The ACLU's Racial Justice Program is committed to challenging the "school to prison pipeline," a disturbing national trend wherein children are funneled out of public schools and into the juvenile and criminal justice systems. Many of these children have learning disabilities or histories of poverty, abuse or neglect, and would benefit from additional educational and counseling services. Instead, they are isolated, punished and pushed out. "Zero-tolerance" policies criminalize minor infractions of school rules, while 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 push-out trends and the discriminatory application of discipline.
The ACLU believes that children should be educated, not incarcerated. We are working to challenge numerous policies and practices within public school systems and the juvenile justice system that contribute to the school to prison pipeline.
> What Is the School-to-Prison Pipeline?
> Facts About the School-to-Prison Pipeline
> School-to-Prison Pipeline Game
> Freedom Files: Freedom to Learn
> Report: Policing In Schools: Developing A Governance Document For School Resource Officers In K-12 Schools
> Case: M.H. v Atlanta Independent School System (Atlanta Alternative School Case)
> Dignity in Schools Campaign (www.dignityinschools.org)