School-to-Prison Pipeline

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Sensible Policy, Not Smaller Handcuffs

Sensible Policy, Not Smaller Handcuffs

By Nicole Kief, ACLU & Jennifer Bellamy, Washington Legislative Office at 12:45pm
You may have heard recently about Dontadrian Bruce, the Mississippi high-school student who was almost expelled for holding up the number "3" with his fingers in a photo taken by his science teacher. Dontradian is number 3 on the football team – and despite his being an A/B student with no history of serious disciplinary problems, the school said he was making a gang sign.
President Barack Obama

What Does It Take To Truly Be "My Brother's Keeper"

By Dennis Parker, Director, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 3:38pm

A year ago, Kyle Thompson a young, Black, freshman was led away from his school in handcuffs and ultimately expelled from school. His offense? Mistakenly thinking that his teacher's attempt to take a note for him was a joke and playfully trying to…

Is Race Discrimination in School Discipline a Real Problem?

Is Race Discrimination in School Discipline a Real Problem?

By Deborah J. Vagins, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:04pm

The Department of Justice and Department of Education announced today what we have known to be true for a long time: yes, race discrimination in school discipline is a real problem.

At an event with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Attorney…

Let’s Talk About The Way We Discipline Kids

Let’s Talk About The Way We Discipline Kids

By Alex Berger, Legislative Assistant, ACLU at 4:02pm

A couple years ago, a high school student in Philadelphia named Kevin was caught with a small pair of scissors in his backpack while going through the school's metal detector. He had forgotten to remove it after wrapping Christmas presents at his girlfriend's…

Why Is Kyle Thompson Under House-Arrest?

Why Is Kyle Thompson Under House-Arrest?

By Diana Scholl, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 3:07pm

Kyle Thompson likes playing football, playing video games, and hanging out with his friends. The Michigan student has also been under house arrest since last March and barred from school for six months. Why? His teacher wanted to see a note he had…

50 Years after the Dream: Why Are We Filling our Jails with Kids of Color?

50 Years after the Dream: Why Are We Filling our Jails with Kids of Color?

By Mishi Faruqee, Juvenile Justice Policy Strategist, ACLU at 2:22pm

This week, fifty years after the March on Washington, President Obama stood on the National Mall and listed out some of the unfinished business of the civil rights movement. High up on the list: not letting our criminal justice system become "simply…

The Fierce Urgency of Now

The Fierce Urgency of Now

By Dennis Parker, Director, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 12:09pm

For me, few anniversaries inspire as much ambivalence as the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. Billed as the "March for Jobs and Freedom," the event stands as both a shining example of the promise of the civil rights era and a reminder of…

How to Process Eric Holder’s Major Criminal Law Reform Speech

How to Process Eric Holder’s Major Criminal Law Reform Speech

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Vanita Gupta, Center for Justice at 2:10pm

Attorney General Eric Holder just called mass incarceration a moral and economic failure. He just outlined several major proposals that he says will help to ease major overcrowding in federal prisons. And he just suggested that federal prosecutors…

How One Philly School Stopped Violence in Its Tracks

How One Philly School Stopped Violence in Its Tracks

By Alex Berger, Legislative Assistant, ACLU at 11:05am

I recently read an article in The Atlantic by Jeff Deeney about a school in Philadelphia that took an innovative approach to reduce youth violence in one of the most desperately poor areas of the city. Instead of relying on a hefty police presence…

An Unexpected Reaction: Why a Science Experiment Gone Bad Doesn't Make Me a Criminal

An Unexpected Reaction: Why a Science Experiment Gone Bad Doesn't Make Me a Criminal

By Kiera Wilmot, Student at 10:17am

After model student Kiera Wilmot was arrested and removed from her high school for doing a science experiment on school property...

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