The School to Prison Pipeline refers to a national trend in which school policies and practices are increasingly resulting in criminalizing students rather than educating them. Statistics indicate that the number of suspensions, expulsions, dropouts or “pushouts,” and juvenile justice confinements is growing. Moreover, there is a disproportionate impact on students of color and students with disabilities and emotional problems. In this issue, we invite authors to examine the policy implications, the political ramifications, and the causes and possible solutions to this problem. Moreover, what are these policies teaching our children?We have just learned that Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights, has announced he would hold a hearing on the school-to-prison pipeline this Wednesday, December 12, 2012. The focus will be on the overuse of school discipline and juvenile court referrals. It will take place at 2:00pm (ET) in Room 226 at the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C.
This may be the first Congressional hearing to investigate the growing increase in the number of students who are being funneled out of the public schools and into the juvenile justice system. Our upcoming issue of the journal will examine some of the possible causes and solutions to the problem and will include a video interview with former Washington State Supreme Court Justice, Bobbe Bridge, who started the Center for Children and Youth Justice, after leaving the Court.
We invite readers who attend the congressional hearing in Washington, DC to share their insights with us on the blog.