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School to Prison Pipeline Solutions The school discipline programs are taking a wrong direction regardless of a drop in juvenile crime rates. According to the Education Department for Civil Rights, disciplinary suspensions and expulsions have escalated since 2000. According to the department’s report, black students were most affected by the discipline policies compared to white students. Due to the seriousness of the issue, youth advocates raised concerns to draw attention of the Obama administration and lawmakers. The high number of students who were being expelled out of school forced a need to change the school discipline policies. The youth advocates linked the current school discipline policies to the phrase “school to prison pipeline” because the policies were similar to juvenile detention. 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 schools’ administrations are at the forefront to push students who cause trouble into the criminal justice system. In many cases, students are arrested while at school and taken to detention centers.
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The issue of keeping students out of school as a disciplinary action was not common in the 1970s. When the crime and violations escalated in schools, administrators adopted expulsion and suspension programs. Even some states adopted Laws based on Acts to prevent weapons in schools. Adoption of the zero-tolerance policies led to increase in cases of expulsion and suspensions.
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The policy of suspending students when they bring weapons to school was misinterpreted by school administrations. 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 a while, administrators started relying on state police officers in the form of school resource officers (SRO), who are stationed in various schools. The police officers were not to offer the professional policing services, but to protect students from mass shooting like the one that occurred at Columbine High School. This has led to misuse of police service whereby they overuse resources that should be used in more serious and rare situations. Almost hundred thousand students were arrested and detained. 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. Obama administration opened legal investigations into the school discipline policies, and schools urged to establish new policies. So, the new policies were created such that suspension or expulsion was the last alternative Today, drug abuse prevention programs have been developed in many schools. These programs focus on enhancing relationship among students, teachers, and administrators. Therefore, students that cause trouble in school can get guidance from teachers rather than being arrested by the school resource officers (SRO).