Youths Act to End School-to-Prison Pipeline
Thursday, June 18, 2020
NEW YORK -- Students in New York City are calling for school safety to be taken out of the hands of the police department.
They call it the school-to-prison pipeline, zero-tolerance policies that involve police in minor incidents leading to student arrests, juvenile detention and incarceration.
Since 1998 the New York Police Department has been training and supervising School Safety Agents who have the authority to arrest students in public schools.
But Kobie Fraser, a youth leader with Future of Tomorrow and the Urban Youth Collaborative, says that has encouraged a law enforcement approach to maintaining school discipline.
"That can be a role of teachers or their deans, and through restorative justice, once implemented correctly, the student can have time to reflect on whatever the situation may be," she states.
The youths are calling for funding to be redirected from deploying School Safety Agents to promoting approaches that reduce conflict and encourage resolution.
Fraser says schools need more resources that can help address the root causes of behavior problems.
"More after-school programs, more mental health professionals, more tutoring instead of having police in schools to counteract the learning environment that children should have and deserve," she states.
Fraser adds that harsh disciplinary practices disproportionately impact students of color, students with special needs and LGBTQ students.
In 2011, New York City passed the School Safety Act, requiring quarterly reporting of disciplinary actions, including arrests and suspensions by race, gender, age and location.
According to Fraser, that data is helping to change the way police and schools approach discipline.
"We've received promises from the mayor to implement restorative justice programs in middle schools and high schools," she states. "We've been able to have social-emotional learning added to elementary school programs and secured more funding for social workers."
Fraser says ultimately, students hope to see school safety agents removed from public schools entirely.
get more stories like this via email
ARLINGTON, Va. -- As a Northern Virginia school system transitions away from using police officers in schools, a new report suggests COVID stimulus …
DES MOINES, Iowa -- In five weeks, voters in many Iowa cities will cast their ballots for local elections, and the Secretary of State's office is …
AURORA, Colo. -- School districts across Colorado had to get creative to ensure families could access critical meals during pandemic-related closures…
SUPERIOR, Wis. -- Legal proceedings continue involving a proposed natural-gas plant for northwestern Wisconsin. The plans have been approved by state …
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Draft rules are out for a program designed to confront climate change in Oregon, but organizations say it does not go far enough to …
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said lawmakers are slated to vote on the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill Thursday…
Health and Wellness
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- A veterinary drug doctors call unsafe for treating COVID-19 has caused the deaths of two people in New Mexico, according to the …
RALEIGH, N.C. -- North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper signed sweeping criminal-justice reform into law this month that is meant to hold police more …