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School to Prison Pipeline Solutions A report in 2000 indicated a drop in youthful crime rate, but the school’s discipline policies are taking a wrong direction. The Department of Education for Civil Rights reported an increase in expulsion and suspensions of students in schools. According to the department’s report, black students were most affected by the discipline policies compared to white students. The youth advocates have raised concerns based on those reports, which attracted attention of prominent politicians including the Obama administration at the time. A need to change the schools’ discipline policies was inevitable because more students were being suspended or expelled out of school. Due to the similarity between youthful detention and school discipline, civil rights advocates linked the school discipline to “school-to-prison pipeline”. The older students in school are the same youth out there, and that is why they are likely to face criminal justice system whenever they cause trouble in school. Some of the common crimes committed in schools include fight, drug abuse, and personal injuries. The administrators were forcing students to face criminal justice system. In many cases, students are arrested while at school and taken to detention centers.
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However, keeping students out of school was not a common thing in the 1970s. When the crime and violations escalated in schools, administrators adopted expulsion and suspension programs. For instance, bringing a weapon in school was a one year punishable crime. The enactment of zero-tolerance policies contributed to increased cases of students being suspended and expelled out of school.
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However, many school administrations misinterpreted the policy of punishing students who bring weapons in school. Even when youngsters displayed their hands like guns, many schools take it too broadly such that the students are expelled or suspended. Other schools developed other discipline policies that created tension among students. Simple mistakes such as missing a class or being disruptive are offenses that deserve expulsion or suspension. After some time, schools started using police officers as school resource officers. However, those school resource officers turned to be security personnel against mass shooting incidents such as the one that happened in Columbine school in 1998. This has caused misuse of police mandates. Many students have been arrested and taken to detention chambers. When a student is arrested and referred to juvenile justice system, it becomes too obvious for the youngster to get a criminal record. Regardless of the punishment a student gets for the first offense, the second punishment would be obviously tougher. Through the Obama administration, investigations on schools’ discipline policies were launched, and schools advised to create different policies. This was to make expulsion and suspension as a last resort. Nowadays, various schools have established drug abuse prevention programs. These programs focus on enhancing relationship among students, teachers, and administrators. This allows students to have a chance to speak out their sources of disruptive behaviors, and then get guidance and counseling for the same.