“Pipeline to Prison” – Schools Sending Children to Prison


Posted June 14, 2o15

Discrimination against students of color rampant in Louisiana school district

This child is only 10 years old and is autistic!

Three years after a Southern Poverty Law Center complaintsparked a U.S. Department of Education (DOE) investigation into the disproportionate number of African-American students arrested for minor rule violations in Louisiana’s Jefferson Parish Public School System, the problem has worsened, the SPLC told federal authorities this week.

The SPLC is now asking the Department of Justice to intervene.

The proportion of African-American children arrested for school-based misbehavior is now higher than when the initial complaint was filed, according to a supplemental SPLC complaint.

One black eighth-grader spent six days in juvenile detention after being arrested for throwing Skittles candy at another student.

“The Jefferson Parish Public School System has continued its destructive practice of arresting and jailing children for minor, and often trivial, violations of school rules and decorum,” said Eden Heilman, managing attorney for the SPLC’s Louisiana office. “It’s nothing less than a racially biased system of criminalizing African-American children. It must stop now.”

The SPLC’s complaint urges federal officials to take action, noting that the district’s arrest and law enforcement practices violate Titles VI and IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It states that there has been “little to no movement” since the DOE launched its investigation three years ago.

The school district maintains contracts with local law enforcement agencies, including the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, that give officers stationed at district middle and high schools the authority to stop, frisk, detain, question, search and arrest schoolchildren on and off school grounds.

“If law enforcement officers are on school grounds at all, they should be there in a very limited capacity – to protect children in the unlikely event of some kind of violent attack,” Heilman said. “But, as in many other places across the country, school authorities have inappropriately handed off their responsibility to administer routine school discipline to the police.”

Jefferson Parish stands out in Louisiana as the school district with, far and away, the most school-based arrests and law enforcement referrals. The overwhelming majority of these arrests are for nonviolent, minor student misbehavior. African-American students are disproportionately targeted.

The supplemental complaint describes how 80 percent of the district’s school-based arrests during the 2013-14 school year were African-American students – even though they are only 41.5 percent of the student population. When the SPLC filed its initial complaint in 2012, African-American students comprised 76 percent of school-based arrests despite being 46 percent of the student population.

“The Jefferson Parish Public School System is needlessly derailing young lives with these arrests,” said Sara H. Godchaux, an SPLC staff attorney. “Far too many school children have been pushed out of class and into the justice system.

A 10-year-old girl diagnosed with autism is handcuffed and held down by police at her school in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. The incident is described in a new SPLC civil rights complaint to the U.S. Department of Education. Source: SPLC

The latest complaint describes how one eighth-grader was arrested at school after allegedly throwing Skittles candy at another student on a bus. The boy was charged with simple battery and handcuffed in front of his class by an officer. When he cried out as the officer twisted his arm, the officer said he was going to also charge him with resisting arrest. The boy was held at Rivarde Juvenile Detention Center for six days.

The complaint also describes how a 10-year-old African-American student diagnosed with autism ended up handcuffed and face down on the ground with a police officer’s knee in her back. Police were called after the girl had an outburst in class and began running around the classroom, jumping on desks, and knocking down chairs. She climbed out a classroom window and up a tree. The police dragged her away from the tree by her ankles and handcuffed her. Several officers were on the scene.

When the girl’s grandmother arrived, she found a police officer pressing her granddaughter’s face so close to the ground that she was having difficulty breathing. Officers eventually released the girl. Since the incident, the girl has said the police are not her friends and has asked, “Why do they hate me?”

Another Jefferson Parish student, a seventh-grader, became upset during a conference with school officials and her mother this year. After arguing with her mother, she was handcuffed and charged with “interference with an educational facility,” according to the latest complaint. She was held overnight at Rivarde Juvenile Detention Center and suspended from school.

The supplemental complaint was filed with both the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights in Washington as well as its local office in Dallas. It also was filed with the Educational Opportunities Section of the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division.

The original complaint was filed in January 2012 on behalf of four students and their families, and all other similarly situated students, with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights in Dallas. The office informed the SPLC in March 2012 that an investigation had been launched.

via Discrimination against students of color rampant in Louisiana school district | Southern Poverty Law Center.

Source: SPLC


Louisiana school district



Posted February 8, 2015 – CIVILRIGHTSAGENDA.COM

By: American Civil Liberties Union

School-to-Prison Pipeline


School-to-Prison Pipeline

The ACLU is committed to challenging the “school to prison pipeline,” a disturbing national trend wherein children are funneled out of public schools and into the juvenile and criminal justice systems. Many of these children have learning disabilities or histories of poverty, abuse or neglect, and would benefit from additional educational and counseling services. Instead, they are isolated, punished and pushed out.

“Zero-tolerance” policies criminalize minor infractions of school rules, while cops in school lead to students being criminalized for behavior that should be handled inside the school. Students of color are especially vulnerable to push-out trends and the discriminatory application of discipline.

The ACLU believes that children should be educated, not incarcerated. We are working to challenge numerous policies and practices within public school systems and the juvenile justice system that contribute to the school to prison pipeline.


Gone Too Far: Our Kids in Handcuffs

Meet Kyle Thompson. Kyle is part of a national trend where children are funneled out of public schools and into the juvenile and criminal justice systems.


See video

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Stories of the School to Prison Pipeline

The effects of the school-to-prison-pipeline are both damaging and unfair. These policies have contributed to the over-criminalization of the classroom, whereby small infractions that in the past would have led to a trip to the principal’s office and a sharp warning or detention now become the basis of out-of-school suspension, expulsion, or, increasingly, a trip to the police station. Read moreabout how these polices have impacted the lives of young people in Mississippi and Utah.


Dennis Parker

Dennis Parker, Director of the ACLU Racial Justice ProgramDennis Parker is director of the ACLU Racial Justice Program, leading its efforts in combating discrimination and addressing other issues with a disproportionate impact on communities of color. Parker oversees work to combat the “School-to-Prison” pipeline, the profiling of airline passengers subjected to searches and wrongfully placed on watch lists and the racial bias in the criminal justice system.


[Infographic] School-to-Prison Pipeline

School-to-Prison PipelineSchool-to-Prison-Pipeline Infographic: A snapshot of recent data on school discipline shows that zero tolerance policies disproportionately impact Black and brown students.


What is the School-to-Prison Pipeline?

This factsheet provides an overview of the phenomenon labelled the school-to-prison pipeline, used to describe the complex interaction of policies and practices that push students out of the educational system and into the criminal and juvenile justice systems.


Blogs & Commentary

Read the most recent blogs on policies and practices, including the overly strict enforcement of draconian zero tolerance policies, increased use of suspension and expulsion for younger and younger students, and referrals to the police.


ACLU Racial Justice Cases

Learn more about the ACLU’s litigation challenging the school-to-prison-pipeline and other racial justice issues in schools.


An OUTRAGE! Teen faces felony charges for going to the bathroom WITH PERMISSION at school.

Texas Teen Faces Felony Charges for Using Restroom in School…with teacher’s permission

    1. Brenda Cherry
    2. Petition by

      Brenda Cherry

      Paris, TX

On Feb 2, Joquan Wallace, a student at Paris High School in Paris Texas, asked and got permission from his teacher to use the restroom. Joquan was profiled and followed by the school police officer Joey McCarthy. McCarthy peeped at Joquan under the bathroom stall and when Joquan was returning to class, McCarthy interrogated him as to why he wasn’t using the bathroom closer to his classroom. Joquan told him because he had to do number 2. Joquan had permission to go to the restroom. He was not breaking any school rule, nor was he committing a criminal act.
The incident ended in Joquan being assaulted and injured by both McCarthy and Paris High Principal Gary Preston. Both said they told Joquan to go to the office and he didn’t do what he was told. Both Preston and McCarthy claim they were hit when they were placing Joquan under arrest. Numerous witnesses say Joquan never hit anyone. Joquan ended up with two felony charges and a trip to the emergency room with visable injuries. Neither Preston nor McCarthy had any visable injuries according to Joquans parents. Joquan was a good student with no discipline problems. He had no prior arrests.
He excelled in sports and had won sports awards for the school. He was up for scholarships from numerous colleges. He was suspended from school. He will not be allowed to walk the stage to graduate with his class. He may not receive any college scholarships. People should support Joquan because its time to end the School to Prison Pipeline. A students future should not be destroyed over an incident that school officials
instigated. Hold School officials accountable for bad behavior. It can help prevent this from happening to other students.
To: Gary D. Young, Lamar County Attorney Paul Jones, Superintendent Paris Independent School District
Drop the felony charges against Joquan Wallace. Stop the School to Prison Pipeline at Paris Independent School District.

Sincerely, Please sign petition below

Petition | Drop felony charges against Joquan. Allow him to graduate with his sister at Paris High.Stop the school to prison pipeline. | Change.org.

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