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A system of laws, policies, and practices that pushes students out of schools and into the juvenile and criminal systems An over-reliance on school.

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Presentation on theme: "A system of laws, policies, and practices that pushes students out of schools and into the juvenile and criminal systems An over-reliance on school."— Presentation transcript:




4 A system of laws, policies, and practices that pushes students out of schools and into the juvenile and criminal systems An over-reliance on school suspension to manage behavior A willingness to view adolescent misbehavior as criminal activity

5 Short-term suspension in NC schools, by year Long-term suspensions in NC schools, by year

6 2012-13 750,000 school days lost to suspension from school 248,000 short-term suspensions (1-10 days) 1,423 long-term suspensions (more than 10 days) 37 permanent expulsions Overall rate: 1 in 11 students suspended In high school, 1 in 8

7 Students more likely than others to be in the school-to-prison pipeline: Start behind on social and academic skills due to limited enrichment from birth – age 5 Have continued poor academic achievement, often having been retained in at least one grade Have been raised in a low-income, single-parent household Have no or limited family history of post-secondary education


9 General populationSuspended students

10 As an affected student misses more school and feels the sting of rejection and “unfairness,” misbehavior gets worse, not better Student may begin skipping school to avoid negative interactions and embarrassment of poor academic achievement Student begins engaging in unlawful community behavior, such as vandalism, theft, etc. Student may connect with gangs or other excluded students Student gets arrested and ultimately incarcerated

11 School resource officers (SROs) are law enforcement officers permanently assigned to work in schools Nearly all high schools in the state have at least one SRO Two-thirds of middle schools have at least one SRO 20 percent of elementary schools have an SRO

12 Steady increase in the number of SROs in schools Can create an atmosphere of hostility and control rather than safety and support More SROs result in more school- related behaviors becoming juvenile and criminal offenses

13 46% of all juvenile complaints are the result of school-based offenses (students under age 16). Top three delinquent offenses: Simple assault Misdemeanor larceny Disorderly conduct at school No data are kept on how many 16 and 17-year-olds have criminal charges for school-based offenses, but anecdotally, we know it is a high number

14 At least one in three juveniles arrested has a disability Students with disabilities are three times more likely to be arrested before leaving high school than the general population.* * Source: The Hechinger Report, Oct. 26, 2014 “ Pipeline to Prison: Special Education Too Often Leads to Jail for Thousands of American Children” Students with emotional disabilities tend to be more impulsive, less able to problem-solve, and less able to manage emotions, resulting in aggressive or other disorderly behaviors

15 For individuals students, school suspension is linked to: Poor academic achievement, both short term & long term Lasting disconnection between suspended student and school Increased truancy and future misbehavior Increased risk of later incarceration Difficult to find evidence that suspension reduces misbehavior; higher rates of suspension do not correlate with safer, more orderly schools

16 Commitment to Change Prevention Intervention Alternatives


18 2011 – N.C. General Assembly revised the state law on school discipline Left discipline primarily in the discretion of local school boards, but – Made zero tolerance approach unlawful Requires the consider mitigating circumstances Requires that long-term suspensions be restricted to serious violations of board policy Encourages use of alternatives to suspension Spelled out “due process” procedures

19 School boards can limit the authority of principals and the superintendent to impose suspensions in certain circumstances Examples – No suspension from elementary school No suspension on first offense No suspension until certain interventions are tried No suspension for longer than 30 days No suspension for certain offenses (i.e., disrespect, disobedience) No court referrals for most school offenses

20 Engage students in academics Support & train staff in behavior management, cultural competency Implement Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support Reduce class size Make social, emotional, and behavioral education a regular part of school Engage parents

21 Student support teams Mentoring & counseling Social work services Substance abuse intervention Personal Education Plans Effective IEPs for students with disabilities

22 Mediation Restorative justice Restitution Community service Effective alternative schools Effective in-school alternative learning centers

23 North Carolina is the only state in the United States that always treats 16 and 17 year olds as adults in the criminal justice system Deprives 16 & 17 year olds of the “rehabilitative” aspects of juvenile system Deprives 16 & 17 year olds of the confidentiality of the juvenile system (giving them public criminal records) Results in incarceration in adult jails

24 Youth Justice North Carolina -- Watch the documentary: “North Carolina’s School to Prison Pipeline” NC Child -- Raise the Age children-need/juvenile-justice

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