gender, race and ability.
Create agreements with police departments and court systems
to limit arrests at school and the use of restraints, such as mace and handcuffs.
Provide simple explanations of infractions
and prescribed responses in the student code of conduct to ensure fairness.
limits on the use of law enforcement
in public schools.
on the use of positive behavior supports for at-risk students.
How can school districts divert the school-to-prison pipeline?
The National Juvenile Justice Network is a membership-led advocacy organization whose mission is to reduce the amount of youth in the criminal justice system
This organization focuses on incarceration as a whole, engaging youth and families, offering legal support and eliminating racial disparities within the criminal justice system
They have championed many STPP state-level causes such as reforming truancy policies and harsh discipline for minor non-violent offenses
A broader racial justice organization, the Advancement Project aims to strengthen social movements and affect policy change
The Advancement project works on voter rights, immigration rights, and the school to prison pipeline
They recently published a report, “Power in Partnerships” addressing the need for intersectional approaches to end the School to Prison Pipeline between racial justice and LGBTQ organizations
The Advancement Project