The School to Prison Pipeline

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The School to Prison Pipeline: The Criminalization of American Students The School to Prison Pipeline: The Criminalization of American Students Kimberly N. Wright Western Governors University Introduction Your permanent record! The thing that was held over most of our heads when we were in school. Your teacher or maybe your parents threatened that your bad behavior was going to end up on your “permanent record” and ruin your life. We shrugged them off, thought they were being dramatic or crazy and didn’t think much of it. Unfortunately for some students, the School to Prison Pipeline is making the threat of a bad permanent record all too real, as well as the consequences behind it. What is…show more content…
School data suggests that the decision to suspend or excel a student depends on several factors including prior history of the student, particulars of the situation, and the teacher’s ability to manager classroom behavior (Skiba, 2003). However observations of classroom behavior show that the majority of students removed from urban classrooms were not primarily due to dangerous or major infractions of disciplinary policies and usually they weren’t even the worst offenders. Often times it’s the student’s needs and the school being unable to meet the student’s needs that lead to the student being disciplined. Kids who are behind academically, and unable to perform at the same level as their peers often act out in frustration or humiliation (Noguera, 2003). Once these students are labelled as difficult, incorrigible, and unteachable they tend to believe these things about themselves and act out more in class which leads to a cycle of discipline that can ultimately lead to permanent expulsion. For some of these students, these continued rule violations lead to run-ins with the police and the criminal justice system. School administrators who are at times frustrated themselves from failed attempts to steer children from a “bad path” don’t realize that in throwing their hands up and giving up on these students, are in a way helping shuttle students from school to the penitentiary (Noguera, 2003). Another strike against students who are already on

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